Gloving in yeovil

Pilton & Rake

Glove Manufacturers of Reckleford


Pilton & Rake were glove manufacturers of Reckleford during the late 1850s and early 1860s. The only references to the firm resulted from a serious fire at their premises between midnight and one o'clock in the morning of Sunday 20 January 1861 in which a large quantity of wool, leather and skins were destroyed and a man later died from burns received in the fire. The premises were owned by brick maker and Town Surveyor Richard Vining, who was not fully insured.

The fire was attended by the West of England fire engine, with whom Pilton & Rake were insured. Sadly a man, a navvy, was knocked down and severely burnt, by falling debris as the blazing building began to collapse. He was attended by surgeon Mr Thorpe and removed to the hospital facilities in the Preston Road workhouse, but sadly died three days later.

The strangest part of the story, however, is that a death certificate was given for the man and the coroner was informed of his death. However, before the coroner could hold an inquest, the man was buried. Consequently the coroner and his jury went to the cemetery, exhumed the body on the spot to examine it before retiring to the Hope Vine Inn in Back Kingston (today's Higher Kingston) to carry on with the inquest! For further details, see the press report below.

Nothing further is known of Pilton & Rake. 




An account of the fire at Pilton & Rake's glove manufactory in Reckleford, from the 26 January 1861 edition of the Weston-super-Mare Gazette.


The full account of the accident and the subsequent exhumation and inquest from the
2 February 1861 edition of the West Somerset Free Press.