ANOTHER milestone falling this year is the 40th anniversary of one of Worcester's biggest blazes of the 20th Century.

It happened on the night of Sunday, December 11, 1960, and devastated the Albion Flour Mill at Diglis.

Forty families had to be evacuated from their homes as the winter skies over Worcester were lit by the red and orange glow from flames which ripped through the eight-storey building.

Fire chiefs feared that the flour mill's 150ft water tower or its lofty chimney stack might crash down on to houses in what they officially described as "the largest and most potentially dangerous fire in Worcestershire since the war".

It broke out with a series of spectacular explosions from the top of the building, very much turning the tall structure into a giant firework.

The destruction of at least a third of this huge Mill Street building came as a bitter blow to the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company which had just bought it from millers T S Townshend & Sons Ltd.

Later, the height of the mill was much scaled down and it still survives in that reduced form today as part of the Royal Worcester complex of factories and warehouses.

I have vivid memories of the 1960 blaze as I covered the event as a young reporter on the Worcester Evening News.