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James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker EmptyThu 23 May - 7:31 by Ev

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James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker

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James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker Empty James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker

Post  Jonno Tue 18 Oct - 22:16

My Great Uncle James Shears arrived in New Zealand in August 1871 and settled in Timaru when he was 24 years of age.

There had been a disastrous fire in Timaru in 1868 destroying some 40 buildings and leading to the Council requiring new buildings to be built of stone or brick.

James had been active with other members of his family in brickmaking in London so he making bricks from the local clay and he certainly made the bricks to rebuild the Club Hotel in about 1873 and the brick pictured is one of them .

The frog faintly shows his initials JS (and mine), hard to see unfortunately, as it now doing service 140 years later as part of a barbecue in Auckland. This brick was recovered when the Club Hotel was demolished in 1970.

The early bricks James made used the clay available on many building sites in Timaru at that time and they would be stacked to dry and then fired on site in what was called a clamp firing. The material used to make the temporary kiln would then be removed and the bricks were ready for the masons.

Late in 1874 James' parents and 10 other members of the family emigrated from London and a brick works was built in College Road ,Timaru eventually with a circular Hoffman's Improved Patent Kiln which was capable of firing 60,000 bricks per week.


Hoffman was a German engineer and his patent kiln allowed for continuous loading,drying, firing and withdrawal of the fired bricks ready for sale. This kiln was able to fire some 60,000 bricks per week. Coal was the fuel used and was introduced from above and firemen worked shifts around the clock ensuring that the right temperatures were maintained. The fire was shifted around the kiln on a regular cycle.

Brickworks College Rd Timaru 1910 and shows 23 employees. The Shears family had sold the works in 1887. Bricks were made there up until 1970. and the kiln and chimney were demolished in 1972.

Top centre with hat & white shirt is James Shears and the object to his right is the bar of the horse whim.The horse (out of the picture to the left) walked anti-clockwise in this case. James would have been standing near the large tub which contained the clay wetted and pugged to the right consistency and then forced through an aperture to the right of the Shears brother , sitting third from the right, by means of a large roller moved round and round by the horse as it pulled the whim bar. The brickmakers would cut off a piece of clay as it was extruded from the pug mill and finalise the shape in a mould and turn the green brick out onto a type of tray and then onto the "Cockney crowding barrow" to be wheeled to the drying sheds. The barrow in the photo is loaded with 32 green bricks,quite heavy but manageable because of the barrow design, the yard used steel plates to ease the barrows progress. from mill to drying shed and later to the kiln.

James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker Img_0616
JS Initials in Frog of brick
James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker Hoffma11
Hoffman Kiln
James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker Timaru11
Timaru Brickworks College Rpad circa 1910
James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker Shears10
Shears Family Making Bricks
James Shears, Timaru Brickmaker Club_h10
Club Hotel Timaru source of Brick with JS in frog , The Hotel is being demolished about 1970.


Last edited by Jonno on Wed 19 Oct - 19:20; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Adding Guide to Photos)
Jonno
Jonno

Number of posts : 662
Location : Milford,Auckland
Registration date : 2011-05-13

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