A disastrous fire, resulting in the destruction of Ickornshaw Mill, occurred on Sunday morning last
The mill, which is the property of The Craven Bank, and rented by Mr Thomas Watson,Worsted Manufacturer, was 4 storeys high and 40yards
long. The lower room was used as a store-room for weft and other stock; the second room was used for twisting; the third for weaving, and the top storey for dressing.
The fire occurred in the lower storey, and was discovered at about 6.30am by a mill hand named Jonas Shuttleworth, who resided near the premises. He promptly gave the alarm, and assistance having been procured water was then thrown by buckets on to the fire (the fire-extinguishing apparatus with the mill being useless) and a mounted messenger was despatched to Keighley for the fire brigade.
A manual engine from the town arrived at about half-past eight, followed in about a quarter of an hour by the borough steam fire-engine.
By this time, however, the flames had obtained a complete hold of the building and the roof had fallen in, so the brigade turned their attention to saving that portion of the mill where the engine is situated, and in this they were fortunately successful.
The building, however, was completely gutted, and a large number of machinery and stock was destroyed. There were 56 looms in the mill
and a large quantity of weft, but a considerable portion of the machinery had been removed to new premises only a short time previously; and workmen had been engaged in the task of removal until the late hours of Saturday night.
The flames were fortunately prevented from spreading to the weaving shed which adjoins the mill, or the damage done to the property would
not only have been much greater, but a large number of workpeople thrown out of employment, as the greater portion of them are employed in this part of the mill.
The damage is estimated at £2,500, and is covered by insurance in the Sun Fire Office.
A portion of the mill is sub-let by Mr Watson to Mr Robert Pickles, who had 26 looms in his department.
Part of the mill was worked by water and the other portion by steam and it is hoped that operations in the weaving shed will be resumed.
The fire, which burned for some hours with great brilliancy, and was observable from a great distance, is believed to have been caused by
the spontaneous combustion of weft.
Researched from the
CRAVEN HERALD dated 22 March 1884 by Dennis Harkeand typed out larger by Norman Binns.
For a summary of findings from this newspaper article read the article below.