Friday, 27 July 2018

Essington & Cheslyn Hay Brickworks

I start this post with the brickworks that where situated around Essington, near Wolverhampton. The post then continues with a company which had works at both Essington & Cheslyn Hay & I then round off the post with the brickworks situated in Cheslyn Hay.

NCB Hilton Main

Before writing about Hilton Main Colliery (coloured green on the 1950 OS map below) & brickworks (yellow) situated near Essington, I start with information about Holly Bank Colliery (purple) as the history of these two pits are intertwined. The Holly Bank Coal Co. Ltd. was formed in 1891 to takeover the running of Essington Wood Colliery, after which the pit was renamed Holly Bank. Around 1920 a new pit was sunk to the west of Essington to extract new reserves in that area & this new colliery called Hilton Main was in production by 1924 & was connected underground to Holly Bank. Coal extraction at Holly Bank Colliery had ceased by the General Strike in 1927. Then in 1932 Mr. C.A. Nelson, chairman & managing director of Hartley Main Collieries Ltd in Cramlington, Northumberland purchased the Holly Bank Coal Co. & in doing so in 1935 re-opened Holly Bank Colliery & established a brickworks at Hilton Main. This brickworks consisted of four continuously fired kilns which are clearly shown on the 1950 OS map below (coloured yellow), producing 26,000,000 bricks per annum. With this brick being stamped NCB it will have been made after nationalisation in 1947. I expect bricks made before 1947 were just stamped Hilton Main Colliery - one to look out for as one has yet to be found. A Durham Mining Museum reference last records Holly Bank Colliery as having men underground in 1940, with nil being recorded at the time of Nationalisation. Hilton Main brickworks closed in 1967 & the colliery in 1969.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1950.

Holly Bank Brickworks

It was first thought that this Holly Bank brick was made at a brickworks situated at Holly Bank Colliery & owned by the Holly Bank Coal Co. which was formed in 1891, but maps dated 1882 & 1900 do not show a marked brickworks at the colliery. Before 1891 this colliery was called Essington Wood & is shown as such on the 1882 OS map below. However this 1882 map has revealed that there was a brick & tile works situated adjacent to Holly Bank House (coloured yellow on the map below) & I think this is where this brick was made. Holly Bank House brickworks is not shown on the 1900 OS map, so it may have only been in production at the time of this 1882 map to the late 1890's. No trade directory entries have been found relating to a brick company or works called Holly Bank, so there is the option that the Holly Bank Coal Co. did owned this brickworks next to Holly Bank House after 1891 & made this brick, but who exactly owned this works before 1891 is not known. I do have one contender & trade directories list Ralph Hawthorn as brickmaker in Essington in Kelly's 1868 to 1880 editions, so he may well have owned this works from the late 1860's to the early 1880's. I think we can date this Holly Bank brick to around 1900 as the style of the frog & stamp mark was also used by Stairfoot & Worksop brick companies around this date. If any firm evidence turns up on the maker of this brick & where it was made, I will update the post. 

I next write about the green coloured brickworks as shown on the 1882 map below.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882.

W. Davis & Co.

W. Davis (blue) is listed in Kelly's 1860 edition at Essington & this entry is followed by W. Davis & Co. (blue), Essington in Kelly's 1868 to 1896 editions. Blue referring to maker of blue bricks, but this example looks more red to me, although it does looks blue on it's edges (faces). The location of Davis's works is shown coloured green on the 1882 map above in the Holly Bank entry. 

I have added this Essington brick to this entry as I am unsure who made it. It appears to be the same stamp mark as used by Davis, but without his name on the top line, so possibly made after Davis had sold the works. There is the option that G.W. Lewis who took over this works around 1900 may have made it, but he is only listed in trade directories & an advert as only making blue bricks. As always if I get the answer, I will update the post.

G.W. Lewis & Co.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1915.

George Warburton Lewis was the next owner of this Hobnock Road brick & tile works at Essington (coloured green on the 1915 map above & named as the Rosemary Brick & Tile Works), taking over from Davis around 1900. Lewis owned another works at Cheslyn Hay making roof tiles & this works is first listed in Kelly's 1876 edition at Rosemary Hill, Cheslyn Hay (shown on the 1915 map below coloured purple). In 1896 Lewis formed his business into a limited company & traded as G.W. Lewis Limited. Lewis owned a third works & I write about that works later.

  © Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1915.

The Rosemary Brick & Tile Works, Essington is first listed in Kelly's 1900 edition as G.W. Lewis Limited, (blue), Essington, Wolverhampton. This entry continues up to the 1912 edition & the reference to blue refers to the making of blue bricks of which there are two examples below which are stamped with his "Rosemary" trade mark name. With Lewis's Cheslyn Hay works being situated on Rosemary Hill one can only assume that is where he took the Rosemary name from to use as his trade mark on his products. The Essington works listing from 1921 does not include blue in the entry, so Lewis may have only made his blue bricks at Essington from 1900 to around 1920 as his primary activity was the production of his well known trade marked brand of machine & hand made "Rosemary" roof tiles at his three works. A BBS 2010 journal article states that the company also made rustic facing bricks. 

Tile image courtesy of the Frank Lawson Collection.

A 1905 advert for G.W. Lewis Tileries Ltd. which lists the range of roof tiles & blue bricks that Lewis made at his three tileries. It appears from this advert that he was not advertising his Trade Marked "Rosemary" roof tiles at this date, but I expect he will have been stamping his tiles & bricks with the name. A search of the web for the year when Lewis registered the Rosemary brand name has drawn a blank. However I have found that the entry in Kelly's 1928 edition is as follows - G.W. Lewis' Tileries Ltd., Manufacturers of Rosemary machine & hand made roofing tiles; Head Office, Stockingford, Nuneaton; works, Rosemary Tileries, Walkmill Tileries, & Essington Tileries. So 1928 may have been the year when the company registered the Rosemary name as a trade mark. If anyone knows, please get in touch. Thanks. 

The previous directory, Kelly's 1924 edition contains the first listing for Lewis' third works called Walk Mill Tileries, but with having the 1905 advert we know Lewis was operating it in 1905. The 1882 map also shows a clay pit & buildings at this location, but is not named, so there is the option that Lewis may have owned this Walk Mill Tileries works in 1882 ? I have used the 1900 OS map below to show the Walk Mill Works which was north of Cheslyn village next to the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal.

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

The next significant date is 1968 when G.W. Lewis Tileries & the Haunchwood Brick & Tile Co. merged forming Haunchwood - Lewis Brick & Tile Co., but this new company only had a short life as it went into voluntary liquidation in 1973. A BBS article records that all three of Haunchwood's works closed, but no reference is made to the three Lewis works closing at this date. Another search of the web revealed that the Lewis side of this former partnership continued in business as the National Archives holds documents relating to a register of directors/minutes for G.W. Lewis Tileries Ltd up to 1978 & there is the possibly that the company operated as the Rosemary Brick & Tile Company from 1973 as it was this titled company which was purchased by Redland in 1984 according to Redland's timeline page on the web. Today Redland still make the "Rosemary" brand of roofing tiles. 

As a footnote I found this page containing photographs of Fred Dibnah demolishing chimney's at the Rosemary Works in 1987, so I expect this will have been the Rosemary Hill Works at Cheslyn Hay.

Holly Bush Brick Co.

The Holly Bush Brick & Tile Co. Ltd. is listed in Kelly's 1900 & 1904 editions at Snareshill, Cheslyn Hay, Walsall. The Holly Bush Works which was on Brick Kiln Lane is named as such on the 1900 OS map below (coloured yellow). The 1915 map records the Holly Bush Works as disused at this date, but the buildings are still shown. It appears the works was named after nearby Holly Bush Hall which was situated just off the left hand side on the map below where the moat is shown.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

The yellow coloured brickworks which became Holly Bush Works in 1900 is also shown as a brickworks on the 1882 map & the purple coloured works is also shown on the 1882 map, so a search of trade directories has revealed the following brickmakers who will have owned these two brickworks. The 1900 map above also shows an old clay pit, so another pre-1900 brick yard in Cheslyn Hay as well. 
The brickmakers are - 
Frederick Gilpin, Cheslyn Hay listed in Kelly's 1868, 1872 & 1880 editions; 
R. Gilbert, Cheslyn Hay, Kelly's 1868 & 1872 editions; 
Birch & Morris, Cheslyn Hay, Kelly's 1876 edition; 
Humphrey Wolloxall, Cheslyn Hay, Kelly's 1876 edition; 
Alfred Whitehouse, Cheslyn Hay, Kelly's 1880 edition; 
Crutchley & Hawkins, Longhouse, Cannock, & at Cheslyn Hay, Kelly's 1888 & 1892 editions; 
Henry Hawkins, Longhouse, Cannock, & at Cheslyn Hay, Kelly's 1896 & 1900 editions, only at Longhouse from the 1904 edition. Hawkins Longhouse brickworks is shown on the 1900 OS map below coloured green, as to the exact location of his Cheslyn Hay works, it may have been the purple coloured works on the 1900 OS map above (best option). The Hawkins family also owned Cannock Old Coppice Colliery also known as Hawkins Colliery up to Nationalisation in 1947 & I have included two bricks made by Hawkins below. See Cheslyn Hay map in Lewis entry for the location of Cannock Old Coppice Colliery. Today the site of Hawkins' Longhouse brickworks is occupied by industrial units.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

It is unknown if this brick was made at a brickworks next to the colliery or if it was made at the Longhouse Brickworks (preferred option) situated on the other side of the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal.

With the name being stamped on face of the brick it will be a fairly modern example.

As a footnote Ibstock Brick today occupies part of the site where Cannock Old Coppice Colliery had been situated & the land on which the Rosemary tile works had stood next door still remains unoccupied. There is a possibility that Ibstock are taking clay from there, as there is no claypit next to their works ?

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Birmingham Brickworks - part 3

In part 3 of Birmingham Brickworks I cover these areas ;- California, Harborne, Quinton & Hay Mills.

I kick off this post with the three brickworks as shown on the 1882 map below in the California area of Birmingham. After which I write about a fourth works at California which is not on this map & was situated on the northern side of Stonehouse Lane (red), just off to the left hand side of this map. 

I have already wrote about John Garlick's Lappal Tunnel Works (coloured yellow) in Birmingham Brickworks - part 2, but I will briefly say that John Garlick established this works in 1876 & it was operational until Garlick went bankrupt in 1884. The Lappal Tunnel Works was then re-started by Smarts Brickworks Ltd. in the early 1900's. The purple coloured works was started by Isaac Flavel & then taken over James Smart & I write about this works shortly. But before I do, I write about John Barnes at the orange coloured works.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882 x2.

John Barnes

So on to the orange coloured brickworks as shown on the 1882 map above which was accessed off a lane which went to Weoley Castle & it's farm. Today this road is called Somery Road (pink) & it was named after Roger de Somery of Dudley Castle who built his moated Manor House (Weoley Castle) here in 1264. Before the orange coloured brickworks had been established, this wharf side site, locally known as Weoley Castle Yard had been used to load stone onto canal boats for distribution via the Dudley No.2 Canal. A tramway (orange/red) was built in 1840 to connect the stone quarry (red) to the wharf. This tramway was later re-routed to a claypit bringing the clay to the brickworks. A search of the web may have revealed the owner of the stone quarry with the stone required to build St. Marks Church in Birmingham in 1840 coming from quarries owned by J.F. Ledsam Esq. of Weoley Castle.

The exact date when the brickworks was built is unknown. Justine Halifax on the Birmingham Live website writes that local resident John Barnes who owned a wharf was one of the first to establish a small brickworks in California, but no date is given. With finding that Isaac Favell is recorded as starting the purple coloured brickworks, this Justine Halifax information connects Barnes to the orange coloured works. I then found that White's 1873 trade directory lists John Barnes as brickmaker in Northfield, again connecting Barnes to the orange coloured yard which he may have established in 1872. There are no more listings in directories for Barnes until Kelly's 1879 edition, when the entry records his brickworks as being at California, Northfield & this entry continues up to the 1883 edition. As there are no more brickmakers listed in trade directories at this California works after Barnes, I am taking it that Barnes closed his brickworks shortly after 1883. The 1900 OS map no longer shows this brickworks.

William Dargue on his website writes that Barnes Hill road coloured lime green on the map above was named after John Barnes, a Master Brickmaker who lived at Blakenell Corner. William continues to say that the 1851 Census records eleven households at Blackenell Corner. So I am taking it Barnes was listed in this census as living there in 1851.

Isaac Flavell

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882.

Isaac Flavell was born in Gornal in 1792 & in 1842 he purchased Stonehouse Farm situated on Stonehouse Lane, establishing his brickworks there by 1845. I expect at this 1842 date Stonehouse Farm was classed as being in Weoley Castle village because it was only after Flavell had built himself the California Inn around 1850 next to the Lappal Tunnel portal in the Parish of Northfield that this area was named California after his Inn. The earliest reference I have found for this area being called California is in 1875. Although Flavell & his wife, Ann (nee Chinn) are recorded as living at the California Inn in 1851, the Inn was run by his brother-in-law, Henry Chinn & his niece Rebecca Flavell. I am taking it that the date for Flavell being at the California Inn came from the 1851 census as the writer of the article which this info comes from states that Flavell was employing 50 labourers, but this may have included men who worked on his farm as well as his brickworks. From reading several accounts about Flavell I have got the impression that he was a bit of an entrepreneur & he may have been persuaded to purchase Stonehouse Farm in 1842 as a result of a 1835 survey of the farms land which resulted in finding a good bed of brickmaking clay just below the surface. It has to be noted that after this 1835 survey there was no immediate take up of the land for brick making until Flavell purchased the farm & established his brickworks there which I have coloured purple on the 1882 map above. I also mention that more than likely Flavell's brickworks & claypit in the 1840's would have only been situated between Stonehouse Lane & the canal, next to the farmhouse. There is the option that Flavell started the claypit on the north side of Stonehouse Lane in the 1840's/50's, but it was the next owner of the works James Smart who expanded it to the size that is shown on this 1882 map.

Flavell transported his bricks & tiles via the Dudley, Worcester & Birmingham canals to his own wharf depot on Gas Street in the centre of Birmingham. It was from this depot that builders could purchase his bricks to build an ever expanding Birmingham, so I expect his bricks & tiles were in great demand. The first trade directory entry that I have found recording Isaac Flavell as brick & tile maker is in White's 1845 edition & this entry only lists his Gas Street depot & not his works address. Kelly's 1849 & 50 editions then records his works at Northfield & on the next line in these two directories it lists I. Flavell, 5, Gas Street & as we know this was his wharf side depot. Slater's 1852 edition only records his Gas Street depot in the Brick & Tile Makers section of this directory. White's 1855 edition again only lists Gas Street in the Brick & Tile Makers section, but there is the addition of Joseph Chinn, agent, so it appears that Isaac was now employing one of his wife's relatives to run the Gas Street depot. 

Morris's 1862 edition now records Isaac Flavell only in the Brick Merchants section at the Brick Wharf, Gas Street & not as a brickmaker. I then found that a web article states that in the 1860's Flavell first leased his brickworks to James Smart & then completed the sale of the works to James Smart before his death. Another article states that Flavell is still recorded as a brickmaker, contractor, farmer & victualler at the California Inn when he was in his 70's, so this takes us to around 1862/3 & this ties in with the 1862 directory only recording him as Brick Merchant. We find in Kelly's 1867 edition that it lists James Smart as brickmaker in Northfield, so I am thinking that the lease of the works to Smart took place between 1862 & 1867. Smart had previously owned a brickworks at Harborne before taking over Flavell's California brickworks & I write about James Smart soon. 

Back to Flavell & again he is listed as Brick Merchant at Gas Street in Kelly's 1867 edition & he would have been 75 in that year. It is also the last entry for him as he is not listed in Kelly's 1868 edition. The 1872 edition now lists James Smart as Brick Merchant at Gas Street. Isaac Flavell died in 1870 & as previously wrote Flavell completed the sale of his brickworks to Smart before his death & this transaction may have been in 1886/7 with Smart then taking over the Gas Street depot between 1867 & 1872. No bricks stamped Flavell have been found so far & there must be thousands upon thousands out there unless he did not stamp his bricks, but with him being the entrepreneur that he was, I think he will have stamped his bricks, so please keep a look out for me !

James Smart

Before I write about James Smart brickmaking at his California Brickworks, Northfield, trade directories first record him at a brickworks on Mill Lane, Harborne & I have coloured this works yellow on the 1882 map below. Today Mill Lane (red) is called Harborne Park Road. 

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882.

The first trade directory listing for James Smart as brickmaker at Harborne is in Kelly's 1849 edition & this entry is repeated in Kelly's 1850 edition. My next entry is the 1862 edition of the Corporation of Birmingham directory & this entry lists James Smart at Mill Lane, Harborne. There is the possibility that the J. Smart brick below may have been made at Harborne with the frog shape being very ornate, if not it will have been one his first bricks to be made at his California Works. We find that as time moves on, say after the 1880's, deep fancy crisp designed frogs & lettering are replaced by more simpler designs & lettering, & the frog is also not so deep.  

We next find the Mill Lane works in Kelly's 1867 edition is now listed as J. Sadler & Sons, Mill Lane, Harborne, so James Smart had sold his Harborne works to Sadler sometime between 1862 & 1867, with Smart moving to his new California Works at Northfield by 1867 as per Kelly's 1867 directory for him. 

I now slightly digress to write a little more about Sadler at this Mill Lane works & the following brickmaker. J. Sadler & Sons continue to be listed at this Mill Lane works until Kelly's 1872 edition. I think I am correct in writing that this J. Sadler was the highly regarded John Sadler, brickmaker at Oldbury because my first trade directory that I have listing John Sadler at Shidas Lane, Oldbury is in Kelly's 1876 edition. I then think Sadler sold the Mill Lane works & then moved to nearby Oldbury by 1873 as I have found that White's 1873 edition now records Marshall Frederick Raybould at this Mill Lane works & I write about Raybould later in the post as I wish to get back to James Smart at the California Works.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

Now on to James Smart at the California Works, Northfield coloured purple on the 1900 OS map above & I have found quite a bit of info was wrote in 2009 by a writer called Mumbles on the Genealogy Forum website. Mumbles writes that James Smart initially leased the California Works from Isaac Flavell with Smart then completing the purchase of the works before Flavell's death in 1870. Now my last trade directory for Smart at Mill Lane, Harborne is 1862 & another article states that Smart was running two works at Harborne & California in the early 1860's. So with Flavell only listed in Morris's 1862 directory as Brick Merchant, I think this is when Smart started leasing Flavell's California Works in 1862.

It's in Kelly's 1867 edition that it now lists James Smart as brickmaking at Northfield which I am taking to be the California Works. We also find in this 1867 directory that it now records J. Sadler & Sons at the Mill Lane Works, Harborne. Therefore with Sadler taking over the Harborne works, Smart then completed the purchase of the California Works from Flavell in 1866/7, this was after initially leasing it since 1862. Then it was after 1867/8 that Smart took control of the Gas Street depot as Flavell was still listed as Brick Merchant at Gas Street in Kelly's 1867 edition.

Smart set about making improvements to his new California brickworks by building a narrow gauge railway which ran via a tunnel under Stonehouse Lane from his claypit opposite to the brickworks (see map above, both coloured purple). I have to note that this claypit may have been started by Isaac Flavell in the 1850's. With Smart adopting the all-year production method of making bricks, weathered clay was transported in tubs via this railway to be crushed, moulded into bricks & then partially dried in cooling kilns & drying sheds, before their final kiln firing. Smart's claypit is recorded as being 40 foot deep & this rich bed of clay lead to the Birmingham Patent Brick Co. setting up their brickworks in the next field to Smart's claypit & I write about this company shortly. 

Kelly's 1868 edition again records Smart at Northfield, then Kelly's 1872 edition just records in the Brick & Tile Makers section J. Smart at 6, Gas Street which was the depot address in the centre of Birmingham. With the address of Gas Street changing from number 5 in Flavell's day to number 6 for Smart, I expect Smart had just moved to a large premises on the wharf. From 1880, directories record Smart at number 7, Gas Street, so another move.

Another bit of info from Mumbles article says that in the 1871 & 1881 census, James's son William is recorded as brickmaking along side his father. The 1871 census also records James as brickmaker & employing 24 men & 14 boys at California. White's 1873 edition again records James Smart at Northfield & Gas Street. We next find in White's 1875 edition the entry is now James Smart, The California Red Brick & Quarry Works, Northfield; Halesowen Blue Brick, Tile & Quarry Works; & The Wharf, Gas Street, Birmingham with John Randle as manager. 

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1881.

I have established from Worcestershire trade directories that James Smart's Halesowen works was on Birmingham Road at Heywood & is shown as the Lion Works (yellow) on the 1881 map above. This map shows Birmingham Road as Mucklow Hill & this road is still called this today. With this works having canal access James would have easily transported his blue bricks (example below) to his Gas Street depot. I have to note that trade directory entries spell Heywood as Haywood. Then there are two questionable entries in Kelly's 1872 edition for this works. The first is the entry for I. Flavell at Halesowen, but Isaac from my findings had died in 1870 ? My only thoughts on this one is that it recorded the works as being owned by Flavell before Smart took over. The second questionable entry in this 1872 directory is for Henry Smart brickmaking at Halesowen & I think this should read James unless James did have a brother or son called Henry. We know he had a son called William brickmaking for him from the 1871 census. Kelly's 1876 to 1892 editions does list James Smart at Haywood, Halesowen with the 1884 entry also listing Birmingham Road in the address. With James Smart dying in April 1892 we find that F.J. Nash is listed in Kelly's 1892 & 96 editions at this Halesowen works. 1896 is the last entry for Nash & this works may have closed soon after this date as the works is shown as disused on the 1900 OS map. 

As I have digressed with writing about the Halesowen works, I now return to the Northfield works which from White's 1875 edition is now called the California Works & James Smart is listed with this new works address up to Kelly's 1883 edition. 

Photo by MF courtesy of the John Baylis Collection.

Kellys 1884 to 1897 editions now lists the company as James Smart & Sons, so it appears that James's son, William from 1884 was now taking a more active rolled in the running of the company, previously the 1871 & 81 census only recorded William as working for his father. We next find the 1891 census records James Smart as retired & his son William is listed as the owner of James Smart & Sons. Then as previously wrote James died in April 1892. William Smart continues to run the brickworks to around 1897, as we then find in Kelly's 1899 edition that the entry is Smart's Brickworks Ltd., California & Lappal Tunnel Red Brick & Quarry Works, Northfield via Quinton.  

According to A.H. Stevenson Smarts Brickworks Ltd. had been formed to purchase the California Works from William Smart in 1897. It appears William Smart did not play any part in the running of this new company as he is not listed on the board of directors. The directors of this new company were Josiah Derrington, John Horton Blades & William Roberts. Also joining the board as directors at a later date were Brownlow W. Blades, brother to John H. Blades & Josiah Pearce Derrington, son of Josiah Derrington.

Also included in the purchase of the California Works from the Smart Family was the Lappel Brickworks last worked by John Garlick in 1884. The date when the Smart Family actually acquired or if they ever worked the Lappal Tunnel Works is unknown, but what is known is that Smarts Brickworks Ltd. had the Lappal Tunnel Works up & running again erecting new buildings & installing new machinery & plant by 1904. This newly installed machinery made bricks using the plastic & wire cut method. However this works appears to have had a short life closing again by the start of WW1, never to be reopened again, but I have to note that the Lappal Tunnel Works is still listed in Kelly's 1915 edition. The last of the derelict buildings at this former Lappal Tunnel Works were demolished in the 1960's & the site was used a municipal rubbish dump.

Stevenson writes in his 1933 book that this new company was the first to install a continuous kiln of Belgian type in the Birmingham District at the California Works. He also writes that the present directors of the Company were Messrs. Edward (Teddy) C. Blades, A. Guest & B.C. Ottey.

A floor quarry tile made by Smarts Ltd.

Going back to the trade directory entries for the company & the 1899 entry of Smarts Brickworks Ltd. continues up to Kelly's 1915 edition. For some unknown reason the Company is not listed in Kelly's 1921 edition (next available directory) unless the California Works had not been re-opened after the war at this 1921 date ? My next directory is Kelly's 1932 edition & the entry is Smarts Brickworks Ltd, Barnes Hill, California, Quinton. This entry continues up to the last directory available in 1940. A web article records the California Works was the last to close in the area in the 1950's. Today the former California brickworks site has been grassed over & the former clay pit site on the opposite side of Stonehouse Lane has been levelled & a fire station has been built with the rest of the site being covered in trees & a grass area. The former Lappal Tunnel site is now the home of a Asda supermarket store. 

If you are interested, photos of a California brickworks can be seen at the link below, but the brickworks is not named in the article. I am almost certain that it's Smart's with one photograph showing a Hoffman type kiln, a similar photo is shown in the next link below. Someone has wrote on the Birmingham Forum website that Weoley Library have a large collection of photographs of Smart's brickworks, so I expect that some of these photos on this first link are the ones in the library. 

In this link there are two photos of the Lappal Tunnel portals & the one of James Smart's brickworks.

Birmingham Patent Brick Co. / Simkin / William Ward

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

It was with James Smart exposing a rich bed of clay 40ft deep at his purple coloured claypit which lead to the Birmingham Patent Brick Co. setting up their brickworks in the next field (green). 

The Birmingham Patent Brick Co. was formed in 1874 by Edward & Henry Loader Ensor, firebrick makers of Woodville, Burton, Brownlow William Blades, brickmaker of blue bricks in West Bromwich & William Henry Ward a Birmingham architect. Both the Ensor Brothers & B.W. Blades were still running their own works at the same time. B.P.B. Co's works (green on the map above) was on Stonehouse Lane, California, Birmingham situated near to the No.2 Dudley Canal. The works consisted of six kilns, two of which were capable of producing 75,000 bricks each per firing & the other four kilns were capable of producing 46,000 each per firing. The Birmingham Patent Brick & Tile Co. Ltd. is first listed in White's 1875 edition with works at California, Northfield, John Lewis, secretary & office address of 1,Temple Row West, Birmingham. This entry is also listed in Kelly's 1876 edition. 

We then find that this Patent Brick Co. only had a relative short existence because in September 1877 B.P.B.Co. was wound up. Ray Shill writes in his book that this works changed hands after 1877 & was later owned by William Ward, one of the founders of B.P.B. Co. in the 1880's. The London Gazette reveals that the company had not been fully wound up, one notice dated 13th January 1885 under the heading of Joint Stock Companies Register first gives the company three months to come forward to declare their situation, then as this does not appear to have taken place a second notice dated 28th April 1885 then states that B.P. B. Co. had been stuck off the Register, therefore the company had been dissolved. Bricks stamped B.P.B. Co. have yet to be found, so if you have got one please let me know, thanks.  

So on to Ray Shill's account of the works changing hands in 1877 & this ties in with trade directory entries recording the Simkin family brickmaking at California between 1879 & 1884. William Edmund Simkin is listed Kelly's 1879 & 80 editions at California, Northfield & Edward Wellington Simkin is listed in Kelly's 1882 & 84 editions at California, Northfield. All of the other works in California can be accounted for at these dates, hence my theory of the Simkins being at this works. Again no bricks stamped Simkins have been found.

We next find in 1888 that William Ward is now the owner of this brickworks with Ward being listed in Kelly's 1888 edition at California, Northfield. William Ward continues to be listed in Kelly's directories at this works until the 1908 edition & the Ward brick below will have been made between 1888 & 1908. The next available map in 1914 only shows the old claypit & Ward is not listed in Kelly's 1912 edition, so the works must have closed soon after 1908.

There is the option that Ward may have still had an interest in the Works while the Simkin's where brickmaking on this site as other accounts of Ward record him "later taking control of the Works in the 1880's after being on the board of BPB Co." If I get anymore information on this I will update the post.

This brick appears to be behind bars, but it is behind the netting to a brick making machine at Avoncroft Museum.

William Ward is also listed as owning a second works at Bourneville. Kelly's 1899 edition records the works at Raddlebarn Lane, today it's Road & coloured red on the 1902 map below. Then Kelly's 1900 to 1905 editions list the works on Elm Road, coloured green. I expect that in 1899 Elm Road had not been built & it was only an access lane to the works from Raddlebarn Lane. William Ward set up this brickworks to provide bricks to George Cadbury for his model village. Cadbury had built his chocolate factory together with 16 houses for his senior employees in 1879. Cadbury then purchased another 120 acres in 1893 to build his Bournville model village for the rest of his workers. With Ward being at his California Brickworks since 1888, I expect he initially provided Cadbury with bricks made at this works until he set up his Elm Road works around 1898. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1902.

M.F. Raybould & W. Raybould

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882.

This brickworks on Mill Lane, Harborne had previously been owned by James Smart 1849 to 1867 & then by John Sadler & Sons 1867 to 1872/3. We next find in White's 1873 edition that Marshall Frederick Raybould is listed at Mill Lane, Harborne & at Powke Lane, Oldhill near Rowly Regis. At this Powke Lane works Raybould was in partnership with Samuel Partridge & Joseph Guest with whom he had worked with since 1856, but Raybould was to shortly leave this partnership to concentrate on brickmaking at his new works at Harborne. The break up of this partnership must have taken place by 1875 as Raybould is only listed at Harborne in Kelly's 1875 Birmingham edition & Partridge & Guest are only listed together in Kelly's 1876 Staffs. edition. 

I slightly digress as I found that in a 1856 London Gazette Notice that Partridge, Guest & Raybould were also in partnership with John Tranter, brickmaking at Powke Lane, Oldhill operating under the company name of S. Partridge & Co. This notice records that Tranter then left the company on the 23rd September 1856 with the company name then changing to Partridge, Guest & Raybould. I have also found S. Partridge is listed at Oldhill in White's 1851 edition, so Raybould may have joined Partridge as early as say 1854/5. I have estimated that Marshall Frederick Raybould was brickmaking for around 44 years & will have been in his 60's when he retired. 

Now onto the trade directory entries for Marshall Frederick Raybould & as previously wrote he is first listed in White's 1873 edition at Mill Lane, Harborne & at Powke Lane, Oldhill. Then in White's 1875 & Kelly's 1876 editions the entry is Mill Lane, Harborne. We then find in Kelly's 1878 to 1897 editions Raybould's entry now reads Park Road, Harborne with Mill Lane being renamed Park Road around 1877/8. 

In Kelly's 1882 edition to Kelly's 1888 edition there is the addition of a second works owned by Raybould on Frederick Road, Selly Oak & this works is coloured yellow on the 1882 OS map below. Raybould had taken over this yard from Mrs. Eleanor Boylin in around 1881. Edward Boylin had operated this yard from 1871/2, then after his death in 1873 his wife ran the works. We next find Eleanor's son Charles Boylin joins her at the works with him being listed as a brickmaker in the 1881 census aged 25. So Charles could have started working at the brickworks not long after his father's death in 1873. 

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1882.

Back to Raybould & it appears that Marshall Raybould closed his Selly Oak yard around 1888/89 as it is not shown on 1900 OS map & the former brickworks site is shown as fields. A school is built there today.

We next find in Kelly's 1899 to 1905 editions Walter Raybould is listed as brickmaking at Harborne Park Road (previously named Mill Lane), Harborne & I taking it that Walter was Marshall's son & had taken over his brickworks. This works may have closed under Walter's ownership as the 1913 OS map only shows the old clay pit. An example of one of Walter's bricks is shown after the map.

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1901.

As a footnote I have found another brickmaker with the name of Raybould in Birmingham Directories, so whether this Raybould is the same Marshall Frederick Raybould I do not know, as no initials are given in these entries. The entries are Upton & Raybould, Highgate Brickworks, Leopold Street, Birmingham in Kelly's 1867 & 1868 editions. The 1872 edition only then records Joseph Upton at Leopold Street. So if it is Marshall Frederick Raybould in this Upton & Raybould partnership then the years of 1867/8 tie in with him then moving to his Harborne brickworks in 1873. On saying that Raybould at the same time was brickmaking at Oldhill with Partridge & Guest to around 1875, so how he was managing his time at each works is unknown. 

T. Williams, New Bridge

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1886.

Thomas Williams is listed in Kelly's 1868 to 1875 editions at Newbridge, Yardley, but in White's 1873 edition there is the one entry for Thomas Williams owning a second brickworks on Garrison Lane & I have written about this Garrison Lane (Albert Works) in Birmingham Brickworks - part 2. I have coloured this New Bridge works yellow on the 1886 map which shows the works disused at this date. We next find John William Clements is brickmaking at this yard & he is listed at Newbridge, Yardley in Kelly's 1876, 78 & 79 editions, after which I expect the yard closed. No bricks stamped Newbridge by either Williams or Clements have been found.

W. Loach, Quinton

Loach & Sons are listed in Kelly's 1879 & 80 editions at Beech Lane, Quinton. I also found that another brickmaker, Edward Airey is also listed at Beech Lane, Quinton in Kelly's 1876 to 1884 editions. The 1881 map below only shows one named brickworks (purple) & this was actually on Birch Road (green). I then spotted on the other side of Birch Road that there is a clay pit (orange) & a couple of buildings & I have come to the conclusion that this was the Loach's brickworks, but not named as such on this 1881 map because at the time this map was surveyed the Loach family had closed their brickyard. With Edward Airey still listed in directories up to 1884, I am almost certain that he was the brickmaker at the marked purple brickworks. Why trade directories listed both brickmakers as working on Beech Lane (coloured red) & not Birch Road is unknown, unless it was because Beech Lane was the main road into Quinton. The yellow coloured road is called The Hawthorns & at some point there had been a brickyard on this road with the marked old claypit. I also found another brickmaker, Thomas Bird is listed at the Beech Lane in Kelly's 1872 & White's 1875 edition, so he may have been at the purple works before Airey.

I have found a snippet of information on the web about the Loach family. Alfred Loach is recorded as brickmaker in 1880 & living with his family at Beech Lanes, so was he W. Loach's son ? The 1902 OS map now longer shows the purple works only the claypit & today Birch Walk & Birch Grove are built on this former brickworks site. Houses are also built where Loach's yard was on the opposite side of Birch Road & one cul de sac is called Squirrels Hollow. 

© Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1881.

Hay Mills

Under this heading I write about the five brickworks that where in Hay Mills & their many owners. At one stage two of the brickworks were both owned by Derrington & Sons, another company then took over both works & this was followed by one works closing & the other one changing hands again. So I start with the purple works on the 1886 OS map below. 

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1886.

Skelding & Barkling are listed in Kelly's 1879 edition at Red Hill, Yardley & I taking it that the yard that I have coloured purple was the one owned by this duo. Frank Barklam is next listed at Red Hill in Kelly's 1880 edition with the entry of Milton Crescent, Long Causeway, Yardley; & at Red Hill. Hulley's 1881 edition now lists Skelding & Barklam at Red Hill. Kelly's 1882 edition just lists Frank Barklam on his own at Red Hill. So I am wondering if the 1879 directory listing of Barkling should read Barklam ? There are no more trade directory entries for this works after 1882 & the 1900 map no longer shows this yard.

Now on to the green coloured works as shown on the 1886 map above. From later information found I have established that this works was owned by the Shipway family & another article records that the Shipway family started this works in the 1850's. Kelly's 1878 edition lists Henry Shipway at the Speedwell Brick Works, Red Hill, Yardley. This is the only entry for Henry Shipway at this works as Kelly's 1876 edition lists him at a works in Sparkbrook, Yardley & a map of that area does show a disused clay pit, so I don't think that this Sparkbrook entry could be classed as the Speedwell Brickworks in Hay Mills. We next find in Kelly's 1884 edition that Edwin Shipway & Co. are listed at this green coloured works with the listing of ; Works & Canal Wharf, Speedwell Road; office & retail yard, Coventry Road (orange), Hay Mills. Stevenson writes in 1933 book that Josiah Derrington purchased Henry Shipway's yard at Hay Mills in 1888 or 1889, with the yard then becoming Derrington's No.1 Yard. So it appears Henry Shipway was still one of the owners in the Edwin Shipway & Co. No bricks stamped Shipway have been found so far. Before I write about Josiah Derrington at this yard, I first write about the yellow coloured yard owned by Henry Powley who later, also sold his yard to Derrington.

Now on to the yellow coloured works & Henry Powley & Co. are first listed in Kelly's 1879 edition with the works address of Speedwell Brickworks, Red Hill, Yardley. This entry is slightly confusing as it is the same works address given by Henry Shipway. This address is then rectified in Kelly's next edition in 1880 & the entry now reads Henry Powley & Co. Yardley Brick Works, Hay Mills, Yardley. Whether this 1879 address entry was a mistake by Kelly's or if Powley did first call his works, Speedwell is unknown, but it was sorted out by the next directory. Powley & Co. are then listed in Kelly's with this Yardley Brick Works address until it's 1890 edition. Kelly's 1883 & 84 editions also include the office address of Coventry Road, Hay Mills. At this moment in time no bricks stamped Powley & Co. have turned up. Stevenson writes that Josiah Derrington purchases Powley & Co.'s yard around 1890 & it then became his No.2 Yard.

Photo by MF courtesy of the John Baylis Collection. 

I have been unable to establish who made the very elaborate Hay Mills Works, Yardley brick above, but I favour Powley & Co.

So with the green coloured works (1888) & the yellow coloured works (1890) now both owned by Josiah Derrington, he called his two works - No.1 yard & No.2 yard & this is when both works started to expand to the size as shown on the 1900 OS map below. Stevenson writes that Derrington initially suffered severe losses at his No. 1 Yard through fire & the complete flooding of the works on the eve of the new Century ! Derrington after purchasing the adjoining No. 2 Yard from Powley & Co. then set about taking out & scrapping unsuitable machinery & for a few years bricks were made by hand. In 1896 a wire-cut machine was installed & this was the first to work successfully in the Birmingham area. 

Josiah Derrington & Sons are listed at Hay Mills in Kelly's 1888 to 1915 editions with the addition of Speedwell Road added from the 1904 edition. As early as 1878 Josiah's son, Josiah Pearce Derrington is recorded as working along side his father, but when Josiah Pearce took over the running of the Company from his father is unknown. Josiah Derrington died at the age of 85 in 1920. For the Derrington's Garrison Lane Works, please see my article in Birmingham Brickworks - part 2

  © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1900.

The Derrington's then sold their two yards to the Builders & General Traders' Co. who are listed in Kelly's 1921 to 1933 editions with the address of Speedwell Road, Hay Mills. We next find between 1933 & 1936 the green coloured yard closed & the yellow coloured yard was taken over by the Yardley Brick Co. 

The Yardley Brick Co. are listed in Kelly's 1936 to 1940 editions with the address of Speedwell Road, Hay Mills. The 1938 edition records the works address as 198, Speedwell Road, hence me attributing the yellow coloured works to this Company. The only other works on Speedwell Road at this date was the Waterloo Works & this was owned by the Bayliss family & I write about this works next. Going back to the Yardley Brick Co. & the year this works closed is unknown, but with WW2 taking place I should think this is when it closed. No bricks stamped Yardley Brick Co. have been found so far. A web article states that after the green & yellow brickworks had closed the clay pits were used as municipal rubbish dumps by Birmingham Council.  

 © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with permission of NLS/Ordnance Survey 1938.

Now on to the Waterloo Brick Works (purple) as shown on the 1900 & 1938 maps above. This new works was started by Henry Hemming around 1895 & Henry is first listed at this works in Kelly's 1900 edition with the address of Speedwell Road, Hay Mills, Yardley. Henry continues to be listed with this works address up to Kelly's 1912 edition. Stevenson writes that Henry Hemming personally supervised the works ensuring that his bricks were well made & produced at the right price. The well laid out yard consisted of the most modern machinery of it's day with the drying sheds being heated by exhaust & live steam. A continuous Belgian kiln was then used to fire the bricks. 

Stevenson writes that after Hemmings had sold his Waterloo Brickworks he then started a new works at Wood End, Earlswood. Now I have found that Earlswood was originally situated in the Parish of Solihull, hence this quarry tile photographed in a friends collection being stamped Solihull. I have been unable to determine the location of this Wood End works as it is not shown on the 1913 map.  

Going back to the Wellington Brickworks & Hemming then sells his works to Frank & William Bayliss around 1913 with these two brothers being first listed in Kelly's 1915 edition with the works address of Speedwell Road Hay Mills. This entry continues until Kelly's 1933 when the entry is just for William Bayliss. Kelly's 1936 edition now lists the company as Bayliss Brickworks Ltd. A web article states that this works closed in 1969 with it's owners being the Birmingham Brick Co., but I have been unable to find any concrete evidence to back up this account. 

Photographs of Bayliss's brickworks & bit more info on Hay Mills brickworks can be seen/read at this link.

There's one more brickworks to write about & this is the blue coloured yard shown on the 1900 map above. I am sorry to say that I cannot find any information or trade directory entries for this yard which was also accessed off Speedwell Road. This works is not on the 1886 map & is only shown as a clay pit & pond on the 1913 map, so the only option that I can offer is that it may have been worked by Josiah Derrington & Sons. If I get the answer to this conundrum, I will update the entry. Please get in touch if you know the answer to this works owners, Thanks.

I wish to thank the following :- 
National Library of Scotland/Ordnance Survey - maps
Chris Thornburn & John Baylis - for allowing me to photograph their brick collections. 
I have gathered some information from a book called Workshop of the World - Birmingham's Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill to whom I am indebted. Also from this link by Ray Shill.
Info for this post has also come from A.H. Stevenson's 1933 book & these four sites.