Bradford's Yard fire

Bradford's Yard fire

Fire in large wooden buildings - two mills destroyed


A fire broke out early in the evening of Monday, 6 January 1908 in a large wooden building at Bradford's yard off Hendford Hill - technically the Hendford railway goods yard - a site they still occupy today.

The fire broke out in the engine room of the corn mill, in a range of timber buildings owned by Jabez Bradford & Sons, coal, timber and general merchants. The building contained a Petter oil engine, a fuel tank, grinding machines, a corn mill and a large quantity of grain

The Yeovil Fire Brigade, under the leadership of Captain Edmund Damon, had just sat down to their annual dinner at the Three Choughs Hotel, were summoned to the scene of the fire. It was reported that "They, however, with commendable smartness, got to work, and devoted their energies to prevent the fire from spreading."

Owing to a very strong wind the flames spread rapidly. In the corn shed, in which was stored several hundred sacks of grain, was well alight, as was the adjoining timber shed and saw mills. The railway goods shed, the fully-stocked timber sheds and several nearby cottages were in imminent danger, but the Fire Brigade managed to save them. It was reported that the grinding mills and saw mills were totally destroyed, as were several hundred sacks of corn.

The damage, estimated at between £1,000 to £4,000 (in excess of between £100,000 and £400,000 at today's value), was covered by insurance. The Yeovil Fire Brigade were entertained to dinner by the Mayor and Corporation at the Three Choughs on 30 January 1908.




The wooden buildings in Bradford's Yard that were damaged by the fire in the evening of Monday 6 January 1908.


Bradford & Sons' premises on Hendford, photographed probably in the 1930s.