Plaque will honour brave Kathleen

How the Free Press covered the fire in 1933
How the Free Press covered the fire in 1933

A forgotten hero of Bridlington will finally be remembered when a plaque is unveiled in her memory this weekend.

Kathleen Hackett raised the alarm when the Royal Victoria Rooms caught fire in September 1933.

Richard Jones

Richard Jones

She managed to get out of a top-floor window of the seafront building in her nightclothes and managed to bang on her neighbours’ window to alert them to the danger.

Bridlington author Richard Jones has spent years researching her bravery that night and on Saturday, the town’s mayor Cllr Liam Dealtry will be joined by Kathleen’s granddaughter to unveil a plaque in Garrison Square.

Richard said: “My interest in this event stems back 20 years when local historian Mike Wilson told me about the building that used to stand there before a huge fire.

“I became fascinated and got several bits of information over the years on the fire and the life of the Rooms.

“They had been built in 1847 and it was only when the new town hall on Quay Road was opened in 1932 that the council no longer met there and a year later the building was gone.”

Nobody died in the blaze 84 years ago, thanks to Kathleen’s brave actions, while police helped to bring shop stock into the street to save some of the livelihood of the owners.

Richard said: “I have always been fascinated by historic, forgotten disasters. This will be my sixth plaque – my previous ones have been a grave for the Great Gale lifeboatman Richard Bedlington, the Lockington rail crash, Burton Agnes level crossing crash, Moorgate disaster and the Wallace Hartley plaque at the Spa.”

His book about the Royal Victoria Rooms will be out later this month.