Selborne Brickworks, Hampshire
There’s an old mantra in Urban Exploring circles, “Everywhere is worth exploring, not everything is worth reporting” – and Selborne Brickworks fell pretty close to that rule. So much so it’s been over five months since I was there and continuously flicked through my photos wondering whether they’re of interest at all to anyone but myself!?
However, after looking in to the history of the site I found that Selborne Bricks have been hand-made in the village since 1872. The historic significance of the Tower Brick & Tile Company Ltd site immediately warranted it’s inclusion in my reports, no matter what my feelings are towards the photos I took.
Tower Brick & Tile Company Limited, as it was known in the last days of trading, went in to administration in November 2009 and finally dissolved in August 2011. The yard has the all too familiar feel that business here just stopped one day and everyone upped & left. Stacks of bricks all marked with the Selborne stamp awaiting pick-up that never came. Fired tiles sit in racks and more lay behind, waiting patiently for their turn. I almost feel sorry for them writing this!
After a short walk around the outside we ventured in to ‘front of house’ – a porta-kabin laden with centre pages of porn magazines blu-tacked to the walls. A practice which is vastly becoming a thing of the past in male-dominated professions. I can’t imagine many modern organisations allowing it these days. Brochures line the floor showing off the different styles of brick & tile available to prospective buyers.
While it felt like Selborne brickworks wasn’t going to yield much in the way of an explore, we were there for a couple of hours, the shed was huge and every part of the way to the end there was something to investigate, photograph & ponder how it worked. The gigantic machinery and what can only be described as a massive mixing bowl filled the end of the shed with pulleys, belts & gears stretching off in all directions with a sticky, dark tar-like substance saturating the floor around it.
With a few more sites to check out in the day, much bigger fish to fry, we packed up and were on our way south…