Hide Articles List

21 articles on this Page

South Wales Coal Trade.








t" Terrible Disaster. i



PUBLICATION Of: tHE "WESTERN MAIL." The following cbrxetpnndenee took place yesterday between tbe proprietors of the two journals :— South Wales Daily AeMS, Cardiff. Sunday, June 4th. 1893- To the Proprietors of the Western Mail. "Dear Sirs,—We have heard with profound regret of the calamity which has fallen Upon you; and, as we fear it may not be possible for you to bring out the Western Mail, we hasten to offer to produce the paper fur you to-morroW morning at the usual time.Youn; faithfully, "D. DUNCAN AND SoKa." M Westtrn Mail Temporary Offices, 74, Sc. Mttry-straet;, CatrHiF. 4tb June, 1893. Messrs D. Duncan and Sons. Dear Sirs,—Permit me to gratefully acknow- ledge your favour of this day's date, in which you are good enough to offer to produce the Western Mail to-morfow morning at the usual time.' Amidst many un- solicited proffers of sympathy tlud aid none has touehed me more closely than the one made on your behalf and, should circumstances demand it, I shall not. hesitate to avail myself of your assistance in the spirit in which it is tendered. "At the time at which 1 received your note [2 o'clock this afternoon), I bad, however, made all my arrangements for bringing out the paper at an offiee belonging to ir.y partners and myself at Newport and, unless some unforeseen difficulty arises, I tru-it to be able to publish tho Wistern Mail as usual to-morrow morning and thereafter, despite the disaster which has swept away our type, machinery, and plant, and the premises in which we have hitherto conducted our business. Again thanking you for your generous offer, lam, Faithfully yours, LASCSXLKS OABB." Visitors to the Soene. During the whole of Monday the chief topio of oonversation among all classes of the community, not alone in Cardiff, but throughout the larger neighbouring towns, was the destruction of the Western Mail buildings aud plant. When the paper appeared at the accustomed hour, though, of course, in a very much altered form, the general expression of opinion was that the pro. duction was a decidedly creditable one, oonsidering the almost insuperable difficulties under which it was printed and published. The main thing was the continuity of the issue, and tbis was accomplished in the face of innumerable obstacles, almost any one of which would have been accepted as a good and sufficient excuse for » temporary suspension of the paper. The sympathy which the proprietors solicit in their E resent painfully distressing circumstances will not e grudgingly given, and we learn that further offers of assistance arn being received by them from innumerable sources, many of them some- what distant, and not a few those that were about the least expected. From political, religious, and other opponents offers of aid have been most freely made. Monday being the miners' holiday, the scene of the fire was visited by some thousands of specta- tors from the hill districts, and all day long, both in St. Mary-street and 111 tlie lane in the rear, there were crowds of curious and interested onlookers. All through 8uu<iay and right on until Monday nighb there were a number of firemen busy in and around the ruins of the Western Mail Build. ings and the Great Western Hotel, pouring water upon the smouldering piles of debris. The heat had been so intense that long after all the more active fire had been extinguished the charred and blackened timbers of the partially-consumed reams of JXt!,t,W continued to emit dense masses of iinoke, while the incessant streams of water caused steam to ascend from tha centre of the ax. tinot inferno in a steady volume. Helmeted firemen were to bo seen engaged in the work of steadily cooling down the vast heaps of smoking material, the hose being directed from the back and front of the premises. An inspection of the building showed that with the exception of the portion immediately abutting on St. Mary-street nothing remained but tottering and naked walls, the roof and floors having disappeared almost as completely as though they had never existed. Utter Devastation. A more desolate and depressing scene it would bedimeultto match, there being tn all directions unci) abundant evidence of the vast destruction of most valuable property in the shape of geneial plaut and machinery. The mam staircase being of Radyr stone has suffered but little, and the walls around do not seem to be much the worse for the severe test of their durability that they have jusk had, but on reaching the first floor the sight that meota the eye iS one of complete and Absolute ruin, what is not reduced to charcoal or ashes being, wrecked by material fallen from above, by smoke, and by water. The only room on this floor that seems to have been saved from the flames is that of the acting-editor, but this haa been deluged with water, and somewhat resembles the cabin of a vessel that has been submerged for a few days. In the room of the aditor-iu-cilief practically speaking nothing isleft, nearly every particle of the woodwork and furni- lore being charred through and through. The whole of the handsome suite of furniture, includ- ing centre table, sideboard with gloss back, pier- Klass, secretaire, easy ohairs, and the like, is recognisable only as as many pieces of more or less symmetrical oharcoal. Strange to say, a small ornamental cask of .spirits tbat stood on a chiffo- nier in this apartment was but slightly damaged. The reporters', sub-editors', refer- ence, and general departments have dis- appeared altogether, floors and partition wails having gone, and disclosing only a huge yawning chasm. The manager's office, opening off the advertising department on the ground noor,ia com- parativety little damaged by fire, but the falls of cUbris through the skylight have caused great destruction. Another room adjoining this, and from which all the contents appear to have been taken, has quite escaped dam. age except from water, but this was pouring down through the ceiling for tioars in one continuous stream. The floor of the princi- pal advertising office has fallen into the base- ment, with counter, desks, aud other fixture?. Debris Still Smouldering. The main building in the rear contains a vast heap of debris still smouldering and steaming, machinery of the moat modern type, and which it must have coat thousands of pounds to erect, being tossed about and mixed up with general wreckage as though there had been some mighty seisraio upheaval. The light ironwork used in the construction of the building, hundreds of yards of twisted and half-fused gas-piping, electrical wires, etc., add to the oouftiston of the scene and indicate how per. fectly irresistible was the advance of the confla- gration. Several large and valuable machines, now lying upside down and over on their sides, show tbat they have fallen from the floors above, and the crashing in of these explain the deafening 6uunds that were heard from time to time when the flames were at their height. A large double safe by Messrs G. Price & Co. on the first floor apiiears to have resisted the flames very successfully, the inside looking all right). The contents had been removed, but it is plain that in any case they would have been preserved. Barricades have been erected in the back lane to prevent the crowds from approaohing too near the dangerous ruins, and the police are Constantly on duty there. Narrow Escapes. A number of interesting incidents which estiaptd notice in the hurry and excitement of Saturday night and Sunday morning have since come into prominence. Mr Farrell, the caretaker of the Western Mail bnildings, and his wife have lost practically all their Worldly possessions, though Mr Farrell had time to seise his watch, which was near the head of the bed, and his pension papers, he having been for many years tn the Welsh Regiment. He escaped from the burning premises with little more in the shape of clothing than his trousers and jacket, Mrs Farrell had also to hurry down only partially dressed. Among the goods which she has lost, and which there is no hope of making good, are sewing machine and a mangle, both of which she had purchased out of her own hard-earned savings. These alone were valued At BIS 10s, bu6 their totallosR is about J670. Mr and Mrs Lacy and Mrs Lacy's mother, who were on the premises when the fire broke out, have also lost a large amount of valuable property, but it speaks wMl for Mr Laoy's presence of mind and kindness of heart that wneb he realised that Mr Farrell had lest everything he slipped a sovereign into his hand, and this, too, while their lives were still in danger. Destruction of Corporation Manuscripts. The Town Clerk, at tho same meetiner.stated that a quantity of manuscript belonging to the Corpora" tion had been destroyed in the fire, these includ- ing the transcript of the committee minutes which had been sent to Messrs D. OWeli and (Jo., for printing in readiness fof next Monday'a Council j meeting so that, in the circumstances, it would be impossible t« <tet out the ordinary printed mfnntes in time for the meeting. After several suggestions had been mada and debated, it was resoJved to transact next Monday such business as was absolutely necessary, and to postpone the remainder. Dr Parry's Cortipositions Destroyed. Among other valuable MttS. consumed by the fire on the preintaes of Messrs Daniel Owen and Co., nearly the whole of Dr. D. M. Parry's works hfive been utterly destroyed—tbat is to say, the plates are burned, and comfequently it will be necessary to rvproduoe the compositions de fWTO. They include Blodweti, tile first Welsh Opera ITtbu.eluxdnezzar, so tbat this time Shauraoh, Moattitoh, aod Abednego have not escaped un- banned from the fiery furnaoe Joseph, another CMttata the Congregational Anthem Book, Dr. Parry's songs and duetts, pianoforte music end quartette*, male choruses, and brass band music. Praoticlaly the only morceaux saved from destroy tion were the oratorio, "Emmauuel," the copies of which were at the composer's house, and the (JRICbl" Sette* of wasic wsfernctivat books now in the hands of Messrs D. Dunean & Sons, o j the South Wales Printing Works. The whole of the remaining copies of tho" History of th e Cardiff Musical Festival were aJso destroyed, and as the book was not stereotyped the copies cannot be multiplied. Messages of Sympathy. Among the large number of telegrams and I messages of sympathy which have been received are expressions from men in all walks of life, and in all parts of the country. Sir W. T. Lewis wired a most kind message, and also offered to furnish any aid that was possible and that might be necessary from the Bute Docks. Others who have com- municated their sentiments uf regret or assurances of support are Sir Morgan <Korga°1.. Councillor Ebenezer Beavan, Coun- tiillor E. Thomas, Mr W. Price Jones, Messrs Perkins Bros., Mr Harry Cousins, Coun- cillor S. A. Brain, Mr W. H. Massey, Twyford Mr and Mrs E, Fletcher, Mr Monbagup Foulgerf President of the South Wales Branch of the Institute of Journalists; Mr Ivor J. Roberts, Mr Owen, Builth; Mr George Fardo, Post- master, Cardiff; Mr Flint, Custom House-street, Ite. A resolution of sympathy with the proprietors of the Western Mail was passed unanimously on Monday at the meeting of the Cardiff General Purposes Committee, the resolution being moved by Councillor Herbert Cory, seconded by Coun- cillor Johnston, and supported by Councillor Thomas and Aldermau T. iiees, t*:e former gentle- men referring to the facs that Mr Ckrr had been a member of the Council. At a speeial meeting of the Newport Chamber cf Commerce, held on Monday, the president, Mr E. H. Watts, junr., moved a vote of sympathy with the proprietors of the Wealem Mail. Tho J resolution was seconded by Col. Lynn, and unani- mously adopted. Loss Covered by Insurance. We understand that among other offices in which the buildings destroyed were injured are the Hand-in-Hand, the London Assurance, aud the Atlas, but there are several others, the Western Mail being insured in a number of establishments. The Great Western Hotel is wholly covered by the Hand-in-Hand Office. Various surveyors of tho companies con- cerned visited the town on Monday and made a hasty preliminary inspection of the ruins, and we are informed that as little tune as possible will ba lost in assessing the damage and thus enabling the work of salvage aud reconstruction to be proceeded with. The total less is roughly estimated at £100,000, so far as can be at present ascertained, the figures we gave in Monday's issue being substantially correct. The temporary commercial and advertising offices of the firm will be; on the ground of the Old County of Gloucester Bank building, St. Mary- street, while the editorial offices are on the first floor of the Philharmonic Chambers. Arrangements have been made by Messrs Walkey, Thomas and Co. and Messrs Daniel Owen and Co. for carrying on as much of their business as is possible without delay. Nearly all the printing offices in the town are exe- cuting work for them, and a large number of Messrs Daniel Owen and Co. s workmen are being employed in the offices of these firms. Messrs Walkey, Thomas and Com- pany have three temporary warehouses, and are able to execute aU orders for plain work, while they are expecting to carry on a large amount of their usual work in the course of a few days. Their temporary offices are at No. ♦, New-street, Cardiff.

<1.;;) FIRE AT SWANSEA, ^■…









[No title]