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Fire at Leneys Brewery Wateringbury 23rd April 1934

 Courtesy of Dail Whiting

A FIRE occurred at Leney’s Brewery at Wateringbury, on St. George’s Day, 1934. Smoke was noticed from the garages, and the men on duty immediately raised the alarm. Luckily, at seven o’clock in the evening, there was quite a number of men available, who found the whole paint-shop well alight inside, and already spreading to the lorry sheds.
Together with several willing helpers, they showed cool common sense and concentrated on salving as many as possible of the motor vehicles. In the meantime, the work’s hydrant and hoses were brought into play.
Although the fire was burning fiercely, they managed to keep it from spreading as much as it must otherwise have done. Even so, they were unable to save that particular range of buildings: the whole of the painters’ shops, stables, and two Saurer lorries. The conflagration was fed by the oil and petrol, which had a nasty habit of exploding at inconvenient moments, and the damage done in the course of a few hours was very extensive.
A DISTRESSING feature was, that an ex-employee was living in a cottage nearby, which was in imminent danger the whole time. All his furniture was saved, and the complete destruction of his house averted—principally by the staff ; but it was only with considerable difficulty he could eventually be persuaded to leave his home, which threatened to be engulfed at any moment.
The Maidstone Fire Brigade were able gradually to get the upper hand, although only after many more hours’ work was the blaze really subdued.

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