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1960's Nelson St 40 Pump Mill Fire.

Posted on March 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM


Was talking to a retired officer recently and he said that the largest fire he ever attended from 1962 - 1988 was the Nelson St Bfd Mill fire a 40 pump blaze !!

Details on it are 'Sketchy' don't have any photos or other info on it.

I pressume it was at the bottom end (Bridge st) end where it was ?

I know of other more recent large Mill fires on and around Nelson st.

What a sight 40 pumps + 6 TL's must have been !!

I think that may be in front of Allied Colloids as per no of pumps ?

Cheers For Any Information.




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Reply ★ Owner
2:26 PM on March 24, 2012 
This would have been Arundell Street Fire, This stood about at the end of Nelson Street across from the now Bradford Interchange opposite the Plumbers Merchants. It started in a wool combing building quickly spread and affected the whole block of buildings. This also included the Ford garage on the corner. A large area and all fully involved in fire by the end. My father took me to see this and I can remember that dynamite was used in an effort to extinguish the deep seated fires that remained for days. Thanks for mentioning it..Takes me back a bit....Graham
Reply Mark Elliott
7:13 PM on March 24, 2012 
Hi Graham, Yes cheers for the info.
Reply Iain Munro
5:31 PM on December 9, 2013 
Perhaps I can help with this. I was in the wool merchants office on that day in the 1960's just 16 years old. Having a tea break when a fireman came crashing to the room telling to to get out at the entire top floor of the build was ablaze. As we ran out and into the offices on Arundel st. Glass was popping out of the windows and crashing into the street. within a few hours the entire street was blazing. It spread in both directions until an entire city block was ablaze. It took days to put out the fire. It was according to the Telegraph and Argus "the biggest fire since the blitz" It changed everything about the downtown area of Bradford. It cost me my job. We moved to another office across from city hall. But the business was done, although we were kept on with the firm. (D &R Delius) into the summer. But let go after a while. I kicked around the city for a few years but emigrated to Canada in the late sixties. I have lived in toronto since then. A big change for the city center and with the demolition of the area. New street plans emerged. and that is where the new exchange station now stands I believe.
Reply Mike Smith
3:11 PM on June 2, 2015 
I was a serving Fm at Leeds Central Fire Station Park Street at the time of this fire, We received a call I believe around lunch time to proceed to Bradford. We were to go on standby at Nelson St Fire Station Bradford. On approaching Bradford we could see this great conflagration before our eyes down in the centre of Bradford It appeared to involve 3 or 4 complete old mill buildings. These buildings separated only by a narrow alley way The crew I was with never attended this fire but were called out to an adjacent fire in I believe a Market building roof it was thought the cause was embers originating from the Mill fires,we were later stood down and returned to Leeds Central. Rumor had it that water pumped from underground tanks was warm. The local paper Telegraph and Argus had many pictures of the blaze and buildings over the next few days so perhaps if they have an archive they may still be available.

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