Market Lavington Museum

Brickworks transport

We know that the brickworks in Market Lavington was quite a big and labour intensive concern. A photograph dated 1900 and, therefore, from the early days of Holloway Bros ownership, shows their manpower.

The boards being held up read ‘Holloway Bros’ and ‘Market Lavington Brick, Tile & Pottery Works.’

The enterprise not only required manpower, but transport too. We have seen an on site clay truck in At the brick works in 1928 and learned that coal was delivered from Somerset by steam wagon. (See Quality bricks.) But the finished product was heavy and needed to be delivered to customers. Back in the days of Box ownership we know this involved the use of a traction engine. (See Building the chapel.)

In the Holloway era, bricks were still hauled by traction engine. Tom George recalled this pulling two wagons with hard tyres. Our photograph may actually show three wagons attached to a Box patent engine. The respected steersman was Jack Sheppard.

Tom George, born in 1920, son of the brickworks manager, said the engine could also have a rope attached and be used for pulling down trees in awkward places, such as at the Black Dog crossroads. Tom’s oral history recording explained that a brick delivery journey and return was often a whole day undertaking. Later the works had a Scammell truck for this purpose.

Fortunately, however, a traction engine from Market Lavington brickworks still survives and has been painstakingly restored to working condition. It is called Lord Roberts and its current owner brought it to Wiltshire in July 2018 to revisit its old haunts. In our photograph it is at the Market Lavington Vintage Meet.