Fire at John Riddiough & Co. Timber Merchants, Colne.
May 31, 1966 was the day when more than 100 firemen, from 15 brigades throughout Lancashire and Yorkshire tackled a fierce blaze at John Riddiough & Co. Timber Merchants in Colne.
The blaze destroyed Riddiough’s wood yard, and much of Foulds and Bury’s single-storey cotton mill. The flames were so high that they could be seen from up to 10 miles away.
The Lancashire Telegraph reported,
“Thousands of tons of timber were lost, and domestic water supplies had to be cut off from nearby homes because of low pressure in the mains.
Danger from a nearby electricity sub station meant that power had to be cut off, too.
Shopkeepers along North Valley Road ran hoses and pumps to save their properties, as the inferno raged.”
The business itself was established in 1880, but changed to a limited company (John Riddiough & Company Ltd, Company number 00121220) on 01 Apr 1912. The company was formally dissolved on 12 Jun 2001.
View: Before the Fire
View: By 1977
Pictures marked as © Judith Wilson were captured by the late Donald Speak and are reproduced here by permission of Judith Wilson.