THE residents of Llanfyllin saved their town from destruction in 1868.

While the townspeople slept during one April night a fire had broken out at the Penydrei flannel factory.

By midnight the town awoke to the sight of the fire.

The Montgomeryshire Express reported ‘The alarm spread with great rapidity, and in spite of the lateness of the hour, 91 great numbers of the inhabitants immediately assembled.’

The report hails the leaders, John Jones of Corner House, John Kyle of Penllwyn and Evan Watkins, for ‘speedily setting to work to endeavour to extinguish the flames, which were pouring from all the windows.’

Despite their best efforts the factory was consumed and the townspeople had turned their efforts to preventing the fire spreading to nearby buildings

A small band engine sent from Llwyn Hall had also broken down - leaving the residents to stave off the flames with pails of water.

The report hailed praise on the townspeople.

In the finest Victorian speech, the writer scribed ‘For upwards of three hours did the indefatigable inhabitants at strive to the mastery over the flames, which subdued for a moment by the torrents of water dashed on the incandescent mass and their perseverance was at last rewarded by the gradual subsiding of the conflagration.’

The Montgomeryshire Express reported the cause of the fire had remained unexplained though had closed by calling upon factory owners to ban tobacco on their premises in the future.