Author Topic: Woolworths Fire  (Read 27553 times)

Chris

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Woolworths Fire
« on: 02:03:41, 20/04/06 »
Does anyone remember the massive fire in 1979 at a Woolworths store located near to Piccadilly Gardens (where the Piccadilly 21 Nightclub is presently located) that killed 10 shoppers.

peterw

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #1 on: 05:57:41, 21/04/06 »
I remember it well. It was a tragedy! They couldn’t get out because for some reason there were bars on the upper floor windows
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suzyuk

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #2 on: 21:43:46, 22/04/06 »
 ;) hi every one i rememer that fire i lived in langley at the time my husband who was alive then thought i was there with the children as i use to do every week..gave it a miss that day for some reason but it was really bad.. :'(

arthurchappell

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #3 on: 14:38:33, 02/01/07 »
Yes, it was a major event - one customer had been a local well known eccentric local tramp who had been dining in the cafe on the top floor - some staff were killed trying to find him - terrible tragedy for all concerned
Arthur Chappell, writer,  Civil War Re-enactor, ex-cult member, socialite  http://arthurchappell.me.uk/

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celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #4 on: 15:21:04, 02/01/07 »
were you born then?
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

arthurchappell

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #5 on: 15:29:10, 02/01/07 »
Yes, the Manchester Woolworths fire was in about 1978-79 - I was born in 1962 - Are you confusing this with the more famous Pauldens fire of the 1950's?
Arthur Chappell, writer,  Civil War Re-enactor, ex-cult member, socialite  http://arthurchappell.me.uk/

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celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #6 on: 15:34:40, 02/01/07 »
No I just thought that with your penchant for clubbing and pubs you were in your teens, I describe myself as a mid-ager (looks very desirable for her age) ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

arthurchappell

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #7 on: 15:39:07, 02/01/07 »
Ah, the Fred Wedlock song, Oldest Swinger In Town could apply to me - lol - Mid forties is near the top of the hill, not quite fallen over it yet 
Arthur Chappell, writer,  Civil War Re-enactor, ex-cult member, socialite  http://arthurchappell.me.uk/

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celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #8 on: 15:46:49, 02/01/07 »
as long as your happy that's what matters
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

arthurchappell

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #9 on: 15:48:50, 02/01/07 »
Yeah, quite contented really, cheers
Arthur Chappell, writer,  Civil War Re-enactor, ex-cult member, socialite  http://arthurchappell.me.uk/

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celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #10 on: 16:03:08, 02/01/07 »
I'm going offline presently to watch Deal or No Deal, nice talking to you
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

arthurchappell

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #11 on: 16:11:37, 02/01/07 »
you're welcome celeste - glad i found this site - it's great - thanks for all your attention
Arthur Chappell, writer,  Civil War Re-enactor, ex-cult member, socialite  http://arthurchappell.me.uk/

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cheethamgirl

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #12 on: 18:06:27, 28/12/10 »
I have only recently joined this forum, and I know this is now an old topic, but, in csse anyone is still interested in this subject, I was actually within the Woolworths store when the fire broke out.  It was 1979 and I was about to go on an overseas posting and was looking for somewhere to stock up on my favourite shampoo at a low price.  It was a Saturday and I had just entered Woollies and was browsing ont he ground floor when I heard a commotion and lots of folks were running down the escalators shouting.  Screaming started, and I assumed it was football fans or what we then used to call 'steamers' - yobs who ran mob-handed through a crowd, grabbing bags and wallets and running off with them.  Wisely, I decided to leave the store and I crossed Piccadilly to Lewis's where, in their basement, I bought lots of my shampoo.  half an hour later, I emerged, laden with 4 heavy carrier bags of shampoo bottles and headed back towards the Woolworth's side to head for Piccadilly Station, when I came to a police cordon.  I looked up and saw three people standing on the ledge of a window above Woollies.  They looked panic stricken as the window panes shattered behind them from the heat of the blaze and black acrid smoke poured out around them causing them to choke.  The fire engine's ladder did not seem long enough to reach them and the rescue was taking a very long time.  I only found out the next day that the real tragedy had occurred around the back of the building, in the accounts & wages room, the windows of which were heavily barred and in which a number of women were trapped and either suffocated or burned to death.   The fire was alleged to have begun in the furniture dept, possibly with a lighted cigarette tossed onto a foam sofa.  After this, they tightened up the laws on flammable furniture.  It was an incident I shall never forget however.  :(     
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arthurchappell

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #13 on: 18:17:39, 28/12/10 »
Must have been a dreadful sight for you Cheetham Girl - you were obviously very fortunate at the time
Arthur Chappell, writer,  Civil War Re-enactor, ex-cult member, socialite  http://arthurchappell.me.uk/

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celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #14 on: 18:22:23, 28/12/10 »
An interesting but tragic account of that day, did you relate it to the media?
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing