End of an era as historic Shipley cinema building bulldozed after fire (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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End of an era as historic Shipley cinema building bulldozed after fire
A historic building destroyed by fire met a sad end as it was pulled to the ground this weekend.
The demolition of the 1930s art deco cinema in Shipley was finally completed at around 1am on Saturday, as contractors and the emergency services worked around the clock to make the site safe.
The three-storey building, formerly the Glen Royal cinema and more recently a bingo hall, was destroyed by fire on Thursday.
At the height of the inferno, 60 firefighters were tackling the flames.
The demolition work which followed left ten nearby homes without heating and hot water during one of the coldest snaps of the winter so far, as the gas supply to the area had to be turned off.
A spokesman for Northern Gas Networks said: “We cut off the gas main so that the demolition people could get on with their work.
“As a result of cutting off the gas main, obviously we couldn’t leave people without gas and hot water in this weather.”
The spokesman said they offered to put residents up in a hotel for the night, but everyone declined, so Northern Gas Networks staff provided them with alternative cooking and heating equipment instead.
He said: “They were all looked after by our lads.”
He said new pipes were laid on Saturday, and the homes were reconnected by 10pm.
As demolition work began on Friday, firefighters were on stand-by in case any more flames were discovered.
Shipley fire station watch commander Phil Warden said contractors brought in by the site’s owners began taking down the structure on Friday.
He said: “We were there for cover, mainly, in case any fire was contained inside.
“We were there all day. There was a bit of smoke in the morning, but when the weather started getting really cold it died down.
“We didn’t have to extinguish anything.”
One of those lamenting the loss of the historic building was Sandra Lonsdale, of Saltaire, whose uncle Clifford Cawthorne was the cinema’s first owner, and had paid for the building’s construction.
Mrs Lonsdale said: “My eldest son rang me and said ‘Have you seen the news this morning? Your uncle’s cinema has burnt down.’”
Mrs Lonsdale said she had childhood memories of being let into the cinema for free, and was “really sorry” to see it destroyed.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the fire service and police.
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