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The Brickfields by Cecil Beadle

by janet on 6 December 2011 · 0 comments

The Brickfields by Cecil Beadle

An article for the Walkern Journal May 2005

A seam of London type clay running from the south east to the north west of the village was the type for making red bricks (hand made) with the mark ‘Walkern

Walkern Brickworks on the 1898 OS map. Source HALS DE/Ls/P37

Bricks’ on each one. The first brick maker I have been able to trace in the village was a George Andrews and his son in the mid 18th century followed by the Aylott’s and Spriggins families and in my younger days the Estwicks.

The large Spriggins family with one exception who was a butcher were all involved in the building trade such as bricklayers, carpenters and painters. The last to survive in Walkern was Job Spriggins who lived in the High Street, a plasterer by trade and a member of the Walkern Brass Band. He lived until October 1962.

Amos Estwick known to all as Mossy worked in the brickfield with Fred Warner and with only three or four kilns in operation then it was just enough to keep them busy. The bricks after being in the lines to dry were put into the kilns and after these kilns had been opened to let out the heat it was always Mossy who would go inside and Fred Warner would be catcher and stacker. Amos’s son Conrad drove a very slow ‘Pierce Arrow’ lorry that only carried a small amount of bricks out to the exit on the Bassus Green road, it was quite easy to run alongside as it was so slow.

On the brickfield site was a wooden office which I’m sure would never have contained money. However once when in his office,

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