Market Lavington Museum

Hacked off

In the brick making business hacks were stands where freshly made bricks could be stacked and dried before firing. Given the ability for the British weather to throw down rain, covers were needed to protect the bricks. Around a brickworks there were what looked like long low sheds with sections of hinged roof.  They’d have just been an unexceptional part of the countryside.

The Market Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery Works, at Broadway in Market Lavington had hacks. A photo was taken in the 1920s which preserves their memory.

Hacks – stands for brick drying at the Market Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery Works in the 1920s

This was in the time when Holloway Brothers owned and operated the brickworks. It was a time when manual labour was still the order of the day. A website called ‘Rick’s Bricks’ describes the five main processes in brickmaking. The clay and formed bricks were handled and moved from place to place many times before leaving the works for use. First, the clay was dug and then moved to a mill which ensured an even texture. The clay then went to the moulding shed where skilled workers made the brick shapes. The bricks were moved to an initial drying space for two days. Then they were moved to the hacks. About two weeks later they’d have been moved again – to be fired. The bricks could now be allowed to cool and be removed from the kiln. It was a truly labour intensive business.