Aireborough Historical Society

Banksfield Mill Fire

Banksfield Mill Fire

Title
Banksfield Mill Fire
Date Undated
Location Yeadon
Photo ID
A489
Comment
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)


 

Goose57
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 liierally 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 ownded by a company called Scott & Rhodes. I beleive that the fire started as an electical 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
adminch05
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.


Corrections to fist email.
1.Bracket should be removed from in front of the name Fred Lumby
2. The name Fred Lumby and the job description should be removed. Surname probably not correct.


Excellent site



regards


Phil Walker

20 May 2013
Goose57
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 realized 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
JHWellsMount
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
jpeterrhodes
jpeterrhodes
JHWELLSMOUNT you are correct ths 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 workinh at Scott & Rhodes during my holidays from school and working with all the great men on the shopfloor as I gained my practical experience after college.
03 November 2014
pamela
pamela
My Brother David Slater worked at Scott and Roads. 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
Goose57
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
jpeterrhodes
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 Dyehouse as well.
09 November 2014
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