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1921: Cuckfield Motor Works ablaze

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 29 April 1921


On Tuesday afternoon great excitement prevailed in Cuckfield as the result of a blaze at Denman’s motor works. About tea time smoke was observed issuing from that part of the building where the oils and paints are stored. Soon it was a case of “all hands to the pump” and the telephone bells were set-a-ringing for the neighbouring fire brigades.

Colourised image of Broad Street circa 1900 showing Denmans Garage on the left

There was some difficulty getting an adequate supply of water, and neighbours and townsmen formed up and passed buckets from hand to hand to the men near the burning mass. Fortunately the petrol was stored some distance away. It was late night before the flames were quite subdued.

Canon Wilson. Mr. C. H. Waugh (the lawyer) and other well-known residents “did their bit’* in helping, and the women too, were splendid. Young and old worked like Trojans to save Mr. Rowland's shed behind Messrs. Denman’s works and they succeeded.

At times it was a grand sight to see the flames mounting high into the air and and then there would be an explosion which would make the onlookers turn pale and run. The firemen did yeoman service and thanks to their efforts mainly the greater part of the building was saved.

Much valuable material and also cars were removed to places of safety, and bad as the fire was there is room for thankfulness that it was not worse. We understand the loss is covered by insurance.

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