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Thread: Country brickworks..Suffolk

  1. #1
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    Post Country brickworks..Suffolk




    Visited this place with man gone wrong.its a small local brickworks established by building firm in the early thirties.at its height it employed forty people.they stopped making bricks in the fifties and started to make field drain pipes.there are three kilns on the site and these are oil fired,replacing fur older coal fired scotch kilns.the kilns are made of a lovely English brick and I did like the metal restraining straps arounf them.two of the kilns on the site are open and the third locked.it looks like some sort of fencing has been erected around the three kilns and two chimneys to protect them,but they are falling into severe disrepair.there is also a drying shed and a moulding shed..when I was looking at google earth at the site I was not expecting too much to be honest.we were pleasantly surprised when we got there how nice it was and we spent ages there,especially in the machine shed.it was like a little time warp.i enjoy these little places more than the big industrial giants.they seem to have a more personal feel to them as I could imagine a lot of the work on the buildings and kilns was prob done in house and buy local firms

    the drying shed.this would have been heated to dry off the castings

















    This was the machine and moulding shed which was our favourite bit.not sure how the system worked in here.it looked to be a water driven system which drove pulley wheels outside and in turning the pulley belts to a cog system on the machine inside which was almost like a vertical conveyor going to the top.



    So outside was a series of drums and channels.the water would feed into these channels.there was mounts in the concrete which would suggest there was maybe pumps situated here



    he water would feed this large wheel.it looked like the water area was once covered





    The big wheel then powered these pulley wheels in here here with pulley belts diving the other big wheel at the other end.











    it all finally connected on here on the big machine and power these series of cogs



    And this was the base of the machine



    I climbed the tall ladder to see what was up the top and it was a hatch were the conveyor came out and there was a railway style track.so I wonder if the finished mouldings were sent here by track and sent down or up the conveyor system





    Working back down some of the cogs and workings





    Back on the ground floor some general shots around the shop,the solid metal cart was a beauty.would hated to push that about





























    We did look in both of the kilns one there is a raised sort of floor which is built up by bricks.these had regular arches in the brickwork to enable what I guess would be the oil pipes.the second kiln had a layer of bricks on top of the arch walls acting like a vented floor

























    Last edited by Mikeymutt; 13th Mar 18 at 00:12.
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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    Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, krela, Mearing, mookster, oldscrote, prettyvacant71, psykie, Rubex, Sidsdx1988, smiler, thorfrun, Tigershark

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  3. #2
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    Fab set there mate. So much to see still. Wonderfully captured as ever...

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    Thanks given by: Mikeymutt, MrGruffy

  4. #3
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    Cheers hughie.i pressed the post button too early the rest of the pics are up now
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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  5. #4
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    Nice photos. What a great timewarp.

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    Dereliction at its very best, Proper Job Mikey
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    Thanks given by: Mikeymutt

  7. #6
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    Like many small brickworks of this period; built alongside the clay deposits - it being more profitable to move the finished product, than the raw clay, by road or rail. Many firms were amalgamated under the wing of the London Brick Company or similar combines when the clay deposits were substantial and the bricks produced were of good quality. Sadly; the fact that the last production was Land Drainage Pipes indicates that this Firms products and clay supplies were nothing special and they probably went out of business due to clay supplies dwindling, expensive production costs due to oil firing and old machinery, transport costs etc. In my teenage years one could see remnants of small scale brick production on the outskirts of many towns and rail users could and still can see the vast LBC Ltd facilities on the rail journey between York and London. My Uncle spent all his life in the brick trade, eventually setting up a company making old style and antique reproduction bricks for the restoration trade - the plant looked very similar to this.

    Just a small point, this plant was never water powered from the evidence you have recorded. The large 'wheel' photographed was the initial drive wheel that took the main drive belt from; initially a steam engine and then either IC or electric motive power as the plant was modernised. The flooded concrete troughing is where the drive belts ran. If the plant was water-powered one would still expect see evidence of the mill pond and leet and I never saw evidence of these over the years.

    As usual Mikey, another superb interpretation of this site. If anybody ever wants evidence that a few still images will record a site far better than any gimmicky video, they should study your images! I know this place well and you have got the story spot on - which is what a photographic report is all about.

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  8. #7
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    Thank you ds for the kind comment and usual great infill of info.i was not really sure on the water system.i am not quite old enough to remember these set ups.so what I do is go and try and work out it for myself how it all works if that's wrong or right I am never sure ha ha.but I try.so what was the water system for because the wheel and pulley seemed to power the cogs.or was it a water feed or an early cooking system.i do find it was these little places got swallowed up by the bigger companies.am I right they have a personal touch to the building of them

    Funny enough I visited the sister site off this one a few years back when that closed they moved production here.they actually made a huge output of bricks.

    And on the videos it's not my cup of tea personally.it suits some things.especially drone footage.but I do like a set of stills personally.
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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  9. #8
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    Ahh sorry I mis read.the belts were all driven by a steam engine and the belt valleys have just been flooded with rain water.oh and the site is a quarry too so prob got there own clay on site.
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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  10. #9
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    Interesting post, I like this. I did think by looking at your pictures that the big pulley would be driven by a steam engine, and that would have been the main engine. It would have powered everything.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

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    Thanks given by: Mikeymutt

  11. #10
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    Love this, and it's so intact too. Thanks Mikey

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    Thanks given by: Mikeymutt

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