Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bradford Ironworks

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Bradford Wire Works, Manchester

1857 Boiler explosion:
"Yesterday morning a serious boiler explosion occurred at Messrs. Johnson and Co's. ironworks at Bradford, near Manchester. The boiler was one of the largest in the works, being 22 feet in length and 5 feet in diameter, with a flue 2 feet 9 inches in diameter. It was mainly used as an assistant boiler of the others, numbering 15, that are in these extensive works, and at the time of the accident the engineer, Joseph Cash, was firing up, and was blown some 20 yards down the shed. The poor fellow is very seriously injured, his legs, body, and face being dreadfully scalded and burnt. David Gregson, who was at the time near to Cash, is also very seriously injured, having got a wound in the head and much scalded and burned. A boy named Hayes has also received injuries; his head, face, body, and legs were very much scalded and burned. Richard Fellowes is also scalded and burned, but not so seriously as Cash, Gregson, and Hayes. These four were at once conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, where the three last-named lie in a very precarious state. Other persons were injured by the explosion, but not seriously. Cash is said to have since died."[1]


The 1932 O.S. map[2] shows 'Bradford Iron Works (Wire)' bounded by Forge Lane on the west, Philips Park Road on the north, Mill Street on the east, and Bradford Colliery immediately to the south. The main works building was largely divided by the Colliery Arm of the Ashton Canal. Two railway lines connected the works with Beswick Goods Station across Forge Lane. Another part of the works was located to the west of Forge Lane [3]

1962 photo here shows the Richard Johnson and nephew Bradford Iron Works, with Bradford Colliery beyond [4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Morning Post - Saturday 19 September 1857
  2. The Godfrey Edition: Old Ordnance Survey Maps: Manchester (Clayton) 1932: Lancashire Sheet 104.08
  3. The Godfrey Edition: Old Ordnance Survey Maps: Manchester (N.E) 1915: Lancashire Sheet 104.07
  4. [1] Manchester City Council local image collection