Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Apedale Heritage Centre, Chesterton, Staffs.

I came across this great museum on the web while I was doing a brick search in the Chesterton area. My cousin had previously mentioned it's brick collection when she had visited Apedale Country Park. So while I was visiting my cousin in Congleton this year, Apedale was on the list for us to visit.
The museum covers the Romans through to daily life in Staffordshire, but I went mainly to see & photograph Ken Perkins & Eddie Grela's North Staffordshire brick collections. I took at least 120 photos & I don't think that I photographed all of the bricks then, but here is a small selection to wet your appetite to go & visit the museum. 
After contacting Ken, we met up for a chat the following Saturday which lasted a good hour and a half. Ken's collection also contains newspaper cuttings & history on some of the brickworks. There is also a collection of roof tiles owned by Gordon Howle who's father Selwyn owned & made tiles locally from 1932 to 1939.
The museum is open on Saturday & Sunday plus other days in the week during school holidays & it's free. There is also a steam train to ride on, plus a drift mine to go down (these you have to pay for), so there is plenty to see & do.

You will find photos of the rest of the museum & our train ride on my Days Out blog. 

So here are few of my photos with a little bit of info.

Apedale - History of the brickworks can be read here - 

Cobridge Brick & Sanitary Pipe Co. Ltd is recorded as being at Hamil Road & Leek New Road in 1907.

Made by James Downing at his Defiance Brickyard in Chesterton.

The next three bricks were made by Wilkinson Brothers & their history can be read at this link - 

Thomas Adams brickworks at Newfield, Tunstall is recorded in a trade directory for 1869.

The Berry Hill Colliery & Brickworks were purchased in 1914 by John Slater & by 1918 he also owned New Haden Colliery & Brickworks.

Mr. D. Duddell is recorded in 1959 in making bricks at the Oldfield Brick & Marl Works, Fenton.

The Wall Grange Brick & Tile Works started around 1890 & closed in the 1950's. The works was situated in the Park Lane area of Wall Grange, Leek. 

Vitros was the trade name for the North Staffordshire Brick & Tile Co. Ltd. at Chesterton. Recorded in the Staffordshire Potteries Directory for 1868, this extensive works closed in the 1970's. They produced blue bricks, copings, pavers & plain roof tiles.

Dalehall produced good quality red & blue bricks at it's Ellgreave Street Works,Dalehall in Burslem from around 1850. The link below shows a map of the works in 1898.
I have found a reference to the works being owned in 1902 by the Stanley Brothers, brick manufacturers in Nuneaton, making red & blue quarry tiles at Dalehall. 

Recorded in the 1907 Potteries Directory, the Pear Tree Glazed Brick & Marl Co. was on High St. in Hanley. The works take it's name from the Peartree pit which was owned by Shelton Collieries which previously occupied the site.  

Recorded as brickmaker in Basford, SoT in 1867, Thomas Bradbury is next recorded as Bradbury & Co. in 1869, with 1876 being the last entry for this company.

I found one these bricks in Congleton, during a rummage around the back streets with my cousin, not knowing that the letters stood for Robert Heath at the time. It was not until my second visit to Apedale that I spotted the same brick & it was made by Robert Heath & Sons who had extensive coal & iron  interests in the Biddulph & Kidsgrove areas, operating brickworks at Cobridge & Smallthorne around 1900.

I had an hand in the Museum getting these next two bricks by John & Elijah Hughes (father & son).
I had photographed two of these bricks at Macclesfield Reclamation yard, which I duly put on that post. I was then contacted by fellow collector David Kitching, who helps Ken with his collection, who asked if I had actually got these bricks as they were on their most wanted list. Alas not, but there were more at the yard, which David went to get. 

John Hughes born c 1807 was followed by his son Elijah Forrester Hughes in his brick making business in Corbridge, Stoke on Trent. Elijah is recorded in the 1872 edition of Kelly's Trade Directory as brickmaker.

The Potteries Brick Company. This was a group of around twenty manufacturer's who produce bricks under the PBC name as well as their own, each stamping the bricks with a different letter to signify the maker.

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