Fire at Bailiff Bridge Railway Station [1929]

On Thursday 25th April 1929, Bailiff Bridge Railway Station was badly damaged by fire.

Newspaper reports of the fire tell us

The station had been disused since around 1917. The waiting rooms and the offices on the up-line platform were gutted.

It is believed that hot ashes blown out of the boiler of the 6:10 pm train from Bradford to Huddersfield ignited the dry woodwork.

The fire was not noticed until about 6:36 pm when efforts were made by nearby residents to extinguish it with buckets of water. The flames were fanned by a strong breeze and quickly got out of control. As the 6:35 pm train from Huddersfield to Bradford passed through the station, passengers were confronted with the sight of flames leaping into the air over 30 feet in height.

The wind was blowing from behind the buildings across the railway tracks, and the platform and buildings on the opposite side are scorched by the wind-blown flames, and the windows splintered by the intense heat.

The police notified the LMS Railway Company, but it was not until 7:15 pm that the Brighouse and Halifax Brigades received calls from the LMS control. The Brighouse Brigade arrived first at 7:36 pm, closely followed by Deputy Superintendent Halliday of the Halifax Brigade with 7 men. The Halifax Brigade was at work first.

Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting adequate water supply, Halifax drawing through twelve lengths of hose from the main in Birkhouse Lane, whilst Brighouse drew from the mill dam of Messrs T. F. Firth and used about 30 lengths of hose. An hour later, the LMS Company's Fire Brigade from Manchester arrived, but by then the fire was nearly extinguished and the Brigade only stayed for about 15 minutes.

On the following day, a gang of men was engaged in clearing away the debris. All that remain now are charred beams, blackened boards of the platform, and three gaunt fireplaces


The facts dispel the popular myth that

the fire brigade at Firth's Carpets offered to tackle the blaze, but the railway company insisted that their own fire engine – which had to come from Manchester – should deal with the fire

See Oak Hill Bank Wood, Brighouse and Pickle Bridge Line

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 11:49 / 18th June 2022 / 4493

Page Ref: MMB1990

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