I never thought that I would become a brick geek but there, I’ve said it – I have an interest in bricks! Thanks to the Central Lodge, I’ve started to notice bricks all over the place, coloured bricks, moulded bricks, handmade bricks.
Bolckow and Vaughan Brick
Why? I’m not sure, but I think it’s the fact that they have come out of this building, that they are linked to Bolckow and Vaughan and they’re part of Middlesbrough’s history. I guess it’s something tangible – you can hold a brick. Well, in the case of the Bolckow and Vaughan bricks, they make good weights!
On our weekly hard hat tours inside the Central Lodge, I say to the visitors that you can hold a brick but please don’t drop it on your toes! I think it’s reassuring that they are so chunky and have a weight to them. It’s also a reminder that this building isn’t going anywhere; it’s solid and feels permanent.
The Bolckow and Vaughan bricks started the brick interest off. After this it was the Rufford brick, another good brick and a heavy brick, made in Stourbridge by Rufford & Co. They manufactured fire bricks and glazed bricks. They also produced glazed sinks, baths and troughs.
We then found a brick website, who knew such a thing existed?
We also found an S&L brick which had been in the fireplace where there was a range. This was produced by Strater and Love, Willington, Durham.
Strater and Love Brick
Finally, we have found the mystery brick HDM. Suddenly there’s no information, so I guess this a kind of plea to the other brick geeks out there – do you know who made this brick?
I kind of need to know, just so we have the brick story covered, or at least that’s what I’m saying!