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Lantern parade to mark 100 years since fire at Cambrian Mills

A lantern parade in Dre-fach Felindre in November will mark 100 years since a catastrophic fire at Cambrian Mills – now the National Wool Museum.

The parade, which will include a Mill-shaped lantern and finish at the Museum, will be an autumnal highlight of Dre-fach Felindre’s year as Carmarthenshire’s Village of Culture.

Cambrian Mills was at the heart of the flannel making industry in the area, which by 1900 was the home of 52 working mills. While the First World War was a boom time with the mills producing flannel and blankets for the troops, after the war, the price for flannel dropped dramatically, with the Welsh mills losing out to manufacturers in England and Scotland.

It was on July 11 1919 that the south building of Cambrian Mills caught fire, destroying the three-storey building. The adjacent north building – still standing today and which houses original working machinery belonging to Cambrian Mills – still displays the after-effects of the fire, with cracked window panes evidence of the intense heat.

After the fire, mill owner David Lewis used insurance money to fund a new longer building, this time only two-storeys high – which is now where the Museum’s café, shop and display galleries have their home.

The Lantern Parade takes place on Saturday 2 November, from 5pm (weather permitting), with poetry from local children back in the Museum itself and a general get-together at the end of the parade. Please check website museum.wales/wool or call 029 2057 3070 for latest information.