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  • Writer's pictureLetters Wander

Brick by Brick

Just hanging in the old pie factory on Commercial Street... long since demolished... the factory was the reason Morley town centre once smelled like pastry and gravy! ⠀

While Morley has its big names... from Scatcherd to Dartmouth... Asquith to Salt... from Helen Field to Ernie Wise... quietly a different name is found most often throughout this bustling borough... sometimes in walls, sometimes in buildings... sometimes upside down in demolished pie factories... the name you’ll find is Armitage. ⠀

George Armitage and sons began cooking clay and making bricks in 1864... son after son passed the torch (or kiln) through the generations for over 100 years... finding suitable sites... cooking bricks... exhausting the clay and moving on. ⠀

Armitage and sons, at different times, could be found in Rothwell, Robin Hood, Swillington, Oulton, Woodkirk and, of course, Howley Park in Morley. ⠀

This wasn’t just a casual game of Jenga. At the peak of their brick baking career in 1974... Armitage and the boys were stacking 64 million bricks a year... they were prolific!⠀

Unfortunately for the Armitage lads... the 1980s happened... and the family business was sold to Marshalls in 1988. However, the Armitage name still lives on in Yorkshire with John Armitage and his York Handmade Brick Company... carrying the weight of 150 years and an absolute tonne of brick history on his shoulders.

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