Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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I think its really sad when you look back at all the fantastic buildings that this city has lost over the years,superb buildings such as cannocks, the old roches stores(mcbirneys i think was the name of the department store before roches moved in), the old todds building was another huge loss, i think i have some pictures of it somewhere! Unfortunately the photo i posted of cannocks a couple of weeks back seems to be only one i can find,i read somewhere that cannocks was demolished in the late 60s, i really cant find any reason why it should have been demolished, obviously just an horrendous decision by the planning authorities and one that the city centre is much the worse for now, the old roches building was destroyed by fire in 1948, one of a number of devastating fires to hit the city centre in that era, i think in a way the most tragic story of all is that of todds, a building of such character was destroyed and replaced with arguably the worst building ever to “grace” the city centre!
Shane you mentioned something about brown thomas “getting their act together” have you some inside info on hopefully a revamp of the building or are ya just talking about their new menswear dept!, i actually feel like getting sick whenever i pass bt, nobody should look directly at that building, it wouldnt do you any good!
Im found this in the limerick leader archives, ill also try and upload them pics soon, just as soon as i learn how to upload them directly instead of as attachments!
Disastrous Limerick Fire
BUILDINGS gutted: many workers now unemployed.
ONE of the biggest fire disasters in recent times occurred in Limerick today (Tuesday, August 25, 1959), when the monster drapery house of Messrs William Todd and Co went up in flames.
It was the biggest fire in the history of Limerick.
The outbreak was first detected in the men’s wholesale department on the William Street side of the premises and within a matter of minutes this section was a blazing inferno.
Thousands watched as the Limerick Fire Brigade vainly fought to control the flames, but within half-an-hour this huge section of the building was completely enveloped with flames belching through the windows and threatening the adjoining shops until eventually Messrs Lipton and Messrs Burton were also destroyed.
The staff of Messrs Todds busied themselves with salvaging stock and books from the untouched portion of the building, but eventually had to desist because the task became too dangerous with portions of the upper floors threatening to fall in at any moment.
Men and women ran to and fro, salvaging whatever they could lay hands on, and despite a roaring wall of flames at their backs. Books were thrown on to the streets from the office windows.
Thirty minutes after the outbreak was first noticed, it spread to the upper storey of Messrs Burton’s Tailors and eventually so great was the heat that the fire engine in William Street had to be removed. One of the hoses caught fire, as volunteer workers were trying to haul it away.
When it was seen that the fire had gained such a grip that it was completely out of control, calls were sent to the brigades at Shannon Airport, Ennis, Rathkeale, and the garrison at Sarsfield Barracks was also quickly on the scene.
In all, 11 brigades were employed, including Cork, Kilmallock, Charleville, Fermoy, Ranks and Tipperary.
For over two hours hoses were played on the blazing four-storied building and on the adjoining shops to little effect. There were up to 30 hoses playing on the fire at 1.30pm. In Bedford Row, at 3.30pm, one hose became disconnected when crossed by a car, and onlookers were drenched.
The entire block of O’Connell Street, Thomas Street and William Street was cordoned off, and hundreds of volunteer workers assisted the brigades in manning the hoses, while all traffic was diverted.
At one stage there was a danger that the fire would spread across William Street to the garda barracks, but the gardai tackled the sparks that came in through the windows. The tyres of a bicycle lying outside the barracks went on fire.
About 15 minutes after the outbreak was first noticed, there was a huge explosion caused by the bursting of a fuel tank in the basement.
It was learned that the probable cause of the outbreak was the bursting of a fuel tank in the basement.
Just one hour after the alarm was raised there was a huge crash, and practically the entire facade of the premises crumbled to the ground. Fifteen minutes later the remaining portion caved in.
The property was wiped out in three hours, causing Â£1 million worth of damage, but some premises in the block were saved, including Nicholas’, Cromer’s, Gaywear, O’Sullivan’s licensed premises, the Grimsby Fish Stores, and the main offices of Messrs Todd and Co Ltd.
While Limerick Fire Brigade were battling with the outbreak, they were summoned to minor outbreaks at Cornmarket Row and Robert Street, and had to split forces.
Windows on shops opposite Todds on O’Connell Street cracked, and shopkeepers kept a bucket chain going to prevent further damage. The brigade also hosed down the premises.
Roches Stores removed all goods from its front windows, and other shopkeepers followed suit.
About 200 employees of Todds are now out of work, and another 20 from Lipton’s, plus others in the adjoining premises destroyed.
Todds fire was a watershed in the history of the city centre. Its stately interior, long and wide mahogany counters, and an all-round balcony with cast-iron ornamental railings, was a showpiece of another era.
Lipton’s, the noted general grocers, was noted for its meats and cheeses, carrying on a very old tradition there.
The end of Todds was the end of an era, heralding major changes in the city centre.