Recent blog posts have featured Market Lavington brickworks, based on the memories of Tom George, the son of the brickworks manager. H. Bros Brick shows this photograph of one of the bricks from the time of Holloway brothers ownership in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Tom’s oral history informs us that the bricks were fired in kilns using gassy coal from Mells in Somerset, which was delivered by steam wagon. He felt that bricks shouldn’t be too hard as they needed to breathe. However, hard bricks were sometimes required, as we see on A bill for bricks from 1924.
Our local bricks were obviously a handy commodity for buildings in Market Lavington and surrounding villages, but a relative of Tom George has informed us recently that they were used for some building work at Marlborough College. Tom himself spoke of the War Department requiring Lavington bricks for building barracks before World War II.
Apparently, London Brick Company bricks were made of shale and burnt in a kiln. Tom said these did not weather well and that the War Department would use them for the inner skin of the houses they were building at Larkhill, Durrington, Tidworth and Netheravon, but they chose bricks from Market Lavington, Cheverell or Devizes for the outside walls.