Fire at the Waggon & Horses

June 1988

Gill Blackall remembered that it was one Sunday afternoon in June 1988: ”You could see the smoke and hear the fire engines from Vic House Corner.” Her son Nick, 26 at the time, walked up there and took four of these photos. The gallery includes pictures contributed by Mr Fountain and Mr Clements.

Before fire destroyed it, when eating on the first floor of the Waggon & Horses, you could look up and see a large waggon hanging from the roof above you.

It was later rebuilt, but to see what is currently (2012) at the corner of London Road and New Road, on the site where once stood the Waggon & Horses, click on this link .

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  • My Dad worked in the Wagon and Horses as Chef (Bert Brooks) for a number of years and my Mum, Oenwen, used to do washing up in the kitchen (probably to keep an eye on Dad!).

    By Theresa Shaw-Williams (20/06/2018)
  • I remember the wagon after it was moved out to the front of the building. It ended up in a very large builders skip and I asked one of the workmen if I could have one of the larger wheels. He joked that if I could get it out, I could have it. Undaunted, I placed a scaffold board against the skip and with some help from my mother we somehow manoeuvred the wheel to the forecourt (it was incredibly heavy and the operation was both dangerous and, frankly, foolhardy).  We were rather disappointed with its condition, for it was surprisingly rotten and waterlogged. Nevertheless, we proceeded to trundle it to her home in Hadleigh Park Avenue, where it adorned the front of her bungalow for a number of years before finally succumbing to the ravages of nature. The iron tyre still survives in 2016.

    By David Hurrell (20/12/2016)
  • My wife worked in the Waggon and Horses from 1977 to 1995; I also worked there from time. The waggon mentioned never did get destroyed by fire; it was taken down and removed as a safety precaution, as well as taking away the concerns of some diners who were put off by the mechanical swinging motion fitted to it when installed. For a short while it was in the car park but then stripped down and parts used elsewhere to decorate other branches. There must still be a few people out there who can remember this.

    By Rob Keen (20/06/2013)

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