Ward Road Gym History

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(Article copied from a report in the Advertiser on 15th April 1921)


THE FIRE RAVAGES IN DUNDEE

Origin of Gymnasium Outbreak

TOTAL DAMAGE £15,000


Crowds assembled in the vicinity of Ward Road, Dundee, yesterday to gaze upon all that is left of the Gymnasium – burnt out in the early hours of the morning. The fact of the outbreak having occurred almost simultaneously with that in Bell St. gave rise to not a little discussion, and when the crowd was the largest and the discussion the keenest the fire bells rang out once again, causing considerable excitement. Fortunately the first to which the Brigade had to turn out was of a minor description, a heap of charcoal at the Wood Distillation Works in Clepington Rd. having become ignited by a spark from a passing engine. The outbreak was extinguished with little difficulty.

Shortly afterwards another flutter was caused by the turn out of the Brigade. On this occasion the fire was at the North British Railway Goods Yard, Magdalen Yard Road, the wooden covering of a water tank having become ignited by a spark from a passing engine. Little damage was caused.

Investigations into the origin of the Gymnasium outbreak point to the fire having started at the south end of the building, where there was a platform and siderooms. The hall was locked up about ten o’clock, when there was not the slightest indication of anything being wrong.

The building, as stated yesterday, had been used for a considerable time as a recreation hall and shelter for the unemployed; but, in view of its being required for other purposes, the Lord Provost was making arrangements for another hall being placed at the disposal of the unemployed.

The total damage caused by the fires at Bell St. and Ward Rd. is estimated at about £15,000, of which about £9000 is apportioned to the firms affected by the outbreak in the Bell St. building and £6000 to the Gymnasium.

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