Earlier in March we reported that a former brickworks had been uncovered by Preston City Council workers in Fishwick.
Digging a new water pipe at Fishwick recreation ground they uncovered relics from an old brick working foundry and a brick with the inscription ‘J. Topping & Son, Preston’.
We asked if anyone had any information about the long lost brickworks. Barney Smith and Bette Beard got in touch.
Barney, from Preston Digital Archive, said he believed James Topping was originally in partnership with a Mr. Atherton of Atherton & Topping. He ran the North Lancashire & Stocks Bridge Brick and Tile Works along the canal bank near the Roebuck Street canal bridge.
Barney continues: “There were once a number of sand and clay pits along this stretch of the canal. James Topping lived in Ashton, Preston. His son Henry Hetherington Topping was a Burgess in the 1952 Preston Guild and a resident of Penwortham.”
Bette Beard also commented: “I was born in 1928 at 9 Ashleigh street. Which overlooked the brickworks, we sold the house nearly ten years ago, I have seen all the changes.
“I remember the brickworks in full activity, the overhead rail carrying the clay, the blasting of the clay. I think it closed just before the last war, but the buildings remained for many years.
“During the war this site was used as a training ground for the Home Guard, every Sunday morning older men in ill fitting uniforms would assemble from every direction for a mornings parading and training – had it been filmed it would have been far more amusing than Dads army. It was known locally as the Bonk.”
Thanks to Barney Smith and Bette Beard
Do you have more information about, or rememeber the Fishwick brickworks?