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With the growth of the mills, brick was needed to build the new factories and some of the brick works had their own mine on the same site as the works, so the raw materials they needed was on hand.

One example is the Clough Head mine at Sharneyford, owned by Thomas Temperley, which was also a brick works. There is mention of it in 1869, but it was probably in existence many years before this (1844).

In 1896 it employed 3 men underground and worked coal and fireclay. The fireclay would be used to make bricks which could withstand high temperatures and the coal possibly would be used to provide the power to run the brick works.

Bricks were made by hand until about 1885. Once the Industrial Revolution broke out, the brickmaking machinery was introduced. Consequently, the number of clays that could be made into brick was greatly increased which influenced the production capacity. Handmade brick production ranged up to 36,000 bricks per week but by 1925 a brickmaking machine made 12,000 bricks a day.

The Plastic Brick and Tile Company

Officially opened at the Slate, Haslingden in 1896, the company was formed with a capital of £2.OOO and formerly worked by the owner Mr.J. Greenwood.

There was a ceremony of christening the engine, Mrs. Edward Schofield the wife of one of the shareholders did this by breaking a bottle of champagne.

The HASLINGDEN PLASTIC BRICK AND TILE CO, was wound up on 13th October 1896. A new company was formed in the same year called the NEW HASLINGDEN PLASTIC BRICK CO, This company was wound up on 19th September 1900.

Top o’th Slate Haslingden

This area was once the home of a quarry belonging to the HASLINGDEN PLASTIC BRICK COMPANY, and it was once used as the Rossendale Borough Council Tip. It is now the home to the panopticon (HALO), and the adjacent shrub woodland walks.

Other Collections – Social History

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