The reason why 90-year-old Bovingdon Brickworks was forced to mothball site and cut staff

Making bricks by hand is a thing of the past at Bovingdon Brickworks

Making bricks by hand is a thing of the past at Bovingdon Brickworks

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Bovingdon Brickworks, which has been making bricks since the 1920s, has revealed why it had no choice but to stop production.

The firm, in Ley Hill Road, previously produced seven million bricks a year – a million of which were hand-crafted and the rest made by machine.

Bovingdon Brickworks

Bovingdon Brickworks

Its unique style of making bricks from clay, dug near to the brickworks, ensured it survived the economic downturn.

But the brick-making has stopped and the site has been mothballed because the firm ‘ran out of clay’.

There have been ‘a number of job losses’ as a result of the closure since an announcement at the site.

Chief executive of EH Smith builders merchants, John Parker, said: “It’s with great regret that we’ve had to mothball the site.

“There was a reluctant acceptance among people but no one is saying that the company has been capricious – everybody knows why.

“We’ve been scraping around for the last year and it was damaging our reputation to scrape bricks out of stone.

“We ran out of clay – it’s just one of those things. It’s not the end of the site, we will continue with brick cutting operations, and the EH Smith merchant site is unaffected.”

Mr Parker added: “There have been some job losses but we have been able to find other jobs for some people.

“It’s a shame. We are sorry to no longer be part of the local scene.”

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