Dursley News - December 2004

The evening of December 18th 2004 saw one of the largest fires in Dursley since the conflagration at the Lister Factory in 1983. Ironically this time it was also one of the old Lister buildings that was affected, the attractive Victoria Works on Long Street, once used as the company training centre but latterly used by Bymacks until the company pulled out in 2003.

The alarm was first raised around 6pm on December 18th and by 7pm was well ablaze with flames reaching twice the height of the building and visible throughout the town. At one point thirteen crews were on hand, coming from Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge, Nailsworth, Stroud, Gloucester, Tetbury, Chipping Camden. Long Street was closed as the firefighting continued throughout the night and most of the following day until it was finally extinguished later in the afternoon. Approximately 75% of the building was destroyed although the facade remains substantially complete.

The Victoria Works building was due to be a prestige part of the new building development due to begin on the old Bymacks site when the remaining buildings are finally demolished. It remains to be seen whether that will still be the case.

  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)
    Blaze at the Victoria Works
This picture was taken at around 7pm at the rear of the building by which time it was well ablaze. The roof had gone and much of the internal structure had collapsed or was in danger of doing so.
(December 18th 2004)
    The afternath
Taken from a similar position to the shot above this view shows what remains of the rear of the Victoria Works building on the following day.
(December 19th 2004)
    Mopping up
Several Gloucester based engines are still in evidence on the morning after as work continues to extinguish isolated fires within the building.
(December 19th 2004)
    Victoria Works facade
The front of the old Lister building makes for a sorry sight although at least it still stands. It dates from the mid 19th century and was one of George Lister's first factory buildings.
(December 19th 2004)
Another shot from the rear of the building showing how little of substance survives. These structures are due to be demolished shortly to make way for a new housing development.
(December 19th 2004)
    Final days in use
Two years before the fire and shortly before Bymacks left the site, the attractiveness of the building can be clearly seen. The whole roof along with the skylight windows has now been lost, along with all the internal structure.
(June 2nd 2002)
    The way it was
This view dates from the 1930s when the building was in Lister use as offices.
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