Fire At Mudlen End.

In the  early 1980’s the new workshop at Mudlen End was in full production. Cottages were by now the primary product and  around 100,000  a year were being made. The workshop held 4 electric kilns, packaging materials and all of the stock. At this time Mudlen End Studio Ltd. had 16 full and part-time staff. However, on the night of the 26th November 1981 a fire, caused by an electrical fault, burnt the workshop to the ground. The flames and embers went with the wind directly towards the thatch of Mudlen End itself and James Hart and a neighbour used garden hoses to  save the thatch from catching alight and possibly destroying the house too.

James Hart described the blaze as “Terrifying”.                                         The cost of the fire was estimated to be around 12,000 pounds.

Photo : Bury Free Press
Photo : Bury Free Press

The loss of the workshop was a big blow for the company who needed to keep production going to fulfill Christmas and regular orders. This meant they had to  consider moving production elsewhere.

On a personal note; as the youngest of the family I  was usually blamed if anything  untoward happened,  if things we not where they were supposed to be or went missing completely, or became slightly broken ! I can only thank my luck stars that I was not around when this event took place as I can imagine where the suspicion would have landed !

( As a footnote, I may have sometimes been guilty of one or two small  misdemeanors, but I was always cautious not to be seen so they couldn’t  prove anything !!! )


4 thoughts on “Fire At Mudlen End.”

  1. Hi Ben,

    Was this the trigger for the production to move to Thurston, or did your father simply have to outsource much of the production after this awful event?

    Was anything saved? The destruction looks total in the picture.


  2. I worked for Mudlen Original in the 1980’s in a small shop in Temecula, California, Being very young I wasn’t aware of the history of the company nor of the man I worked for so don’t know of his position in the company. At the time I was led to believe he was the owner. We painted western magnets and trivets. I only worked there for a short time. One day, one of the kilns was loaded to the brim and then some and collapsed due to the weight and every magnet was crushed. He didn’t say much but we all knew he was quite upset.

    1. Hi Carol.
      The man that you worked for was most likely the owner of Mudlen Originals. He had a business arrangement with my father from Mudlen End who was only in the States for a few weeks at most.
      I’ve never heard of a kiln collapsing with the weight.
      Thanks for your comment.
      Ben Hart

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