The Victoria Maltings in Ware

Destroyed by fire

By S Williams

Victoria Maltings c1950
Victoria maltings in 1981
Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies
Firefighters tackle the blaze, 1988
Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies

On the evening of Friday 16th September 1988, a raging fire burnt down Ware’s magnificent Victoria maltings in Amwell End.

I remember hearing fire engines and seeing the sky lit up from where we lived.  I rushed down to the town with my sister and stood in the car park of the Saracen’s Head opposite and watched.

According to The Herts Mercury, over 100 firefighters attended – the glow of the fire could be seen for miles around.  People in nearby homes were evacuated but luckily no-one was seriously injured.  Police said their main problem was with crowd control as hundreds of people gathered to watch the blaze…

The malting was built in 1907 – the previous one on the site was built in 1897 and burned down in 1906.

This page was added on 10/11/2009.

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  • My company, Hertfordshire Graphics, was based at the Maltings from January 1983 until the fire. We supplied (and still do to a greater or lesser extent) Graphic Art materials to Designers and Architects in Hertfordshire. We subsequently moved to a new warehouse in Welwyn Garden City, and then, in 1992 to an Art Shop in St.Andrew Street, Hertford. Happy memories of our first offices…after the fire we boasted that we had the largest stock of charcoal of any Art Shop in the world!

    By Rod Lewis (30/01/2012)