Lightning strike sees tree crash through bedroom ceiling

A LIGHTNING strike caused a tree to crash through a bedroom ceiling in Chobham just before midnight on Sunday.

Jamie and Maria Dickinson were asleep in their cottage in Mincing Lane when they were awoken by a fierce thunderclap.

The lime tree across the roof of Jamie and Maria Dickinson’s cottage

“The next thing we knew, a tree branch had come through the ceiling,” said Mr Dickinson. “I went outside to find one of the trees on the edge of the garden had come down and was right across the roof.”

Lightning had split the lime tree in two, causing a large section to tumble across the 400-year-old house.

Mr Dickinson called 999 and the Chobham fire crew was sent out. “They made sure everything was safe and checked there was no risk of the house catching alight,” he added. “There wasn’t much else they could do.”

A tree surgeon used a crane to remove the branches from the roof on Monday evening.

The tree is on the edge of the disused Mincing Lane Nursery land, which is the site of a controversial plan for a 30-home estate. It is one of several trees that were made subject to preservation orders when the planning application was made.

Mr Dickinson, a well-known local postman, was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the end of last year and has been told he has just a few months left to live.

“I didn’t think I’d suffer any more hard luck this year,” he said. “It was a shock to have the tree coming through the ceiling but, fortunately, we weren’t hurt and I can claim on the insurance for the damage.

He said he understood the house was built in the 1600s and was originally a hunting lodge in what was then part of the Windsor Great Park forest.

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