LOOK­ING BACK

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Nigel Thorn­ton nigel.thorn­ton@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTnigelthorn­ton 01733 588714

To­day’s pic­tures come cour­tesy of Forterra, for­merly Han­son, which has a spe­cial place in the Peter­bor­ough area’s in­dus­trial his­tory.

The lead­ing build­ing prod­ucts man­u­fac­turer is mark­ing 140 years of pro­duc­tion of the iconic Lon­don Brick, which is made ex­clu­sively at its Kings Dyke fa­cil­ity in Whit­tle­sey.

Man­u­fac­tured con­tin­u­ously since 1877, Lon­don Brick, which is also known as a Flet­ton brick after its original place of man­u­fac­ture near Peter­bor­ough, was used ex­ten­sively to re­build Bri­tain dur­ing the post-war hous­ing boom.

Vin­tage pho­to­graphs are archived (some of which fea­ture here) at the firm’s Kings Dyke fa­cil­ity in Whit­tle­sey, show­ing work­ers dig­ging clay, op­er­at­ing kilns and load­ing and trans­port­ing the fin­ished Lon­don Bricks in the 1950s and 60s, when the pop­u­lar­ity of the brick was at its peak.

An­drew Mort­lock, archivist for Forterra, who is based at Kings Dyke, said: “The his­tory of Lon­don Brick is tied to gen­er­a­tions of work­ers from this area, and is cap­tured and pre­served in the hun­dreds of pho­to­graphs and doc­u­ments kept here, in­clud­ing many is­sues ofPhor­pres News mag­a­zine, the first of which dates back to 1937.”

Over their 140-year his­tory, Lon­don Bricks have been pro­duced in their bil­lions, with out­put reach­ing 16 mil­lion bricks per day dur­ing the post-war hous­ing boom.

To­day, Lon­don Brick is pro­duced al­most ex­clu­sively for the res­i­den­tial ren­o­va­tion, main­te­nance and im­prove­ment market, at Forterra’s Kings Dyke fa­cil­ity, which em­ploys 260 peo­ple.

Stephen Har­ri­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Forterra, said: “Lon­don Brick is one of our most suc­cess­ful and recog­nis­able brands. These pho­to­graphs and doc­u­ments from our ar­chive clearly show how the his­tory of the Lon­don Brick is linked to gen­er­a­tions of work­ers in the Whit­tle­sey area.”

Forterra em­ploys about 1,600 peo­ple in the UK, across 17 man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

If you have any mem­o­ries or pic­tures please get in touch, and in a few weeks time I will fea­ture some more of the firm’s ar­chive pho­tograhs.

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