Fifty people died when fire swept through the Summerland entertainment centre at Douglas, Isle of Man in August 1973. The disaster is the worst day in Manx history and remains the third worst loss of life from fire on land in the British Isles since the Second World War. Dr Ian Phillips’ book on the Summerland fire is the most comprehensive account ever written of the disaster. The book’s nine chapters, which were revised in March 2021, can be downloaded using the links below:
Introducing the Summerland disaster; the individuals and family groups affected by the fire.
The economic rationale: Summerland in terms of changes over time in Manx tourism; the planning and financing of the complex.
The design and architectural context: the bye-law waivers; the layout and floor usage of Summerland.
The evening of the fire: eyewitness accounts; the Summerland disaster from the perspective of the emergency services and the media.
The aftermath of the Summerland disaster: what did the key players say in the ten days after the fire?
The public inquiry process: the reasons why 50 people died.