Sad­ness over blaze with echoes of 1950s

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? The Kentish Express Memories Page W -

In Ash­ford you rarely hear of cases of busi­nesses suf­fer­ing loss due to de­struc­tion by fire, so it was a huge shock to learn of Fri­day’s blaze at the Tesco Ex­press and ad­join­ing Pay­dens Chemists op­po­site Sy­den­ham House surgery in Mill Court.

The fire, which ap­pears to have started at the rear of the premises, has de­stroyed the re­cently re­fur­bished and much used con­ve­nience store as it spread through the roof space and de­stroyed the pop­u­lar chemists next door, thus putting both thriv­ing busi­nesses out of ac­tion for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Many res­i­dents us­ing Sy­den­ham House will be fa­mil­iar with re­spected hus­band-and-wife phar­ma­cists Paul Jor­dan and Tina, who have op­er­ated in the town for more than 30 years.

Pay­dens, one of the county’s lead­ing phar­macy groups, took over Ash­ford chemist J. In­gall’s premises at 42 High Street in the 1980s – where Mr Jor­dan was lo­cated be­fore the cur­rent premises at Mill Court were built.

Be­ing a reg­u­lar user of the surgery and chemist my­self, I feel dread­fully sad that this event has oc­curred.

This fire and the de­struc­tion it caused has dev­as­tated all con­cerned.

I know from speak­ing to Mr Jor­dan that he was heart­bro­ken to see the ex­ten­sive dam­age caused to the premises, made more dif­fi­cult as it’s a place where he and his wife have spent count­less hours pre­par­ing pre­scrip­tions and loy­ally serv­ing the peo­ple of Ash­ford.

It is ironic that it was nearly 60 years ago that a fire se­verely dam­aged the afore­men­tioned for­mer premises of Pay­dens at 42 High Street when it was still known as In­gall’s Chemist.

The fire was re­puted to have been caused by the sun re­flect­ing off a dis­pen­sary bot­tle in the win­dow.

The shop was duly re­built, which is what one would imag­ine will hap­pen to the Mill Court premises, es­pe­cially due to the close prox­im­ity to the surgery.

This week, Re­mem­ber When looks back at the fire at In­gall’s in 1958 and shows the dev­as­ta­tion at this premises and of Pay­dens in Mill Court.

Do you have any pho­to­graphs or slides that you would be will­ing to lend me, to be scanned and fea­tured in the Ex­press?

Write to me, Steve Sal­ter, Ken­tish Ex­press Re­mem­ber When, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR, email me at re­mem­ber­when_k­mash@ hot­mail.co.uk or fol­low me on Twit­ter @SteveKMAsh­ford

You can also leave a phone mes­sage for me with brief de­tails by call­ing 01233 623232.

Or you can also leave a tele­phone mes­sage for me with brief de­tails by call­ing 01233 623232.

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