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The grandstand at Richmond Park was totally deatioyed by fire in the early Tiours of Saturday morning. The alarm was sounded at 1.45 a.m., but it was.then evident that the tiro had been started some time, as the flames had a good.hold. From those who were early on the_ scene it would appear that the 'fire originated at the south-western corner of the building upstairs. Fortunately the strong wind which prevailed in town did not reach Richmond, and I the night was comparatively calm.! The Richmond Fire Brigade \^ere promptly on the scene, but were un-1 able to cope with the mass of flames i I that was rapidly- consuming the main '■ building. The efforts of the Brigade | were therefore confined to saving. the | administrative, buildings and the to- | talisator house, which, although located some distance en either side of tho grandstand, were in imminent danger iof catching fire owing to the^iptensa | heat. Their efforts in this •'direction were entirely successful. I By 5 o'clock nothing remained but smouldering ruins. While the fire was in progress the whole countryside was brilliantly illuminated. It is stated that the fire was observed by the nightwatcbman at the freezing works about I o'clock. Mr Ti Hawks worth, baker, of Richmond, who was proceeding to work shortly before 2 o'clock, .gave the alarm. A neighbour passing the Parfr about •i'l.StPsaW no signs of fire. The origin of the outbreak ?b a mystery. The races were concluded on Thursday, and there was no one in the building on: Friday.: Mr, p. j- Briton; of. the Star ah^Gaite'Ho^^^r^ H.::E; Nightingale^ the'Vcater^f^r'the lunehebn, had: the keys of their respective departments, and had not been on the premises to remove their stocks of liquor, cutlery, crockery, cooking utenfcils, etc. so that their losses will be considerable.. Mr Nightingale estimates his loss of material at a.bout £200, over which he has a policy in the Norwich Union Fire Office. Mr Beaton's Josh is nbout'£2o. Mr G. A.:: Day, who "catered for the Nelson Trotting Club's recent meeting, also had some material in the stand, but this is covered bj? insurance ifrJ. Glen* the secretary" of the Nelson Jockey Club, had a staff of men employed clearing up the grounds on Friday, and —when they knocked oft work at 5 o'clock everything then Wfcs apparently safe. The building destroyed on Saturday was erected by tho late Mr Andrew Brown for the Nelson Jockey Club in 1887, and was used for the first time at the Nelson races in 1888. Some years later the' club got into financial difficulties, and lost control of Bichmond Park, which was purchased by tho Nelson Agricultural and Pastoral Association, with the assistance of the Government. Since then the Jockey Club has been ft tenant of the association. A -few,; yearns ago. the Committee of the association obtained 'a report oii.ihe building, as the result of which the upper storey of the stand was removed and it was reroofed with iron. The building was insured in the National Fire Offica for £500.. • ■ , . Nothing was saved from the -building. All the Boats on the lawn and under the yprandah of the stand, with one exception, were destroyed, 'salvage operations; being liiipos^ible owing to the intense heat.' "Siir^jngo to' cay, the Jockey Club's notice board, close to the Northern end of the stand, was not even7 cbarrod. ■-■• ;

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Bibliographic details

FIRE AT RICHMOND PARK., Colonist, Volume LVIII, Issue 14360, 12 March 1917

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FIRE AT RICHMOND PARK. Colonist, Volume LVIII, Issue 14360, 12 March 1917

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