Stanley Brickyard Memories

Assorted bricks, moulds and other items rescued from the Stanley Brothers Brickyard when it closed
Image courtesy of Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre

RE: Of course there were two big brickyards in Nuneaton anyway and the other one was Haunchwood Brick and Tile that was owned by the Knox family.

Interviewer 1: Yeah.

Interviewer 2: Yeah.

RE: And the Knox family, er, one of them won the VC in the First World War.

Interviewer 2: Right!

RE: Er, later killed on a motorbike I believe but, erm, there were about four or five of the brothers, all sort of war heroes and everything.

Interviewer 2: Yeah

RE: And they lived at The Chase, which is now a hotel.

Interviewer 1: Yeah

RE: But that was a big house where they lived,

Interviewer 2: Right

RE: So as I say there were two big brickmaking companies in the town.

Interviewer 1: But you say it wasn’t mechanised, was that all the way till it closed that they were pushing everything around?

RE: I… possibly! Yeah possibly, because, erm, its obviously not efficient.

Interviewer 1: I feel privileged you know.  That’s the last time I complain about putting a couple of laptops out!

RE: [laughs] Oh I mean we’ve got the the photographs here.  As I say it wasn’t…. They did have, erm, they had a little steam engine and er little sidings. Now, my grandmother’s house was in Westbury Road and it backed onto a field that backed onto the brickyard, so during the holidays and [unclear] I was down there I used to swap over into the field and into the brickyard as well, so I’d be playing around and I climbed into one of the wagons one day and fell out….

Interviewer 2: …ahh…

RE: …and fell and I really hurt my back on that…

Interviewer 2: …oh good God…

RE: …and I was limping for a fortnight and I daredn’t tell anybody [laughs]

Interviewer 2: No. How you did it, no.

RE: I kept thinking I must have broke something.

Interviewer 2: Cos you’d’ve got no sympathy.

RE: No, there would have been worse than sympathy, there wouldn’t have been sympathy from my dad, but er, yeah, so I was quite conversant with the brickyard itself from the er,

Interviewer 2: Yeah.

Interviewer 1: Yeah.

RE: And there’s no health and safety of course in those days.

Interviewer 2: Pffff!  No!

Interviewer 1: What made you … was it anything specific that made you decide to kind of put it all together [in a room in Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre], or was it just all here anyway?

RE: Well it… the bricks themselves, the bricks were here already when I arrived.  It was just me that sort of tried to get it into some sort of order.  And to begin with as I say, I succeeded, but as you can see, people bring things in and dump them [laughs].

Interviewer 1: Yeah, you get… the ladder doesn’t help when you walk past.

RE: No.  Er, you got the bike there I’m gonna be suspending from the ceiling through in the other room next week.

This article was published as part of the Warwickshire in 100 Objects project, part of Warwickshire Bytes.

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