Fire at the Rea & Fisher Tannery, 1905


The Rea and Fisher Tannery caught fire on 7 March 1905

The tannery in 1902

image: Godalming Museum: ref B998.48.2


A newspaper illustration of the fire


Photograph: Godalming Museum: ref 3363



The huge fire attracted significant press coverage


Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref B000.1.2.1



Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref B000.1.2.2



This was the view from The Mint ...


Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref 3144



.. and this was the view from the other end of Mill Lane


Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref 2482



Extract from Minutes of Guildford Borough Council 13th March 1905

The following report of the Second Officer of the Fire Brigade was read


I have to report that at 4 a. m. on the 7th inst. the Brigade received from Chief Officer Taylor, of the Godalming Fire Brigade, an urgent call to his assistance to a very serious fire on the Property of Messrs Rea, Sons and Fisher Ltd., Tanners, Godalming.

The steamer under 1st Officer Hooke was promptly dispatched, followed by the County manual with a full complement of men and on arrival at the fire it was found that a large building, 100 feet in length, 44 feet in breadth and five storeys high, (about 70 feet), used as a factory, together with its contents, were in danger from the intense heat caused by the burning building and the nature of its contents.

The Brigade, in conjunction with the Godalming Fire Brigade were fortunately able to confine the fire to the building in which it originated, but the building was completely gutted and the contents, including the machinery, wholly destroyed.

The building and contents, I am informed by the owners, are fully insured in the Royal and Royal Exchange offices. The estimated damage is between £15,000 and £20,000.

The Brigade were engaged for eight hours, including one hour for cleaning purposes.

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, Your obedient servant,

ARTHUR HALL. Second Officer.



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