Thursday, 12 March 2020

George Wood & Sons, Wood Brothers, Wood & Ivery, P & S Wood - Brickmakers in Oldbury & West Bromwich.

I had always wondered if there was a connection between George Wood of the Brades Brickworks in Oldbury & the George Wood who was running the Albion Brickworks in West Bromwich before he went into partnership with John William Ivery at this works. In a nutshell the answer is yes. George Wood who was born in 1808 is our man, but it's not as straight forward as that because my research on Ancestry has revealed that George had 9 sons & 7 of them became brickmakers & they all worked for him at some point, only his youngest son Enoch became an architect. So trying to establish which son was running or helping to run the family business at a set point in time has been an uphill challenge. I therefore can only put forward the sons who were available at that moment in time. George's eldest son John, died when he was young & William died when he was 23. To complicate things more George's second eldest son was also called George (b.1835) & in turn he named his son George (b.1864) & all three were to run the Brades Brickworks in Oldbury. When my research got to sons 7 & 8, I found that this was Peter & Samuel Wood at the Pump House Brickworks in West Bromwich. Therefore I have established that George & his sons were to work at, or own at least eight brickworks in Oldbury & West Bromwich during their lifetimes, so I have split this post into four sections, George's early life in Oldbury, then the Brades & Gower brickworks, then the Albion & Radnall brickworks & I finish the post with the Pump House brickworks. 

George's early life in Oldbury.

The 1841 census records that brickmaker George Wood was born in Audley, Staffs in 1808 & living with his wife, Sarah, three sons & one daughter in West Bromwich. The home address for George in this census is unreadable, but other families on this page are listed as living on Oldbury Lane, West Bromwich, so he will have lived nearby. At which brickworks George was working at & for whom at this time is unknown. The first trade directory entry that I have for George is Kelly's 1849 Birmingham edition & it records G. Wood, Nile Street, Birmingham. This entry is repeated in Kelly's 1850 edition. I have found from my next trade directory entry that Nile Street was George's wharf-side depot in Birmingham & Slater's 1852 entry reads George Wood, (blue bricks & tiles); wharf, Nile Street, Birmingham. George's advert in this 1852 directory shown below, reveals that his brickworks was at Portway near Oldbury.

 Slater's 1852 trade directory.

The earliest map of Portway found is 1881, but there are no brickworks marked working, disused or the remains of clay pits shown in this village, however the 1851 census records George & his family were now living on Newbury Lane, Oldbury & this road connects Portway village to Oldbury. Old maps show a brickworks near to Portway on Newbury Lane & it has a tramway leading to the Birmingham Canal. So this brickworks fits the bill of it being owned by George with him being able to transport his bricks by barge to his Nile Street depot in Birmingham. Because this brickworks is shown split between two 1882 maps, I have used the 1902 OS map below to show you the brickworks & it's tramway to the canal, which I have coloured green, Newbury Lane is coloured red, Portway Road into Oldbury town centre is coloured yellow & Portway village is coloured purple.

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

Photo by Angel Rose.

Photo by Tim Geater, courtesy of Penmorfa brick website.

Kelly's 1860 edition records George was still working at Portway & the 1861 census records George & his family were still living on Newbury Lane. This census also records that Brick Master, George Wood was employing 50 men, women, boys & girls at his works. We also find in this 1861 census that son George Junior (b.1835) had left home & is recorded as a brickmaker aged 26, living with his wife, Emma on Titford Road, Oldbury. I am assuming George junior was working at his father's brickworks with the 1851 census recording both George junior & his younger brother Thomas as apprentices in brickyard. Kelly's Birmingham 1862, 67 & 68 editions continue to record George Wood at his Nile Street depot in Birmingham. We then find in Jones' 1865 edition that George Wood (b.1808) was operating a second brickworks called the Albion Works in West Bromwich as well as his Oldbury Works & I write more about the Albion Works later. 

Photos by Elizabeth Thomson who spotted this G. Wood coping in a garden wall in Harborne, Birmingham.

It appears George had also moved from his Newbury Lane brickworks in the late 1860's as Kelly's 1870 edition now lists him brickmaking on Halesowen Street, Oldbury. This brickworks was next to the canal & was accessible from Halesowen Street via Union Street & I have coloured this works green on the 1882 OS map below.

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

A 1912 advert which I will show later records that the company of George Wood & Sons was established in 1870. Now this raises a few questions which I cannot be precise on what happened next as we find that George senior (b.1808) in the 1871 census is recorded as a Retired Brick Manufacturer. I have therefore come to the conclusion that George established this company in 1870 for his sons to take over the running of his brickworks. His eldest son George junior (b.1835) in the 1871 census is recorded as a Brickyard Manager living with his family in Blackpool & I have estimated with his sons Samuel & Harry both being born in Oldbury, George junior was in Blackpool (at maximum) between 1868 & 1874, so George junior was not in Oldbury at the time of the formation of George Wood & Sons. While George junior was in Blackpool, I can only put forward that his brothers Thomas, Daniel & Peter were in charge of the day to day running of George senior's company with them all being listed as Brick Manufacturers or Brick Masters in the 1871 census & they were running the Albion Works. It may have been with the 1871 retirement of George senior that the Wood family left the Halesowen Street brickworks with the Wood Brothers next operating the Brades Brickworks by 1876. I write more about George's sons in the Brades & Albion entries that follow next.

With this brick being stamped G. Wood & Sons Oldbury it may have been made at George's Halesowen Street works in 1870 with the company of George Wood & Sons being established in that year.

Brades & Gower Brickworks

The earliest written evidence of the Wood family owning the Brades Brickworks is in Kelly's 1876 edition when it lists the Wood Brothers at the Brades Brick & Tile Works, Brades & an advert from that directory is shown next. 

Kelly's 1876 Trade Directory.

Photo by Alan Murray-Rust.

With George Wood (b.1808) being retired by 1871 it was now his sons who had established & was running the Brades Brickworks in 1876, but I expect he still had some input into the running of things. So which brothers had formed Wood Brothers & from my findings I believe George junior (b.1835) for certain, as had returned from Blackpool by 1874 with his son Harry being born in Oldbury in 1874. Then there is the choice between Thomas (b.1837), Charles (b.1848), but with finding one of his sons was born in Lincoln in 1878 & Charles recorded as a brickmaker in Lincoln in the 1881 census I may have to discount Charles as being in this partnership. Next is Daniel, but he was also brickmaking in Lincoln as recorded the 1881 census & he may have moved there with Charles in 1878. Finally we have Peter (b.1851). I have to mention at least one these brothers would have been managing the Albion Works at this time. It is unknown which one, Thomas was living on Albion Road, West Bromwich & both Daniel & Peter were living with their father at Albion House, Bull Lane, West Bromwich. Albion House was situated on the eastern edge of the Albion brickworks site on Bull Lane & this house can be seen on the OS map in the Albion entry. 

I have used the 1902 OS map of Oldbury below to show the Brades Brickworks (coloured yellow). This map also shows the works had excellent canal access & had road access to Brades village via Brades Bridge.

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

Kelly's 1880 directory.

Kelly's 1880 edition lists the Wood Brothers (blue) with the address of Tividale, Oldbury & the advert above is featured in this directory.

George Wood senior (b.1808) died on the 22nd April 1880 & he left £35,000 pounds which today equates to over 4 Million Pounds today. WOW !!!!!

We then find in Kelly's 1884 edition there was a change in ownership at the Brades Brickworks & George Wood (b.1835) was running this works on his own & the entry reads George Wood (red, brown & blue), Brades Brickworks, Tividale. The 1881 census records George as a Brick Manufacturer living on Brades Road together with his wife Emma, three sons & two daughters.

Below is George's advert from Kelly's 1884 Staffs edition & it states "Late Wood Brothers", meaning the company had operated previously as Wood Brothers. It was a way of saying "Under New Management". As to what happened to the other brothers in this former partnership, Thomas in the 1881 census was now a farmer, Charles & Daniel were brickmaking in Lincoln & Peter in 1884 was in partnership with his younger brother Samuel (b.1853) at the Pump House Brickworks in West Bromwich. I write more about the Pump House Brickworks later.

Kelly's 1884 trade directory courtesy of Graces Guide.

A canal wall, half moon coping brick. Photo by Elizabeth Thomson.

I came across this George Wood wall coping at 4 Oaks Reclamation in May 2021 & it's whopper, being made to span a wall three bricks thick, so if you are in need of some of these large copings 4 Oaks has a good stock of them.

Back to the Brades works & George Wood's entry in Kelly's 1888 edition reads the same as in his 1884 entry. There is also another advert for George in Kellys 1888 edition, but this time without the "Late Wood Brothers" & it is shown below. 

Kelly's 1888 trade directory.

The 1891 census records George Wood & family as living at Brades House, Brades Road, Oldbury & I have coloured Brades House purple on the 1902 OS map above. Kelly's 1896 edition now reads George Wood & Sons, (red, brown & blue), Brades Brick & Tile Works, Tividale & below is George's advert from this directory. So George had now been joined by his sons, George junior (b.1864), Samuel (b.1868) & Harry (b.1874) at the Brades Brickworks.

Kelly's 1896 trade directory.

Photos by David Kitching.

Kelly's 1900 edition entry for George Wood & Sons is the same as their 1896 entry. The 1901 census again records George Wood as living at Brades House, Brades Road, Oldbury. Also in this census, sons George junior was living at "Woodville" on Dudley Road, Samuel was living at "Woodlands" on Dudley Road & Harry was living at "Hazelhurst on Dudley Road together with their respective wives & children. Kelly's 1904 & 1908 editions list George Wood & Sons were now only producing blue bricks at the Brades Blue Brickworks, Oldbury. 

George Wood (b1835) died on the 5th of August 1910 at Brades House & his probate notice records that he left £31,000 & his executors are named as his son Harry, Brick Manufacturer & younger brother Enoch, Architect. After George (b.1835) had passed away his sons continued to trade as George Wood & Sons. 

In the 1911 census George junior & his family were now living on Bath Row in Rounds Green. However Widower Samuel & one daughter were still living at "Woodlands" & Harry & his wife were still living at "Hazelhurst" both on Dudley Road.

Kelly's 1912 edition entry is the same as in Kelly's 1904 & 1908 editions & below is the company's advert from Kelly's 1912 edition, which records the Company of George Wood & Sons had been established in 1870 by George Wood born in 1808, our first George Wood.

Kelly's 1912 trade directory.

I next found in the Edinburgh Gazette dated 3rd of November 1914 that brothers George Wood of The Dingle, Rounds Green, Samuel Wood of Dudley Road & Harry Wood of Dudley Road, Brick Manufacturers trading as George Wood & Sons at the Brades Blue Brickworks & the Gower Brickworks, Oldbury had gone bankrupt. This is the first reference found to the brothers running the Gower Brickworks which was situated on land next to the Brades Brickworks. I have coloured the Gower Brickworks green on the 1902 OS map above. I have since found (Oct. 2020) that John Hadley owned the Gower Brickworks up to November 1906 when he went bankrupt, so the Wood Brothers may have taken over the Gower works in 1906/7, running it up to November 1914. With the brothers going bankrupt this then poses the question of what happen to the vast amount of money their father left them four years earlier unless they sunk it into purchasing the Gower Brickworks ? Also with George's (b.1835) brother, Enoch being named as Executor of his Will, some money may have gone to George's other brothers. Although not stamped Wood the Gower brick below may have been made by the brothers at this works. 

There is the option that John Hadley made this Gower brick, however we do know for certain that John Hadley did make the coping brick below at the Gower Works because of the stamp mark.

Photo by Elizabeth Thomson.

As a footnote on the Brades brickworks, I have found in Kelly's 1916 & 1921 editions the entry of the Brades Blue Brick Co. Ltd. Brades Blue Brickworks, Oldbury & this is followed by the entry of Blue Bricks (Oldbury) Ltd, Brades Road, Oldbury 
in Kelly's 1924 to 1940 editions, so who owned the Brades Brickworks between these dates is unknown. However it is possible that George, Samuel or Harry Wood had established this new company & reopened the Brades Brickworks in 1921. Only the 1921 census when released will answer my theory of the brothers restarting this works if they are still recorded as Brick Manufacturers. Frank Lawson came across this Star of David brick with the letter B stamped in it, so does this B stand for Brades Blue Brick Co. Ltd. or Blue Bricks (Oldbury) Ltd. & the Wood brothers had acquired the Star of David Trade Mark from their uncles, Peter & Samuel Wood ? It's one to ponder on until 2021 when the census is released.

Photo by Frank Lawson.

Albion & Radnall Brickworks

The Albion Brickworks at Greets Green, West Bromwich is recorded as being owned by George Wood (b.1808) in Jones's 1865 edition. Situated on Albion Road, I have coloured this works yellow & Albion Road red on the 1902 OS map below. The works had it's own wharf on the Birmingham Canal & this map also shows that the Albion brickworks was situated adjacent to Joseph Hamblet's renowned blue brick works. 

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

Kelly's 1868 edition lists George Wood (& blue) at the Albion Works, West Bromwich.

Photo by Peter Earley. Spotted at Camp Hill, no. 4 lock on the Grand Union Canal at Bordesley.

The 1871 census records George Wood (b.1808) as a Retired Brick Manufacturer living at Albion House, Bull Lane, West Bromwich & I have coloured Bull Lane brown & Albion House green on the 1902 OS map above.  

George Wood (1808) is then joined by J.W. Ivery at the Albion Brickworks & this partnership of Wood & Ivery is first listed in Kellys 1872 edition, but with George being recorded as being retired in 1871 the Wood in Wood & Ivery could now be either, George's son Thomas (b.1837) who is listed as a Brick Master & living on Albion Road in the 1871 census or Daniel (b.1850) or Peter (b.1851). Both Daniel & Peter are listed as Brick Manufacturers & living with their father at Albion House in the 1871 census. I have to note that any of these brothers were also in the partnership with George junior (b.1835) in Wood Brothers at the Brades Brickworks in 1876.

Hoping that I have found the correct J.W. Ivery on Family Search website, John William Ivery was the son of John Robert & Caroline Henrietta Ivery & he was christened on the 23rd of January 1853 in Old Swinford, Worcs. 

The meaning of "Late Wood" in the Wood & Ivery advert below from Kelly's 1872 trade directory is recording that the brickworks had been run by George Wood (b.1808) on his own before he had entered into this partnership with John Ivery.

My next find on the web is an index page to a Prospectus for Wood & Ivery dated 19th of August 1876 in which it records that the company had now formed into a Limited Company, owning two works, the Albion Works, West Bromwich & one on the Radnall Field Estate in Oldbury. A newspaper article in Aris's Birmingham Gazette dated 9th of September, 1897 reveals the Albion Works site doubled in size with Wood & Ivery Co. Ltd purchasing the land north of their works from Alfred Humpage, a Birmingham builder, brickmaker & speculator who had purchased this land only months earlier in order in my book to make money out of W & I's expansion plans. When Humpage purchased this land it had a colliery, a firebrick works, houses & cottages built upon it, but when W & I expanded their works all this was swept away with the extension of their clay pit, so where it says coal pit next to the clay pit on the 1902 map above, this had been the land owned by Humpage. As to this Limited Company's second brickworks on the Radnall Field Estate, Oldbury & again info from this newspaper article, this land which only had a colliery built upon it was purchased in 1876 from William W. Riddell, owner of the Garrison Farm Brickworks in Birmingham. W & I then built a brand new brickworks there & I have coloured this Radnall Brickworks yellow on the 1902 OS map below. The brickworks shown on this map just above the Radnall Brickworks was called Radnor Field Brickworks & was run by William Morris & then by his executors of his Will, as recorded in Kelly's 1860 to 1940 editions. Here is the link to the 1914 OS map showing the names of both works, which can be slightly confusing with both brickworks having similar names.

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

Kelly's 1880 directory entry lists Wood & Ivery's Radnall Field Works as a branch works to it's Albion Works & I show this entry below as it also lists the many types of bricks & other clay products that W & I produced.

Kelly's 1880 Trade Directory.

With this Kelly's 1880 entry recording J.W. Ivery as General Manager, fellow brick collector Ray Martin spotted this W & I Staffordshire Knot coping brick in Sutton Coldfield. I have also seen this stamp mark on an extremely large coping brick in a reclamation yard, but the imprint was not as good as this one. Many thanks, Ray.

Photo by Ray Martin.
Photo by Ray Martin.

In the 1881 census John William Ivery is listed as a Manager of Brick Company & living with his wife Ellen & their four children at 42, Westfield Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. I then did a searched for John & his family in the 1891 census & with me not finding one I was then surprised to find documents recording that John William Ivery had emigrated to America in 1882 & his family followed him four years later. John is recorded as being a fireman at a clay mine in the States. So this begs the question of why John made this radical change to his life with him being in such a good job at the Albion Brickworks. It appears John's move to America did not affect the company name of Wood & Ivery Limited as it was not changed after his departure. I have not being able to establish if another Mr. Ivery was involved with the Albion Brickworks afterwards, but I can say John's two sons joined him in America in 1886, so we can discount them. 

Photos by Elizabeth Thomson.

In 1881 there may have been a change in the son who was the Wood in Wood & Ivery as we find Thomas was now a farmer in the 1881 census & Daniel was brickmaking in Lincoln with his brother Charles, so that now leaves Peter (b.1851) or the next son, Samuel Wood (b.1853 & Brick Manufacturer in the 1881 census) as the contenders. I then found Samuel was in partnership with his older brother Peter at the Pump House Brickworks in 1884, so Samuel with the later help of his two sons may have been running the Albion, Radnall & Pump House Brickworks at the same time. I have come to this conclusion because I have no more brothers to put forward in the running of the Albion & Radnall Works. However there is an outside chance that elder brother George (b.1835) & his three sons at the Brades Brickworks were helping to run the Albion & Radnall Works. With me going with the option of Samuel & his two sons in running the Albion & Radnall Works, I write more about them soon. 

In the 1890's Wood & Ivery produced between 200,000 and 300,000 blue bricks a week at it's Albion Brickworks (British History Online) & in 1894 or 1895 the BBS Journal records that Wood & Ivery had received an order for 10 million bricks from the Great Central Railway. So the 1890's appears to have been a boom time for Wood & Ivery as the Company won many gold medals for their bricks at many trade shows around the world during this decade. 

As said my preferred son in running the Albion & Radnall Works in the 1880's & 1890's is Samuel, but I cannot rule out Peter in helping to run these works as well. My reasoning that I have put forward Samuel is because in the 1901 census we find both his sons Albert (b.1876) & Walter (b.1878) are listed as Brick Manufacturers & Employers & will have been helping him to running the Albion & Radnall Brickworks in the 1900's. Also with the Pump House Brickworks being solely owned by Peter Wood in 1900 that is another reason why I am thinking Samuel & his sons were at the Albion & Radnall Brickworks. 

Kelly’s 1904 edition is the last listing for Wood & Ivery at the Albion Works, West Bromwich, but the Radnall Brickworks, Church Bridge, Oldbury is still listed in Kelly's 1908 edition, so I am taking it that Wood & Ivery closed the Albion Works first shortly after 1904 & the Radnall Brickworks had closed by 1912 as there is no entry in Kelly's 1912 edition for this works. 

I end this section with two more examples of Wood & Ivery's Staffordshire Knot bricks & a W & I Albion Works canal towpath brick.

Photo by Ray Martin.

Photo by Elizabeth Thomson.

Pump House Brickworks

Photo by John Maxwell, courtesy of Penmorfa brick website.

I have established that George Wood's (b.1808) 7th & 8th sons, Peter (b.1851) & Samuel (b.1853) were the owners of the Pump House Brickworks in West Bromwich & operating under the style of P & S Wood. It was through the census records for Peter & Samuel plus Samuel's home address in these census that I made this connection.

Photo by Paul Gower.

Photo by Christian Vogt.

Christian found this example in the tidal waters of the River Elbe close to Hamburg, Germany. Christian tells me that thousands of buildings destroyed in Hamburg during WW2 were dumped in the area next to the river where he found this brick. Photos from a second email reveal this example is a smooth faced paver. Many Thanks Christian for your contribution.   

Photos by Brunhilde Bontrup.

Brunhilde found this P. & S. Wood, Pump House Brick Works, West Bromwich diamond paver in Hamburg, with it coming from a house built in 1906. Wood's Star of David bricks have also been found in the garden. So it appears Woods exported thousands of bricks to Hamburg in the early 1900's. Many thanks Brunhilde for sending me your images. 

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

The 1902 OS map above shows that the Pump House Brickworks was situated between Greets Green & Horsley Heath & had direct access to the canal. Peter & Samuel Wood are first listed in Kelly's 1884 edition at the Pump House Brickworks in West Bromwich & the advert below from the 1884 London Suburbs edition of the Post Office Trade Directory shows that the brothers had Trade Marked the Star of David symbol with a W in the centre & bricks stamped with this Trade Mark are shown later. Kelly's 1884 & 88 editions list P & S Wood were producing blue & red bricks; & ridge tiles at their Pump House Brick Works. It is unknown why the company adopted the Star of David symbol as a Trade Mark.

Kelly's 1884 Worcestershire directory.

In the 1891 census Peter (b.1851) aged 40 & listed as a Brick Manufacturer & living with his wife Amelia & four small children (all under 7) at 82, Paradise Street, West Bromwich. This street no longer exists, but I found a 1965 reference to it being off Lyng Lane in the centre of town. Meanwhile Samuel in the 1891 census was living on a road called Horsley Heath, Tipton & I have coloured this road red on the map above. So from his house, number 12, Samuel would have had a view of the brickworks & a quick journey to & from work. Samuel is listed as brick maker & employer in this census living with his wife, Abigail & two sons, Albert Ernest, aged 15, a clerk & Walter Clifford, aged 13, a scholar. Kelly's 1892 edition lists the company with blue in brackets, so I am assuming the company was only producing blue bricks & copings from this date. 

A Notice in the London Gazette dated 20th of October 1893 records that Peter & Samuel Wood had dissolved their partnership by mutual consent on the 16th of October 1893. Peter Wood would then continue to run the Pump House Brickworks under the style of Peter Wood Ltd. All debts due to or owing by the said late firm would be received & payed by the said Peter Wood. 

I next find that Kelly's 1896 edition still records P & S Wood at the Pump House Brickworks, I am therefore at a loss why they are still listed when this partnership had been dissolved in 1893. In Kelly's 1900 edition we do find that the entry is now Peter Wood Ltd. at the Pump House Brickworks.

Next I show four different frog designs, all stamped with the Star of David & a W in the middle.

This next Star of David is a 4 inch square cobble brick which I photographed at the Black Country Living Museum.

With Samuel leaving this partnership in 1893 I am assuming he did this to concentrate on running the Albion Works. Samuel is still listed as a Brick Manufacturer in the 1901 census & living on Horsley Heath road with his wife & son Walter, aged 23, also a Brick Manufacturer. Both Samuel & Walter are recorded as Employers in this census. Meanwhile Samuel's other son Albert, aged 25 was living at 11 Bagnall Street in West Bromwich as a border with his profession given as a Brick Manufacturer & Employer. So with Samuel & his two sons being recorded as Employers in 1901 & Peter was running the Pump House Brickworks on his own by 1900, this is were I am assuming that Samuel, Albert & Walter were running the Albion & Radnall brickworks. Although near to the centre of West Bromwich, Bagnall Street is not to far from the Radnall Brickworks. If I do find concrete information on Samuel & his two sons running the Albion & Radnall Brickworks, I will update the post. 

So with the Pump House Brickworks now being run solely by Peter Wood we find Peter & his family in the 1901 census were living at 35, Beeches Road, West Bromwich. Kelly's 1904 edition is the last entry for Peter Wood Limited at the Pump House Brickworks, so I expect the works closed soon afterwards. Peter in the 1911 census is recorded as a retired brickmaker aged 60 with his wife Amelia & three grown up sons in their 20's living at 10, Carlton Avenue, Handsworth. None of these sons are listed as being brickmakers.

It is thought this W. Ltd brick was made by Peter Wood, but cannot be verified.

In the 1911 census Samuel Wood is also recorded as a retired Brick Manufacturer aged 58 & living at 213, Cheshire Road, Smethwick with his wife Abigail & their youngest sons Denis (26) & Graham (15). Neither of these two sons became brickmakers. In the 1911 census Albert is now recorded as a Joiner/Builder & there is no census listing for Walter, but we find he was in the Royal Airforce in 1917, so may have joined before 1911.

Updated 2.12.20.

With finding the Daniel & Peter Wood stamp mark in a canal magazine which is on a coping brick on the Tame Valley Canal & Elizabeth Thomson spotting the D & P Wood, West Bromwich coping below in Harborne, Birmingham, I have come to the conclusion that before Peter & Samuel ran the Pump House Brickworks, Daniel (b.1850, George's 6th son) & Peter were in partnership at the works & this will have been sometime after the 1881 census with Daniel being recorded as brickmaking in Lincoln in the census & 1884 when we have the first listing for Peter & Samuel at the Pump House Brickworks. It is unknown what happened to Daniel after 1884, but I have found Daniel had married Mary Ann & the couple produced a son called James who was born on the 10th of June 1881.

Photo by Elizabeth Thomson.

This photo of the remains of the Pump House Brickworks was taken by John Roberts in the 1960's & John tells me that his Grandfather also named John Roberts was a foreman at the Pump House Brickworks until it closed, which was sometime before 1910. John then went to work at Nock's Brickworks in Erdington, again as a foreman. John worked his way up the company & in 1933 he became a Director at Nock's. It was at this time that John had bricks made stamped with the Star of David symbol, but his Grandson does not know why he produced these bricks with this symbol. I can only assume with John being at P & S Woods & making Star of David bricks there & with them being a success, he may have thought producing these bricks at Nock's would promote their brick sales as well. I expect we will never get the answer to this one. John Roberts remained a Director at Nock's until his death. 

I wish to Thank -
Ray Martin - photos
Frank Lawson - photo
Elizabeth Thomson - photos - Elizabeth shares her time between these two organisations.
Alan Murray-Rust - photo
John Roberts - photo & info
Tim Geater - photo
John Maxwell - photo
Paul Gower - photo
Christian Vogt - photo
Brunhilde Bontrup - photo
Peter Earley - photo
Penmorfa brick website - photos
Graces Guide - adverts
Black Country Living Museum
National Library of Scotland & Ordinance Survey - maps
Ancestry - Census info
Kelly's & Slater's Directories


  1. Thank you so much for all this information. George Wood (1808) was my great x 5 grandfather and this was fascinating to read

  2. Hello Unknown, A while back I was contacted by a gentleman in Essex who is also a direct Wood descendant of George Wood, so if you would like to make contact with him please email me at this address & I will ask him to contact you. Thanks, Martyn

  3. Hi how much are the star of David bricks worth?

    1. Nothing really. You can pick them up from reclamation yards for a couple of quid.

  4. Hier in Hamburg Altona findet man einige Auffahrten vor alten Häusern aus diesen Klinkern. Sie sind rautenförmig gerastert, damit sie nicht zu glatt sind für Fuhrwerke. Bei Bauarbeiten habe ich heute einen von P.&S.WOOD, Pump Housebrick works aus Westbromwich gefunden. Wie kommt der aus GB nach Hamburg? Die Häuser stammen aus 1906 etwa. Brunhilde

    1. Here in Hamburg Altona you can find some driveways in front of old houses made of these clinker bricks. They are rasterized in a diamond shape so that they are not too smooth for wagons. During construction work today I found one from P. & S.WOOD, Pump Housebrick works from West Bromwich. How does he get from the UK to Hamburg? The houses date from around 1906. Brunhilde

      Hi, Quite easily. These bricks will have been transported to Tilbury Docks in London via the Railways, then cargo ship to Hamburg. These Woods bricks, same as bricks from the Hamblet's Works also in West Bromwich & Doultons in Rowley Regis were transported all round the world with all three companies producing high quality blue bricks & pavers. I have been informed Doulton's bricks have turned up in Chile & Argentina. So as they say quality sells. Cheers, Martyn

      Hallo, ganz einfach. Diese Ziegel werden über die Eisenbahn zu den Tilbury Docks in London und dann per Frachtschiff nach Hamburg transportiert. Diese Woods-Ziegel wurden ebenso wie Ziegel aus den Hamblet's Works auch in West Bromwich & Doultons in Rowley Regis um die ganze Welt transportiert, wobei alle drei Unternehmen hochwertige blaue Ziegel und Pflastersteine ​​herstellten. Ich wurde informiert, dass Doultons Ziegel in Chile und Argentinien aufgetaucht sind. Wie heißt es so schön: Qualität verkauft sich. Prost, Martyn


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