My fascination with constructions in Brisbane continues! Not far from our house, and in the grounds of Flipside where my younger son and I go to learn circus skills, this divine brick chimney is all that is left of the brickworks which stood in Newmarket from 1912 to 1987. As a rare example of a load bearing chimney stack, it was allowed to survive when the Brisbane Brick Company was demolished, and is now heritage listed.
The chimney stands 50 metres tall, and when you look at it now, you can see where the opening to it has been bricked in. It is a remnant of an industry which struggled to survive in a timber-dominated building market. The brickworks was originally set up by a frustrated group of builders and architects who were unable to find good quality bricks nearby. It used the Hoffman kiln method of brick making. (If you’re interested to read more, there is a fabulous blog post on the history of Brisbane bricks here.)
Mr Anderson, former Manager of Newmarket Brickworks, was the works foreman for the construction of St Andrew’s Church in Brisbane (pictured above), and he sourced the bricks from his old firm. The brickworks also supplied brick to the University of Queensland. During the war it was occupied by the Defence Force to make uniforms and other army equipment.
There are brickmakers in the distant past of my husband’s family, pioneers who came from England to Adelaide in the 1800s, and as I researched them I could only imagine what hard and yet satisfying work it must have been! I had given thought to bricklayers, but not to the people (and methods) that created the bricks themselves.
My photo doesn’t really do this beautiful chimney justice; it is a magnificent creation, built the way things used to be, with much care and attention to aesthetic detail. It was part of my inspiration for this ring, and the one below. I fell in love with this chimney the first time I laid eyes on it, although I had no idea what it was at the time, and still each time I see it it gladdens my heart.