Norwich library fire 20 years on – share your memories
08:48 29 July 2014
It was the day when priceless pieces of Norfolk’s past went up in flames – and 20 years on we want to hear your memories of the historic day.
On August 1, 1994 at 7.20am Norwich’s central library began what ended up being the worst British library fire in living memory.
At the height of the £4m blaze, smoke could be seen 20 miles away with temperatures inside reaching 1,000 degrees centigrade.
A precious collection of books, manuscripts and archive material were destroyed by the blaze caused by an electrical fault.
But Norwich’s 800-year-old charter was saved, stored in a fire-proof basement.
Around 15 fire engines and 150 firefighters were at the scene – and in the aftermath the Norwich community rallied round.
Food companies donated refrigerated lorries to freeze-dry waterlogged manuscripts and thousands of people donated old books and pictures about Norfolk to replace the lost records.
Now the £63.5m Forum stands proudly in its place.
• We want to hear your memories of the fire for an anniversary piece. Were you in Norwich on the frightful day? Do you know someone who was involved in the recovery?
• Share you stories and help us mark the 20th anniversary. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 772453.