There are three known newspaper articles on fires at Arborfield Mill. This is from the 'Reading Mercury' on 28th September 1861.
DESTRUCTION OF ARBORFIELD PAPER
MILLS BY FIRE
The boiler contained a considerable quantity of water, and the fire, which was threatening to ignite all around it, must have generated steam that would doubtless have caused a terrific explosion, but Mr. Gwynne courageously rushed to the spot, and removed the safety valves, thus allowing the steam to escape. This praiseworthy act was, of course, attended with great risk, and was performed in the face of entreaties to the contrary.
The engines at Reading and the one at Wokingham were
sent for, and three arrived at about five o’clock, but nothing could
then be saved. The engines would have been present earlier had not the
horse, on which one of the messengers rode, been restive to such an
extent that it ran for some distance in a wrong direction.
The paper made at the mills was strong brown, of a peculiar description and there was, as usual, a large stock on the premises. Supt. O’Neill, of the Wokingham Division, and Supt. Crook, of the Reading Division, reached the place at an early hour, and with several constables rendered all the aid in their power.
The man, Ford, with much forethought and
praiseworthiness, proceeded without loss of time to Mr. Hargreaves’ and
cautioned the men to carefully watch the ricks, the sparks from the fire
being carried in that direction. The property is, we hear, insured in
the “Atlas” Fire Office. The cause of the conflagration has not been
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