Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – #Writephoto – Mask


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This week’s photograph is of a fire and so I thought I would share this extract from my new book Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town about a fire.

The story of Nana and the hotel fire

When Nana was a young lady of twenty, she worked in a hotel as a receptionist and bookkeeper. The hotel was in the seaside town of Brighton.

The hotel was very smart and Nana had her own bedroom where she slept. The working hours for a hotel receptionist and bookkeeper were long as they had to balance all the guest’s accounts at the end of each work shift.

Early one morning, Nana woke up and decided to go down the passage to the kitchen and make herself a cup of tea. She got up and opened her door into the hallway. She closed it again in a hurry as the corridor was full of thick smoke. What was happening? She rushed over to the window where she could see people in the building opposite shouting and waving their arms. The hotel was on fire! What could she do? Without really thinking about it, she climbed up onto the window sill. Fortunately, she didn’t look down and above her, she saw the roof gutters. She pulled herself up and grabbed hold of the gutters. They were strong and she was able to haul herself up onto the roof. The roof sloped in places and the tiles were uneven. She ran across the roof without falling and was lucky enough to see a man coming up through the trapdoor in the roof of the building next door. He had come up to see what was happening. The man called to Nana and helped her through the trapdoor to safety. Shortly after Nana climbed down to safety, the whole roof of the hotel collapsed.

It was a very lucky escape for Nana as five people died in that fire.


Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town




26 thoughts on “Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – #Writephoto – Mask

  1. A very dramatic story your your Nana, so lucky an escape and thankfully she had the forethought and strength to haul herself onto the roof and was rescued in time by the man from the neighbouring building.. So sad that others were not so lucky..

    Liked by 1 person

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