Newsome residents say they are looking forward to caring for what’s left of their iconic mill after a devastating inferno.

Large parts of the Grade II listed building were demolished after arsonists started a huge blaze on the Regency-era site this month.

Fortunately the clock tower, a focal point of Newsome, the weaving sheds, the gateway arch, the gate lodge, the office building and some of the lower floors of the mill were declared safe by structural experts last week.

This will lift the spirits of a village which has had more than its fair share of heartbreaking fires this month.

Newsome Mills Campaign co-ordinator Diane Sims said: “This week broke our hearts, but it didn’t break our spirit.

“We may feel vulnerable without our mill looking down over us but the community that grew up around Newsome Mills is still here.

“And we’re still going to campaign for a future for Newsome Mills.

Video thumbnail, Newsome Mill fire by Abdul Mukith
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Ms Sims, who helped found the campaign in 2007, said she felt it was uplifting to see Newsome residents coming together in support of the mill.

She said: “Along with many people who live in Newsome or who grew up here, we are heartbroken by the destruction of Newsome Mill and we’re deeply shocked that the lives of our friends, families and neighbours have been so recklessly put at risk.

“But what we have seen in the week following this tragedy is an outpouring of affection for our lost mill and a determination to help each other to hang on to what we have left.

“We have also seen new friendships forged in the embers of Newsome Mill and a community spirit that cannot be extinguished.

“We are proud to call Newsome our home.”

Ms Sims added: “This strength of feeling is demonstrated by the fact that Newsome residents have kept a vigil on the clock tower day and night throughout the week while the demolition equipment has stood ominously nearby. It’s heartening to know that hundreds of people have signed up to the SaveTheClock Facebook group created by Helen Kingston and thousands have sought information from local blogs.

Video thumbnail, Newsome Mill fire
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“It’s been a long journey already and we know that today is just the start of the many years of hard work that are still to come. But we also know that local residents will support each other in doing it.

“We know that many people who grew up in Newsome or who have connections to Newsome Mill are full of enthusiasm and ideas too.”

Newsome Mills, which was founded in 1827, was a working woollen textile mill until 1983.

Newsome Mills Campaign began in 2007 after the iconic clock stopped.

Historic England said most of the buildings were let out as business units until the site was sold in 2006.