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Devastating Fire, 1976

Since the war and during the fifties the arcade has become quite run down. In 1974 it was given an "A" classification by the National trust and bought by the Prudential who begun restoration work. However, at 3.00am on the morning of May the 25th 1976, a fire broke out. Twelve fire crews fought the blaze for hours but the arcade was left in ruins.

The painstaking process of rebuilding and restoration began again until, in 1977 it was ready for a fashion parade. Against the Victorian backdrop, models, dressed in the latest 70s fashions, paraded to the delight of shoppers and guests. The show was spectacular: harem pants, smocks, dirndl dresses and scarves, cowboy shirts, lots of stripes and spots and "fuschia, fuschia, fuschia." The future of the arcade was looking rosy.