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2nd MAY 1957
   

THE BATTLE WAS IN FULL SWING

   

 

PICTURE SHOWS THE BATTLE AGAINST THE FIRE IN COLLEGE STREET, AMMANFORD, ON WEDNESDAY WEEK, WHEN THE CENTRAL CAFÉ AND WOOLLEY'S SHOP WERE SEVERELY DAMAGED. THE FIREMEN ARE SEEN PREVENTING THE FIRE, WHICH STARTED IN WOOLLEY'S AND THEN SPREAD TO THE CENTRAL CAFÉ, FROM REACHING MORGAN'S CHEMIST. ON THE LEFT ARE THE TABLES RESCUED FROM THE CENTRAL CAFÉ AND MUCH OF THE MATERIAL THAT WAS RESCUED FORM WOOLLEY'S

The chemist shop of Mr. N. E. Morgan received slight damage, mainly to the sight testing department, and the attic of Mr. D. J. Edwards' boot and shoe shop was blackened. Mr. Morgans' shop was working normally next day, and the electricity supply which had been cut off returned at midday. Burton's next door to Woolley's was untouched.

Most of the stock from Woolley's was saved, and the shop will open shortly at 42 College Street, where temporary premises have been hired from Mr. Lionel Rees. Most of the tables and chairs were saved from the Central Café, which has continued to sell pastries in part of Mr. Morgans's shop. After his refrigerator had been saved, Mr. C. Jones, proprietor of the cafe, tossed cartons of ice-cream to a group of children watching the fire.

I was one of those children. We were in the school yard opposite watching. The whole school was out in the yard. I was seven and a half, and I remember Sid Philips bringing over choc ice creams. It's weird that I would become a firefighter 18 odd years later.

About a thousand people thronged College Street, Ammanford, yesterday afternoon and watched firemen from Ammanford and Tumble battle with a fire which caused extensive damage to a Drapers shop and Cafe.

The fire started in Wooly's a Draper's shop, at about 3.15pm.

There were five girl assistants in the shop and one of them, Miss Kay Wools, went out to fetch a pair of stockings and she saw that the stairs were on fire. Flames were shooting upwards and smoke billowed from the storeroom on the first floor. One of the girls telephoned for the fire brigade, while the others began to carry out the clothes.

An assistant from Burton's next door rushed to the scene with a fire extinguisher, but the flames had taken hold. He helped the girls take the stock into Burton's

Meanwhile a young girl who was washing up in the Central Café next door, saw smoke pouring from the draper's shop. She ran to tell Mr. C. Clifford Jones, the proprietor of the café who went upstairs and found that smoke was coming into the first floor grill room. He sent one of the girls to telephone “Fire” and set to work with a fire extinguisher.

FILLED WITH SMOKE

In the café a large number of customers were eating when the room began to fill with smoke. Some went for the door, but others helped to rescue some tables and chairs.

Mr. Jones saw that the new £20 chairs with which he had furnished his new grill room were taken to safety.

The fire brigade arrived quickly and aimed their hoses to the roof which joined the two properties. Deputy Fire officer H. Penrhyn Jones was in charge, and his first task was to ensure that the fire did not spread to Morgans the chemist, or to Burton's the tailors.

The fire had burned into the roof of Woolly's and the slight breeze had whisked it along to the roof of the Central Café. The roof burned quickly and spread to the new grill room underneath. Top of Page

STORY:
UNKNOWN

PHOTO:
B.P. BOURNE

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 








 

TWO SHOPS GUTTED BY FIRE IN AMMANFORD SHOPPING CENTRE

 
 

Damage estimated at several thousand pounds was caused by a fire, which gutted two shops and badly damaged another in College Street , Ammanford, on Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was discovered shortly after 3 o'clock, when the flames spread with such rapidity that the roofs of two of the shops were a mass of flames.

The Ammanford Fire Service, under Station Officer Jones, arrived on the scene in a matter of minutes and quickly concentrated on saving the adjoining buildings. Despite their efforts, Woolley's Stores and Central Café were almost completely destroyed.

A good deal of damage was also caused to the upper part of the premises occupied by Mr. N. E. Morgan, chemist.

It is believed that the fire started at Woolley's Stores, and a breeze blowing at the time helped to fan the flames, which spread in a matter of seconds to the café next door.

Traffic through College Street had to be diverted for some time and hundreds of people were attracted to the scene.

People in the vicinity spoken to afterwards by our representative, said they were astounded at the way the fire spread. One of them put it: “In a matter of seconds the roofs were a mass of flames.” He commended the Ammanford Fire Brigade on their promptitude and on the skilful manner in which they tackled the blaze.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST

The fire and the loss involved was unquestionably one of the biggest to happen in Ammanford for very many years. The last was at the Sawmills, when thousands of pAn advert posted in the Amman Valley Chronicle thanking all those concernedounds worth of damage was caused to machinery; timber and buildings.

There was also some years ago a fire at the shop in Wind Street , when considerable damage was caused, “I well remember” writes F.T… “helping to salvage a piano in an adjoining house.

The Fire brigade of those days were sadly handicapped through the lack of modern fire-fighting appliances and the hoses in use caused much comment and criticism.

Since then the Fire Service in Ammanford has been brought bang up to date, and there is a greater feeling of confidence in the capabilities, alertness and experience of its members.”

How we miss the courtesy and consideration of those generations. Would this advert be considered today?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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