Flints and dollies

We have Tom George, the son of the manager of Market Lavington brickworks, to thank for his oral history memories of growing up at the brickworks in the 1920s and 1930s. They were sited on both sides of the Broadway, west of the railway line.

Clay was dug by hand from the pits and taken by rope hauled truck along a railway line to the the hopper by the brick making machine. This had a frame on top, to prevent falling in.

See The Brickworks for the rest of this Lavington Forum article written in 1949 by Michael Sainsbury and Michael Baker following a school visit to the brickworks.

Tom George said the clay contained many flints that could cause big problems both to the machine and in the firing. Wooden dollies were cylindrical with one side larger than the other. These were put in the machine so that the flints broke the dolly rather than the cogs on the machine. However, if a brick was made with a flint trapped in the clay, the brick would burst open when heated in the firing process.

For this reason, Mr George paid his sons 3d for every bucket of flints they took out of the clay. Tom remembered that it took a long time to fill a bucket. (The twelve sided threepenny bits with their thrift and later portcullis designs were not in circulation until Tom would have been about seventeen, so he earned an old silver coin, or maybe three large copper pennies.)

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