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Thread Topic: Brickyard
Topic Originator: Kate
Post Date July 14, 2007 @ 2:01 PM
 RE: Brickyard
 RE: Brickyard
 Brickyard - Joe STANDLEY
 Riding in railway buckets!
 BRICKYARD/Frog & newt ponds
 BRICKYARD Horse rescued with ropes
 BRICKYARD/Newts would be protected now
 BRICKYARD fell through ice
 BRICKYARD/names used on new estate
 BRICKYARD/I remember
 Brickyard/George STANDLEY
 BRICKYARD/Many names to faces
 Recall BRICKYARD over pint
 BRICKYARD/Mssge for John
 Brickyard bowls team 1950/photo
 Brickyard horses/George MUNTON
 Brickyard/War Memorial
 Brickyard/Memorial Link

July 14, 2007 @ 2:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The brickyard has now disappeared from Little Casterton Road.  Many people must have memories of the brickyard.  The work was a protected job during the second world war as they produced some products for  the lining of kilns for the steel works  which I think were used in the production of weapons.
The brickyard was quite a close knit community - people worked there for years.  There were the kiln workers who had to keep the kilns in continuous operation.  Brickmakers, tilemakers etc.  Some of the bricks were used to build Churchill College, Cambridge.  The handmade bricks were much in demand.  The clay was extracted from the nearby pits.

July 26, 2007 @ 10:44 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The clay was brought from the pits to the yard on a little miniature railway which ran across the adjoining field and the line of the track produced a valley with banks either side which was virtually a wildlife sanctuary and on a sunny day was a lovely warm place for butterflies, wild flowers, birds etc.

October 29, 2007 @ 7:10 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Lived in Reform Street in 1950s/early 60s and I remember several people from Reform St/Torkington St/Zebra Cottages working at Williamson Cliffs.Sadly they are probably now dead. The works had a horn (or something similar) which sounded for lunchtimes and possibly also work finish and end. Very audible in Reform Street.

When my parents first came to Stamford in 1947 they lodged with "Pop" Williamson (died c.1961) and his wife who lived in Empingham Road. I'm fairly certain he was at one time connected/related to the owners, if not one of them.

Richard Standley
March 31, 2009 @ 4:59 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My father Mr George Standley(Joe) worked at Williamson and Cliffe for most of his working life. He ended the last few years as the Site foreman and retired with a gold watch presented to him for his years of service.I still have his watch.

Kate:  Thanks for that Richard.  I am  pleased to add details about your father.  It seems very strange without The Brickworks.  It was such an important workplace in the town.

betty bradshaw
March 31, 2009 @ 7:31 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I spent many happy hours up the brickyard with my friend Barbara Hill.  There was so much we could tell you about the little railway trucks .  We had many a ride down the track in the buckets with a gang of the children from Lambeth Walk.  We saw no danger in those days.  Oh Happy Days.
The banks at the side of the track were full of Blackberries and wild life.  Our knowledge of wild life and flowers were second to none.

Richard Standley
June 18, 2009 @ 5:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Betty
Do you remember the frog and newt ponds at the brickyard? They were quite secluded and you needed a long walk from New Cross Road to get there.

June 19, 2009 @ 3:54 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Re the long walk to the brickyard pond, us essex roaders went out of the top of Worcester Crescent, cut across the field to the back of Lambeth Walk and ran like mad, as they at various times were the enemy and through to the pond.
I think it has been said before, but every so often the brickyard horse used to wander in to the pond and get stuck and there was a deputation of brick workers sent across with ropes to pull him out. Happy days

June 19, 2009 @ 5:13 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Richard  I certainly do remember the newt ponds because the water was filthy and we used to lift bits of corregated sheet to get to them.

They were in the pits where all the rubbish was dumped including hot ashes sometime.  I dread to think what our hands were like by the time we got home for dinner.

Those newts would certainly be protected now

June 19, 2009 @ 10:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Syd  
You were right about the Brickyard Horse going into the pond.

Over the years the men not only pulled out the horse but in the winter the pond would freeze over and we would skid across the ice and many a child fell in when the ice began to  melt and the brickyard men would come to the rescue.

Lambeth Walk children were really very nice you know I would not have wanted to live anywhere else.  Even today we have so many happy memories.

John Troth
December 30, 2009 @ 9:20 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Kate

I have just come across the Stamford Gateway site and it is great. I worked at the brickyard from the time I left school in 1956 until 1964 and to prove that at least one of us is still in the land of the living I thought I would add to the discussion. The factory produced refractory bricks for the steel , glass and cement industries mainly although we also produced firebricks for lining the fireboxes of steam trains as well at the time. They also produced a range of very high quality hand-made facing bricks and roof tiles. The clays were dug by hand from three different seams in the quarry which was close to the factory. The transport was on the small train other people have described which was driven at the time by "Buff" Hardy who lived on Reform Street. The higher grade refractories were produced from bought in materials. The work was all very heavy manual labour -a hand brickmaker would produce over 1000 bricks per day which would involve handling about 2 tons of wet clay a day! I remember Joe Standley well and worked with him on various jobs in the factory. If I remember correctly he was wounded by a machine gun at the battle of Monte Casino in the 2nd World War. The horn referred to by Roger was the works buzzer and was the signal to start or finish work, "Pop" Williamson referred to by Roger was probably Ralph Williamson who was related to the original owners. The newt ponds referred to were near the rail track from the works to the quarry and were a source of fun for generations of kids in the area my brother and I lived in Torkington Sreet and spent many happy hours there. Finally the horse referred to was known as Tom and in the winter he would be covered in frost in the mornings but seemed to survive to a good age. As a matter of interest the street names on the new housing estate built on the factory site are the family names of some of the long time employees at the factory.
Kate: Hi John  Welcome to the forum.  A very interesting posting about the Brickyard - the clay was also used by the kids to make their own "clay engines" a little box with a chimney on the roof and a fire could be lit inside and encouraged to burn by blowing in the hole crafted on the side of the "engine".

Roger Partridge
December 31, 2009 @ 7:43 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi John. Very interesting and informative post. You must have been one of the younger workers there as most of the ones I can think of were at least in their 40s in the 1950s. I recall your surname but I can only remember the name Peter Troth (your brother?). I don't remember "Buff" Hardy from Reform St, but remember W Tibbert who lived 3 doors away from us.

I think you're correct about Pop's real name, oddly we only ever knew his wife as Willy.

Tom Fitchett
January 6, 2010 @ 4:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Kate,
     Bringing the brickworks story up to date.  After John Troth left in 1964 the works gained a high reputation for the hard wearing high temperature bricks used particularly in cement kilns and steel works.  I remember one experimental batch made from a South African material I used to line Ray Askers bread oven ( notoriously hard on firebricks)which was so good it did not have to be repaired again for two years. Unfortunately due to the political situation in SA at that time adequate supplies of the material were not forthcoming and it never went into production.  In 1969 with the aid of an American guy, Gus Plonis, I developed what was called the Blastcliff process.  Instead of forming the clay into bricks we made it into a granular form capable of being sprayed onto the furnace wall by compressed air which was very rapid and labour saving.  This was so successful that by 1975 W.C was the leader of this technique in the UK and we had a large fleet of lorries shipping material out every day to the larger foundries and steelworks.  Later in the 70's the range was expanded with refractory concrete materials called in the industry Castables. These were mainly used in the petrochemical industry and many hundreds of tons were exported as far afield as New Zealand.  
Unfortunately all this success inevitably attracted the interest of people who did not always have the interests of the brickyard workers or Stamford at heart and sadly may have led to its demise. I left the brickyard in 1984 after 23 years as Chief Chemist and technical manager.  
I knew most of the people previously mentioned, Ralph Williams was a particular friend and after he died I regularly escorted Willy to the Hit or Miss when she lived on Empingham road and later in Clare Close.
Hi Tom
Thanks very much for that very informative posting.  I am adding a photo on which you may recognise many of the faces.  I am not sure of the year but it may be too early for you to appear on it?  Hope you can name some of the people.  People in the photo - Arthur BROOKS, Jim BROOKS, Bill Blackshaw, Jack Bryan Snr and Jack Bryan Jnr, Frank Bryan,  Bill Tibbert, "Cherry" Baker, Ron Callow, Audrey Perkins, George Standley. Dignitaries on the chairs from left to right, Arthur Green Technical Director, T D Ross Managing Director, Mr Banks Senior.  Any more from anyone else? Kate

Brickyard Staff 1948

Richard Standley
January 7, 2010 @ 4:05 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Tom,as you will have read dad worked at the yard and I have the same photo of the work force.George Standley is in the top full length row and is fourth along from the left. Very much in his younger days.He was always proud of the fact that the yard produced quality bricks and particularly of the fact that special bricks were produced for the building of Churchill College in Cambridge

John Troth
January 12, 2010 @ 8:52 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Kate
Yes we all made clay engines in the dim and distant past. As far as the photo is concerned the image is a bit too small to make out features properly but the three dignitaries sitting on chairs at the front are from left to right Arthur Green who was the Technical Director next to him Ithink is T D Ross the managing Director and next to him I think is Mr. Banks senior who was one of the owners at the time. I think the photo was probably taken immediately post war but I cannot be certain about that. Hi Roger yes Peter "Skip" Troth was my brother but he sadly died in 1986. Hi Tom Glad to see you are still in touch and have filled in the later story of the factory which unfortunately went the way of lots of the ceramic industry as you know.
Kate: Hi John  Thanks for that info.  I have made image larger but distorts text a bit however think people will be able to see it better now.
I will add the names you have given me to the list.

Tom Fitchett
January 13, 2010 @ 5:33 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Kate,
       Thanks for the W.C staff photograph.  As you surmise it was a little before my time, the date is May 1948, and most of the faces I only knew when they were much older, however as the saying goes I know a man or two who do remember them, so have managed to put together a reasonable list with the help of Gerald Bradshaw,Arthur Popple, Monty Baker,Clem Walden and Bill Blackshaw.

Standing in doorway     Jack Bryan, Sid Mason, Bill Popple, Tony Rosling, R Jarnell, Mr Baker, Mal Smith.

Back Row left   Jock Needham, Tom Barnett, Sam Middleton, Joe Standley, Bob Martin, Ray Middleton, Tyke Collins, Tom Wright

Back Row middle   Tess Collins, Bert Tyler, Bill Tebbit, Alec Locke

Back Row right   Bill Stockwell, Polish man, Walter Barwell, Frank Bryan,Polish man, Polish man, Mr Howes, Bill Rowe

Middle row upper left   Jim Bills, Cyril Parker,W. Partridge, J Hibbit, Buff Hardy

Middle row upper right       D Savage, George Mason, Arthur Rudkin, Maurice Bird.

Middle row lower left     ??, Cherry Baker, ??, ??, ??, Joe Tyler

Middle     Chris Wilson, J Bryan Snr, Bill Stubbs, Billy Williams, Horace Baker, Jim Brooks

Middle row lower right     D Harris, Wally Holdsworth, Harry Mason, George Fisher, Arthur Brooks, F Cartwright,T Armstrong.

Seated left        Ted Dawson, David Porter, Mrs Howes, Audrey Perkins, Miss Ringham, Ron Callow [sec].

Seated middle rear     George Andrews, G Wroughton,  B Melton, Herbert Bowers.

Seated middle front     Arthur Green [Works Mgr],  T D Ross [ MD]     
   P K Banks [Chairman] Bill Jackson [ London office ]

Seated right   Derek Albon, Bill Blackshaw, Cecil Whisker,
   Herbert Frisby, Tom Francis, George Munton, Joe Mason

Front Row Left   Alf Clapton, Mr Harris, E Leeson, Eddy Johnson,
                    Jack Downs, Sam Downs.

Front Row Right   H Mason Snr,  Oxo Ward, Bill Savage, Ninny Yates,   Fred Baker, Sam Lilley, Jacko Middleton, Banjo Matt.

Kate:  Thanks very much Tom and for getting together with your brickworks colleagues to identify all those workers.  What a smart bunch they look too.  I was pleased to have Ninny Yates pointed out as I had forgotten he was up "the yard".  There were some damp old conditions to work in up those sheds but some great times were had, and those Christmas turkeys were very welcome.  Also some nice gold watches made some of the workers very proud.

John Troth
January 14, 2010 @ 8:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Well done Tom the collective eyes are obviously better than mine. Please say hello to Gerald Arthur Monty Clem and Bill for me. We all ought to have a pint together to have a Brickyard reminiscence session.

January 19, 2010 @ 10:25 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

If you do have that session over brickyard memories John, I would be very pleased if you could send any info for the website?  Also if someone has a camera handy a photo of your group would be good on the site - if so, please send as small as poss. and email it to me at

Thanks John

January 24, 2010 @ 8:32 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Williamson Cliffe Bowls team 1950 Stamford & District League
Duncomb Shield Winners 1950

Williamson Cliffe Bowls Team 1950

by kind permission of Bill Blackshaw

Front Row Harry Mason, Jud Downs, Fred Wade, Rodney Mason
Back Row Arthur Green, Joe Mason, Till Wade, Frank Mason,
Lutter Smith, Jack Hibbit, Fred Baker

THEN CLICK ON "slideshow" to right of page to see larger image
Go on back button at the top of your page to return here

January 27, 2010 @ 6:57 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Syd

I know my grandad, George Munton in the photograph, worked with horses sometime during his life.  Does anyone know if he would have worked with the horse at the Brickyard?

Kate: Can anyone give Malcolm info re his grandad?

Richard Standley
June 16, 2013 @ 9:38 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

William Cliff War Memorial.
On Tuesday 18 June 2013 there is to be a Re-Dedication of the memorial which formed part of the internal wall of the brickyard offices. This was demolished in 2004 and was feared lost.However a team of volunteers, led by Don and Barbara Parker, searched through the rubble and rescued as many of the pieces as they could. These were stored in Don and Barbara's garage until 2012 when work began on the restoration. This is now complete and the ceremony is to take place. We will be very happy to be at that ceremony on behalf of my father and others.

alan tutt
June 17, 2013 @ 11:19 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Where in Stamford is the war memorial being placed?
Kate:  I think its just inside Stamford Cemetery main gate - at the top of a slope of grass?  Not sure of the time on Tuesday - anyone know?

Richard standley
June 17, 2013 @ 3:32 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Dedication service tomorrow at the front of Stamford Cemetery at 11am.
Kate:  Thanks very much for that information Richard.

Michael Sibert
June 18, 2013 @ 5:38 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thanks to everyone who shared their memories with us today. The piece has just been broadcast and is now online.
Please let people know!
Thanks again,
Michael  Sibert
Kate:  Thanks very much Michael
Follow the link to see video footage of the occasion.  Three aeroplanes
flew overhead at 11 a.m.  When you arrive at the page put in Demolished Memorial into search box.

Susan bray
June 22, 2013 @ 5:25 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi, my dad Owen smith was one of the names on the new memorial, my family & I would love to know if there are any photos we can get online or buy for the workers my dad was 14 when he started work there don't live in Stamford anymore so it would be great for me if I could have a photo, thanking you, sue bray
Kate: Hi Susan think you could get a photo from Stamford Mercury. Link here to
the "buy a photo" area of Stamford Mercury.
Brickyard War Memorial

Brickyard War Memorial