Bury Market Hall Fire
Take a look at this photograph. This photograph is of the Bury Market Hall Fire, November, 1968. The fire in Bury which destroyed the Market Hall was the subject of many photographs, when it lit up the sky in that crisp and dark November, over 30 years ago. Misery was caused to dozens of small business owners, who saw their livelihoods go up in smoke on that winter’s night. Bury folk were sad too; after all, the market had served them well for almost 70 years, and to many it seemed like a passing of an old friend, when the news spread around the town on the following day.
We have been lucky enough to get hold of this fantastic, nostalgic poem surrounding the fire.
With many thanks to Vera Kirkby. This poem is taken from her late mother’s collection and was in the Bury Times after the fire took place.
Bury Market Hall Elegy.
A mass of twisted girders where stalls were bright and gay;
How sad we are for Bury this bleak November day.
Chocolates, biscuits, tinsel, crackers; ready for December.
Laughter round the toy stalls,and hot sweet cups of tea;
Tripe, pigs feet and trotters, now just a memory.
Glacé cherries, candied peel, fur hats and cut glass.
“Move along there! Mind your backs! Let the trolley pass”.
Queues three deep for bacon; a stall with fancy cheese.
New and old together,all trying to please.
Clothes,shoes all and slippers; aprons,wool and lace;
Lampshades, carpets, mops and buckets, creams for the face.
Daily bargains, Eccles cakes, material by the yard;
To all of who loved you, this blow is very hard.
Fresh meat, bread and frozen foods, towels and plastic ware;
Buttons, bobbins, China …EVERYTHING sold there.
Pet foods and polish. “Keys cut while you wait”.
Nothing to much trouble. What a dreadful fate!
Our tears may not help you, but we have wept for you.
Dear Bury Market. We pray you’ll pull through.
For more Bury nostalgia check out our Bury books: Bury Nostalgia