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1930 - There Goes The Neighbourhood
In 1915 Hickson and Partners moved into Castleford where they produced TNT until the end of the Great War in 1918. After this they changed to the production of dyes and the processing of acids.
Just before noon on the 4th. of July 1930 an explosion flattened the factory killing 13 workers and injuring 32 others. Three hundred nearby houses were made uninhabitable and windows and roofs throughout the town were damaged. Shortly afterwards Ernest Hickson died and the company went into liquidation.
British Pathe News reported it as "Castleford. 'Like an Earthquake'. 12 killed, hundreds injured and rendered homeless by disastrous Chemical factory explosion."
From the ashes Ernest's son, Bernard and Colbeck Welch created a new company. In 1931 'Hickson and Welch' was born.
At 1:20 p.m. on the 21st. of September 1992 the plant exploded once more and five employees died. If it had not been lunchtime then the toll could have been even greater than the 1930 explosion as it occurred near an office building.
Click Here To Go To British Pathe
Hickson & Welch
Hickson & Welch From Queens Park
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