10:21AM, Friday 13 December 2013
A treasured vintage motorbile was destroyed when a garden shed went up in smoke.
Shocked residents of Ashbrook Road, Old Windsor had to shiver outside their homes in sub-zero temperatures in the early hours of Thursday morning because of fears that the shed might contain the dangerous gas acetylene.
Firefighters were called at 1am.
The shocked owner of the shed - retired Windsor Castle plumber Dave Evans, 75 - mentioned to firefighters that he had used acetylene to work on his vintage 1955 Douglas motorcycle recently. Although he has returned all the cylinders to BOC 18 months ago, fears that one might still be left led firefighters to immediately call police who helped evacuate 30 neighbouring houses.
Residents had to shiver outside for more than an hour before it became clear there were not any cylinders of the dangerous gas in the shed.
But the shed and its contents were entirely destroyed.
Firefighters left the scene by 5am.
Mr Evans, a veteran member of the London Motorcycle Club, said that he was deeply embarrassed at the disturbance that had been caused to his neighbours as well as distressed by the loss of his treasured bike - once worth £10,000, now a charred wreck.
He said: "I went up to Llandudno to collect it in 1990 and was putting a new gear box in."
The cause of the fire remains a mystery.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.