Fire at Beck Mills April 7th 1971
|Fire completely gutted one wing of Beck Mills in Reeva Syke Road, Clayton Bradford last night. Tons of wool waste and synthetic material went up in flames as fire swept through the building.
The alarm was given at about 6.30 p.m. – Bradford Fire Brigade received 16 calls – and ten appliances including two elevated platforms were rushed to the fire.
Fifty firemen fought to get the blaze under control and save the rest of the building, as crowds of people gathered in surrounding fields to watch.
The main part of the building was occupied by Wooton and Phillipson waste sorters. One of the partners in the firm Mr Arthur Phillipson left the building at only 6.10 p.m.
He locked up and had just got back to his home in Shelf when he got a call to say the building was on fire.
“ I was back here again within half an hour” he said. Two floors were packed with synthetics and goods for export said Mr Phillipson, who said he had no idea what the cost of the fire would be.
The rest of the building was occupied by John Watts, noil and waste merchants, and G. D. Carter, wood patternmakers.
In the adjoining wing firemen managed to save the part nearest to the fire, occupied by Thermo Insulation (Yorkshire) Ltd. Electronic Engineers, although there was some water damage.
The premises of Leonard Riley and Co, Ltd. Precision engineers, in the same building also managed to escape the fire.
The luckiest escape was for Raymond Binks, textile lubricants manufacturers, where 2,000 gallons of oil and chemicals were stored. One of the directors of the firm Mr Geoffrey Howard, said “ I really thought we’d had it. When I arrived the flames were about 200ft high and I didn’t think they could contain it. I was very relieved”
Bradford’s fire chief, Mr Jack Garside, said today he thought damage at the mill would run into many thousand of pounds.
Mrs Phillipson said today that her husband and his partner had been in business in Bradford but had to move several times to make way for re-development.
They moved to Stanningley and their premises there were burnt down after a fire in the building next door about eight years ago.
“They moved out to Clayton and had to start from scratch again. They had just started getting on their feet” said Mrs Phillipson.