A total of 350 workers, mainly women, were made jobless after a fire gutted the Woodburn Weaving Company factory in July 1966.
Flames 100 ft high could be seen for miles.
Firemen from Carrick, Ballyclare, Glengormley and Larne rushed to the scene.
A lack of water was blamed for hindering their efforts to save the factory.
The blaze was estimated to have caused £1m worth of damage.
The fire was believed to have started at 11.15 pm, and by midnight, firemen could do nothing to save the works which manufactured candlewick bedspreads.
The following morning, crews were still hosing down bales of cloth.
One of the main machines and some company records were saved as well as Union Jack flags and bunting.
Another casualty was the band hall belonging to Woodburn Accordion Band which backed on to the factory.
However, all the instruments were saved and the band was able to take part in the Twelfth demonstration that morning.
Woodburn Accordion Band led a lodge from Knockagh to the demonstration in Randalstown.