During one of the worst periods of uncertainty in the suburbs of Accrington, 24-year old school mistress, Letitia Burscough, had aquired the upper ground floor of a building owned by 50-year old, James Duckworth, which was built underneath one of the many arches of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Viaduct which still, to this day, cuts through the town.
James Duckworth still used the ground floor, producing ‘healds’ that would be used on the looms within mills.
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On Friday, 1st March 1867, some of these ‘healds’ caught fire and within minutes, the entire upper floor became unaccessable due to the wooded stair case leading upto the upper ground collapsing under the intense heat.
Nine innocent little lives would sadly be lost that morning.
This is their story.
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