A major town blaze

By Andy Gilbert

Arrow Tyres used to occupy the whole site at the top of the High Street. In July 1976 the premises caught fire and, with all that rubber on site, there was a lot of heat, smoke and flames. After the fire, the site was redeveloped, with the new Jobcentre taking the High Street side and the new Arrow Tyres premises at the rear.

At the time, I was organist at the Conservative Club on a Friday night. The organ hadn't had a service in some time, but the seemingly rather penny-pinching 'committee' wasn't too keen on spending any money on the needed repairs. However, the heat from the fire was so intense (I think it cracked some of the Conservative Club windows) that it caused some of the circuits in the organ to fail. On the Friday after the fire, the organ just wouldn't work at all, so the 'committee' had no option but to dig into the kitty after all! After the repairs, it sounded better than ever and I carried on playing there until 1977.

Photo:Arrow Tyre Services fire

Arrow Tyre Services fire

Photo: Kind permission of Newhaven Museum

Photo:Arrow Tyres Fire - 1976

Arrow Tyres Fire - 1976

Newhaven museum

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 22/07/2010.
Comments about this page

In the 50s and 60s I remember the Arrow Tyres site being occupied by Amy's Garage. They also ran a local ambulance service, it was dark blue one and was often parked outside.

By Ian Bishop
On 27/06/2008

The Leading firefighter walking past is Alan Farley. I think the other one on the hose is Peter Lloyd who was crushed under the wall that fell down. I missed the start of the fire as my bleeper did not go off.

By Don Waller
On 10/04/2010

I remember this well. I worked on Denton Island at the time and some of us walked up the town to look at the damage. A friend of mine, Jim Saville, who was an electrician with 'Seymours' and also a retained Fire Fighter at Seaford. I well remember him staggering out of the fire absolutely exhausted from his efforts. Strange how images never go away and every time I see pictures like this I think of Jim.

By Paul Blackman
On 23/07/2010

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