Sadness over blaze with echoes of 1950s
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.
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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.