R.E Cook Remembers ...
"I was born next door but one to Harris & Pearson in 1935. My mother, Elizabeth
Cook, worked there for about 15 years in 1942 till 1957. I also
worked there, my first job when I left school at 15 until I went
into the army. I worked as a page to Billy Jones who was the brickmaker.
We made bricks by hand rolling clods of clay, punching it into
moulds and bumping it on a big wooden table, cutting off the surplus
clay with a wire and laying them on a hot floor.
The manager was Charley Salt. The yard foreman was Charley Richards. George
Barker was in charge of the mill. There was a belt driven motor
which operated a crusher where the old bricks were crushed and
mixed with the clay from Whittymore Mines in the mill. The mixture
had to be just right.
Fred Biddlestone was the tempera and in charge
of the pug where the clay came out and cut into wire cuts 12
at a time, loaded on to a barrow and the setter's would set out
the kilns. The bricks would be in the kilns about 3 days, then the
drawers would empty the kilns. The bricks (were) then loaded
on to barges. The woman did the loading."