Fires

Old Dog Mill Fire 1906
Title Old Dog Mill
Date 5th December 1906
Location Yeadon
Photo ID A183
Comment Old Mill, or ‘T’owd Dog’ dates to 1792, and was built by Joseph Cawthray as the first steam-powered mill in the town of Yeadon. By the mid 1880’s, a local man Albert Shutt began clearing the rubbish around the ponds and surrounding area ( see Engine fields). Now in 2021, the old mill has planning permission for conversion to apartments.

To view 14 further images of the Old Dog fire, search the ‘Landmarks’ page or – Click Here.

Percy Simms Fire 1955

DD047 – Percy Simms Fire, 1955.

Percy Simms Fire – 1955

A fireman dousing the remains of Percy Simms woollen mill which was part of the old Crompton Mill.
The mill was listed in a textile magazine in 1955 as “Percy Simms Ltd, Willeyers and Blenders, Lakeside Mills, Cemetery Road.”

Airport Fire 1965

F494 – Airport Fire, 1965.

Airport Fire – 1965

May 1965: Members of the public view the fire damaged buildings, the only security measure is a notice “No person may pass this point”!
Offices and the terminal building were destroyed.

Photographer Bryan Wait, donated by his family.

Banksfield Mill Fire 1978

A488 – Banksfield Mill Fire, 1978.

Banksfield Mill Fire – 1978

Banksfield Mill was built in 1869 by Thomas Bolton (Bolton, Murgatroyd and Co), it was located adjacent to Yeadon Banks, open countryside which stretches down to Otley Chevin.
It became a dyeworks and was owned by Scott and Rhodes.

The date of the fire pictured here is uncertain, the image has a caption which states Circa 1979, a report in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus 1984 describes a fire which began when an explosion caused the mill to be evacuated as it became smoke-logged and that it was the second fire in two weeks.
The mill closed and a housing estate is now on the site. (February 2013)

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

C384 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

The remains of the old cricket pavilion at the White Swan ground, after the fire the remaining section of the pavilion was demolished

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

D172 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

As above.

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

FB357 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

Viewed from the window of a house on the High Street, the pavilion used by Yeadon Cricket Club at the White Swan Ground is ablaze.
It is said that this was supposed to be a controlled fire that got out of hand.

Image Donated by Howard German.

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

DD123 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

On the left is the White Swan Hotel, a fire tender is in the car park dealing with the blazing pavilion.
The pavilion was erected in 1887 for Yeadon Cricket Club.

Image Donated by Howard German.

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

FB358 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

As above.

Image Donated by Howard German.

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

FB360 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

Smoke is billowing from the site of the burnt out pavilion at the White Swan Ground.

Image Donated by Howard German.

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

D173 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

After a fire had burnt the cricket pavilion at the White Swan ground, the embers were cleared and the remains of the building demolished.

Cricket Pavilion Fire Undated

C383 – Cricket Pavilion Fire, Undated.

Cricket Pavilion Fire – Undated

As above.

Previous Comments:

Re 488
Goose57
My father Rowland Kitchen worked at the mill from age 14 to 55 when the fire happened. I was walking past the mill and saw the beginning of the fire. I ran to my parents house and told my father who literally danced around the garden with joy as it was probable that he would be made redundant (which he was). He was the Union Shop Steward at the mill. I would be grateful for any information that people may have about the mill or him.

The mill was owned by a company called Scott & Rhodes. I believe that the fire started as an electrical fault in the kitchen. This may of course have triggered some kind of explosion. The date of 1979 seems a bit late. I would have put it around 1975 or even a fraction earlier. It was a dramatic sight. The mill burned quickly and lit up the sky. A lot of houses were close by and had to be evacuated.
17 February 2013.

Re 488
adminch05
Phil Walker asked me to post this on his behalf:
Although I have no specific knowledge of the fire or the date of the fire, you have a photo on your site of the manor mills demolition work in 1981, viewed from Kirk Lane looking over the mill dams.

The mill chimney seen above the red brick weaving shed is at Banksfield. It may be a clue, but I suppose it depends on how long it stood empty between the fire and demolition.

Other names from the 60’s at Banksfield are :-
Mick Petschi-Tentering, Mick Murphy-Greyroom, Mick Rolfe-Pattern Cutter, Terry Waite-Scouring, Albert Barlow-Dye house operative, Frankie Brown & Ronnie Mitchell-crabbing Operatives, Clifford Lambert-Hollow bed cropping machine operator, Freddie Yeadon, Claude Light-finishing operatives, Basil Rhodes-Water softening plant and fire-man, Harold Pearson, Pauline Girt- grey room office. Harry Scott & George Griggs-Wagon Drivers.
Excellent site
regards
Phil Walker
20 May 2013.

Re 488
Goose57
Phil, thanks for the information re dating of the fire and for the names of people who worked there during the 1960’s. As stated my dad worked there and we lived very close by. I can remember being sent by my mum into the mill with my dads packed lunch. Managers from the mill used to come to our house and talk with my dad in his role of shop steward about the various disputes that used to come up. Seeing the names of the various jobs in the mill triggered lots of memories that I never realised that I had! Thanks, Dave Kitchen. PS. I will show this info to my brother Ian who I know will also be interested.
01 June 2013.

Re 488
JHWellsMount
I think I may be able to help here. The fire pictured took place during the Fire Brigade strike in 1978. I was a Police officer at the time and escorted the Army fire fighters (Royal Engineers from Ripon) to the fire and then helped them fight it. We eventually got the fire under control and in those days, we only had the ancient “Green Goddess” fire engines, so no mean feat! Not having any protective clothing at the time, needless to say, I ruined my uniform through being drenched with water, etc. I can recall playing a hose on a large metal type box about ten feet up the wall which every time we got it out, burst into flames again! This turned out to be some sort of gas meter, quite dangerous! We then smashed some large windows and entered the building, fighting the fire as we went.
15 February 2014.

Re 488
jpeterrhodes
JHWELLSMOUNT you are correct this fire was in 1978 but I can remember if it was September or October? My father Peter Rhodes saved the mill by leading the army into the mill to show them where the fire hydrants were and stayed with them until the fire had been contained. The fire started with an electrical fault next to the gas main in the cutting department which at that time was rammed with fabric as we were exceptionally busy at the time. The finishing and cutting departments were lost but the whole of the “top end” was saved. The mill started up within a few days and sent all the finishing down the Wade Holroyds a sister company in Horsforth next to Colourflex another of the Leeds Group companies. Goose57 I mnew your dad well, he was a great character!
A far as history is concerned I am fifth generation still in textiles and proud of it. The Rhodes families helped many other textiles businesses in Yeadon and to the best of my know ledge one of my great uncles built the Tarn to supply water to his mill.

adminch 05 again many people you mention I remember as a child and my early years working at Scott & Rhodes during my holidays from school and working with all the great men on the shop floor as I gained my practical experience after college.
03 November 2014.

Re 488
pamela
My Brother David Slater worked at Scott and Rhodes. He was a runner and they sponsored him before the days of big corporate sponsorship. They bought him his England Blazer when he was first picked to run for England.
04 November 2014.

Re 488
Goose57
Thank you jpeterrhodes for your post. Very interesting. Your dads name sounds familiar. I have very vivid memories of going into the mill to see my dad. From memory he worked in the wet end (but I never really knew what that meant). If you have any information I would be grateful. PS. He was a real character. Its nice that he is remembered.
04 November 2014.

Re 488
jpeterrhodes
Goose57 yes your dad worked in the ‘wet end’ or the scouring as most people would know it. He mainly worked on the Scourmatics which were the high speed version of the old dolly scourers.
Pamala, I dont think we ever met, but David and Dot are still a good friends of mine to this day. My father gave David the blazer for his England debut. Your other brother worked in the Dye house as well.
09 November 2014.

Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 11 October 2021.
Last updated: 11 October 2021.

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