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Report - Stewartby Brickworks – Bedfordshire – May 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by mockney reject, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    The history


    The town takes its name from the Stewart family, whose famous son Sir Malcolm Stewart who bought the London Brick Company in the town in the 1920s. The site closed in 2008 as the owners,Hanson, cannot meet UK limits for sulphur dioxide emissions, the four chimneys remaining were due to be demolished upon closure but these have since been listed for preservation of Bedfordshire's brick-related history. and will remain.

    Stewartby brickworks was home to the world’s biggest kiln and produced 18 million bricks at the height of production.

    BJ Forder & Son opened the first brickworks in Wootton Pillinge in 1897.

    Wootton Pillinge was renamed Stewartby in 1937 in recognition of the Stewart family who had been instrumental in developing the brickworks.

    The firm became London Brick Company and Forders Limited in 1926, and shortened to London Brick Company in 1936.

    At the height of the industry’s production there were 167 brick chimneys in the Marston Vale.

    In the 1970s Bedfordshire produced 20% of England’s bricks.

    At its peak London Brick Company had its own ambulance and fire crews, a horticultural department and a photographic department, as well as its own swimming pool inside the factory, and ran a number of sports clubs.

    More than £1 million was spent on Stewartby Brickworks in 2005-7 in an attempt to reducesulphur dioxideemissions.

    The factory used LowerOxford Clay, which is made up of 5% seaweed, formed 150 million years ago when it was on the sea bed. This removed the need to add coal to the fire, as the organic material burned.


    The Explore

    I visited this one whilst I was doing RAE Bedford and as they were close to each other it made sense :)

    It was fairly easy to get into the vast site and actually made for a very nice afternoon stroll.

    The site as you would expect is littered with broken bricks but this makes for an interesting landscape. The 4 tall chimneys loom over the site and are breathtakingly large, the rest of the site has quickly been vandalised and fallen into disrepair. I really enjoyed the explore here with plenty to see and plenty to take pics of.


    Please enjoy the pics

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  2. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    A favorite of mine. I regret not going more in the early days. Still good tho i think!
     
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  3. Bremner

    Bremner 28DL Full Member
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    I worked on a machine a few years ago made by Kershaw in America, it was a high output ballast cleaner. When we decided it was never going to work in the UK we left it in stewartby sidings to go rusty until it was cut up a few years back.

    Useless info I know......sorry lol
     
    #3 Bremner, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2015
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