TA0323 : Moving the clay

taken 8 years ago, near to Barton-Upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire, Great Britain

Moving the clay
Moving the clay
At the William Blyth tile works. A load of clay pugs is being moved to the drying sheds where it will be formed into tiles and left to dry before firing.
William Blyth Ltd Hoe Hill tile works
The Hoe Hill tileworks are an astonishing survivor of a traditional industrial site, still using essentially 19th century technology to produce a traditional product. In the 21st century the market is specifically within the realm of building conservation, where the traditionally created product matches the existing in a way that tiles produced by modern methods and machinery do not. In this respect, the fact that the firm failed to invest in modern technology when others were doing so has worked to its benefit.
The product is exclusively traditional roof tiles in a variety of shapes. The upper levels of the local clay beds are ideal for this purpose, the deeper levels being more suitable for brick making. After the clay has been prepared in the mill house to the correct consistency and water content, it is extruded using old machinery and the individual tiles left to dry on racks in the drying sheds until ready for firing. This takes place in two traditional downdraught kilns, which are still coal fired, although since the 1970s mechanical stokers have been used.
The firing takes about one week with a gradual build-up to maximum temperature and after a period of maximum heat a gradual cooling down period. The two kilns are generally used turn and turn about, with one being emptied and reloaded while the other is firing. After firing the tiles are ready for sale.
Most of the buildings on the site are of historic interest, with the majority now being listed buildings. These include the drying sheds, the former mill house (now no longer in use as such having been replaced by the one really modern building), one of the kilns and the older chimney, and the little office building. The latter, as well as providing accommodation for the site foreman, also provided a shelter for the night staff who had to look after the kilns when they were being fired.
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TA0323, 208 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 11 June, 2010   (more nearby)
Sunday, 13 June, 2010
Brick and tile works   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TA 0377 2341 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:41.8097N 0:25.7871W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TA 0376 2341
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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