The Sankeys were father and son duo Raymond and Edward Sankey, who documented life in and around Barrow for over 70 years.

Not only did they capture the landscape, cultural changes and the everyday lives of Barrovians, but they also managed to photograph many major disasters.

Included in the Sankey online archive, created by Signal Film and Media, are images of the devastation caused by fires that occurred in Barrow in the first half of the 19th century.

READ MORE: Fascinating pictures show life on Dalton Road over the 20th century

Back then, resources used by the fire brigade were far more basic with horses and cart used to do the job of a fire engine.

Due to these limited means, fires burned for a lot longer.

A fire broke out during the National Anthem at a presentation at Waddington's Foundry in 1906 which was dedicated to Barrow’s late Mayor, Councillor G. S. Heath. J.P.

The anthem was left unsung as bursts of 30ft flames took hold.

(Image: Sankey Archive) In 1908, the Sankeys captured 'action' shots of old steam fire pumps being readied to fight a fire at Gradwell’s Timber Yard on the western end of Devonshire Dock.

Horses were positioned to draw water from dock.

Firemen can be seen beside the entrance of timber yard with buildings fully ablaze with fire hoses pointed over railway track.

(Image: Sankey online archive) In October 1910, a raging fire swept through the 300ft long Joiners Shop at Vickers Maxims

The twisted metal beams pictured are all that was left after six steam-powered fire engines and 150 men fought the fire.

The cost of the fire was estimated to be at least £20,000 to £30,000 and many joiners and women tracers were temporarily added to the list of unemployed.

(Image: Sankey online archive) In May 1913, Oak Lea Mansion, located in the centre of Sowerby Woods near Roanhead, was burned down.

According to Signal Film and Media, £10,000 worth of damage was inflicted.

Elizabeth Grew, secretary of the Barrow Branch of Suffragettes, is reported to have declared herself to be a 'rebel' and that she was 'frankly pleased with the destruction - though no arsonist was ever caught.

(Image: Sankey Archive) One of the most famous fires in the town burned for three days straight.

In June 1950, SS Oronsay was launched as the second Orient Line ship built after World War II.

She caught fire however whilst being fitted out at Buccleuch Dock and a considerable amount of damage was caused. 

This put the Vickers-built liner several months behind schedule but she lasted until 1975.

Anyone wanting to use the Sankey photos in a book, online or in an exhibition need to ask permission to use the photos from Cumbria Archives and there may be a charge.

Downloading images for personal use is fine however.  The full details on copyright are here: