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Tyne and Wear HER(8594): Kibblesworth Brickworks - Details

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Kibblesworth Brickworks




Brick and Tilemaking Site




Documentary Evidence

Crossley’s yard, 1960-1986. Built by Messrs Crossley Building Products Ltd in 1960 and esigned to produce 450,000 common and facing bricks per week. Bricks burned in an 18-chamber transverse-arch continuous kiln, each chamber holding 53,000 bricks. Another transverse-arch kiln began operating in 1965 (Number 2 Kiln), built by Boiler Settings Ltd of Bolton. Brick production doubled to 900,000 bricks per week, with 160 people employed there. Number 1 kiln has become disused (1980s) and workforce halved. Besides the works is an estimated 90-year reserve of blue-grey clay. Clay is obtained by means of a scraper, which deposits clay close to the mill. A mechanical shovel carries the clay to two box feeders and by conveyor belts into two wet-grinding pans; then through two crushing rollers; and then by conveyor belts to two brick machines (de-airing). Grog is prepared in a dry-grinding pan and mixed with the wet clay. A machine was first developed here to produce a rustic-ripple brick. The brick machines have automatic cuting-off tables, from where the bricks are mechanically lifted onto drying cars and conveyed along tram lines to the two drying chambers. Hot air is drawn from the kiln and blown through the bricks in the dryers. The dried bricks are stacked by hand onto pallets and set in the kiln with a forklift truck. After burning, the bricks are hand-graded into various classes and colours. In 1972, natural gas replaced coal in firing the kiln. However, since 1982, one-inch nugget coal has been used to fire part of the kiln.




Davison, P J, 1986. Brickworks of the North East, 159 site 2, 168

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