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July 24, 2024, 01:58:05 am


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Messages - LocalRes

A lot of the buildings in Bart St opposite the Regal, through to Cheap St and to the right of the Jack O'Newbury (Catherine Wheel) PH were destroyed or badly damaged by a large fire in the latter 1960's. It started a day or so after the carnival, and it is thought that smoker's (kids?) gained entry into the 1st floor of a disused building in Bart. St. to watch the carnival, dropped lighted cigarette ends on the floor, which set light to old timbers that smouldered for a while before bursting into noticeable flames. I know the launderette next to the Catherine Wheel, and Tom Carr's (which I believe had possibly ceased trading by then), were damaged by the fire. The Bricklayers suffered some damage too. Many of the buildings between the two streets, of which a lot were originally dwellings but by now many were storage or small workshops, very old buildings with lots of dry timbers, were destroyed by this fire. If I remember rightly, there were eight fire engines at the height of the blaze, and damping down to stop it re-igniting after the main fire was put out, took several days, as access to some of the buildings was quite difficult.
Before the Tudor Café it was called Bridge Restaurant.
I would think mid to latter part 1960's
The picture of Cheap Street shown as 1960 was later than that. Blue Cross Cleaners did not open there until April 1964, so it is after that. (I know, it was my shop!) Also the Ford Zephyr Mk3 was not produced until 1962.
Also the Almshouses were not all boarded up in 1960, and there may have been one or two occupants still. I would say it is probably c1965/6. There is very little difference in time between this, and the next picture.