A sense of sadness hangs over Newsome as thick as the cloud of rubble today (Friday), as the demolition of fire-ravaged Newsome Mill got underway.

The Mill was utterly destroyed with only its four walls and ubiquitous clock tower left standing following a suspicious fire yesterday morning (Thursday).

Vehicles moved in overnight to begin the process of tearing down its unstable walls.

By lunchtime all that was left was ruins from the ground floor.

Residents, devastated by the prospect of losing the building, began a campaign group on social media to save the tower from the same fate as the building.

SaveTheClock Facebook group was started by Helen Kingston, who said: “The mill is engrained in all our childhood memories.”

Dale Oakes, who lives just yards from the mill on Hart Street, said flames were still burning in the early hours of Friday as demolition crews moved in.

Dale, 52, said:“The fire is all gone now.

“All the upper floors have now been torn down and it’s just the ground floor wall left now.

“It’s just a mound of rubble. The clock tower for now looks structurally intact but it will have to be inspected.”

Video thumbnail, Newsome Mill fire by Josh Edwards
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The family of the mill’s late Managing Director and Chairman Mark Bedforth have shared in the community’s lament at losing the landmark.

Mr Bedforth managed the Mill until its closure in 1983 when it was run by Taylor & Littlewood and passed away from cancer aged 67 in 2002.

His son Charles, 52, said Friday would have marked his 82nd birthday.

“He often said after its closure that he was convinced it would be left and burned down,” Charles, of Upper Cumberworth, said.

“To see that come true on what would have been his birthday has stirred up a lot of emotions.

“He would have been disgusted at how it has been treated.”

Video thumbnail, District Commander for Kirklees Andy Farrell speaks about the Newsome Mill fire
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Charles said his memories of the mill included watching the weavers work on the looming machines and being taught to play the trumpet by the man who wound the clock in the tower.

“It’s disgraceful it has been allowed to sit there unused for so long.

“The wooden floors would have still had oil from the sheep’s wool from the looms engrained within it, so the building itself was like a giant tinder box.”

Urban exploration - Newsome Mills clock tower MUST CREDIT: 'BEN'

Hazel Sykes, 32, who has lived in Newsome all her life, said: "My grandfather Derek Baldry used to wind the clock in the tower and he used to take me up there to help on a Monday night before Brownies in the early 90s.

"My grandmother also worked in the mill so the building means a lot to me personally. It is a part of my heritage.

"I watched on Thursday night as they begun demolition - it's very difficult to see it go."

Marsden resident Sandra Richardson, 70, worked at the Mill between 1996 and 2004 when it was taken over by Holland & Sherry.

She said: “It was a brilliant place to work and I have some very fond memories.

“It was a fantastic building - I was horrified to see what’s happened.”