Tyne and Wear HER(8596): Birtley, Old Yard Brickworks, Birtley Station - Details
Birtley, Old Yard Brickworks, Birtley Station
Brick and Tilemaking Site
1858-1978, T Blythe and Sons The firm of Blythe and Sons originated in 1858 at Birtley Station under Thomas Blythe, and one of the first machines there was a horse-driven pug mill. Steam power was introduced by his son J C Blythe. The Old Yard had 12 large Newcastle kilns, each capable of holding 24,000 bricks. Brick production stopped in 1978 and the site is now a builders merchants. Pugged clay was extruded through a Fawcett brick machine, and then cut into ten bricks on a steel pallet and cutting bench. In the 1930s, the Old Yard had a drying area heated by steam pipes, and an additional area was heated by open fires beneath a floor covered in iron plates. The Fawcett machine was replaced in 1948 by a De-airing extrusion brick machine. By the late 1950s, the drying flats became disused having been replaced by drying chambers.
Davison, P J, 1986. Brickworks of the North East, 159 site 6, 163, 164