Twenty, or more probably nearer thirty, years ago, without the aid of current internet search facilities, I painstakingly scoured archives and trade directories and other sources compiling a list of all known brickworks in South Wales. The intention was that I would present them in a gazetteer form and have the work published, I even had a publisher interested, and work was well under way but it was never going to be an easy task. At the same time I started to collect various examples of the products of these works and to date have around 200 mostly different bricks, although inevitably there are many duplicates.
A few days ago I was sent, via Facebook, a photo of a rare brick along with the information of where it could be seen, so yesterday made a visit to the small museum at Cefn Junction Signal Box, just a few miles from home. There I was able to photograph the brick I’d gone to see along with a few different styles of brick from works from which I already have a sample, there was one though that I’d never seen before and from a local works I didn’t know existed.
With the impressed legend “STORMY S & B Co” I was informed it was from the Stormy Stone and Brick Company which operated from premises alongside the railway line near Tranch, Pyle. Of course, I know the place, every photographer in South Wales knows the place, it’s currently known as Kenfig Lime Works and a very popular location for the togs with all the derelict machinery and lime waste to be found on the site. From my visits I don’t ever recall noticing a brick kiln, but apparently it survives somewhere on the site. I guess a re-visit will have to be made sometime soon. I have had a look through all my photos taken at the lime works to see if inadvertently I’d captured the kiln, but no such luck, here’s a general photo of part of the site instead.