Dewsbury fire leads to niece’s fears for uncle’s gift to the town

Smoke pours out of the former Dewsbury Library building.
Smoke pours out of the former Dewsbury Library building.

A woman has shared her concerns that a mural her late uncle painted for the children of Dewsbury was destroyed in a town centre fire.

A blast in the kicthen area of the Taj Banqueting Suite in Wellington Road caused more than 200 people to be evacuated from a wedding party on Wednesday August 20.

But Christine Wraith is worried for Herbert Wood’s painting of the four seasons, which he made between the ages of 16 and 21 on evenings after training at art college.

The canvas was placed on the second floor of the building when it was still Dewsbury’s library.

Christine, 69, of Edge Top Road, Thornhill, said: “My uncle did that as a gift for the children of Dewsbury. He did it in his spare time .

“If he knew it could be damaged it would break his heart. It’s broken my heart thinking what damage has been done.

“I was close to my uncle and I used to take him down to the library to see his mural.”

Christine tried to get the painting moved to the town hall before the building changed hands, but Kirklees Council told her they were not able to take action.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said that the team investigating the fire had seen the painting and did not believe it was damaged, but could not confirm this.

Nobody was hurt in the fire and the cause and extent of the damage are being investigated. Herbert Wood died 10 years ago aged 84.