KINSON AND THE POTTERIES
The reddish clays deposited around the north and east of Poole Harbour are not of the best quality but are suitable for the manufacture of bricks and pottery. In 1830 one third of the pottery in England was made from Poole clay.
This gave employment to many from Elizabethan times onwards and over the years many small brick kilns and pottery works,especially in the Ashley and Alder areas,were established,worked for a time and then abandoned.
There were several small family brickmaking concerns.The daughter of one such remembered that her father went out of buisness because he refused to to make the inferior it was necessary to produce to keep up with the demand.
Each brick batch of bricks was tested by the method of dropping several and if they broke or chipped the lot were suspectand put aside for building outhouses or boundary walls.She recalls that the men of the family carried out a perpetual shift system as the kilns had to be tended day and night. since all domestic cookery was by kitchen range,which meant a very hot kitchen in summer,it was customary for the wifes to have an open-air brick range,sometimes communal,for fine weather cooking and washing. As the house of to-day requires a garage to shelter its car,so the houses of that time
required an adjoining field to supply summer food and winter hay for their horsepower, the pony and cart. Another necessity was the family pig and most households kept a "pig in". Not an ounce of the animal was wasted and any spare fat was rubbed into the brickmakers' mates'(wifes and childrens)hands. A few potteries grew and remained as large concerns, but two only really relate to Kinson.
The earliest brick works in the area was at Foxholes in Newtown around 1755 the first pit was established in the area in 1852 and the Bourne Valley Potteries were established a year later in 1853.There was a great demand for bricks in those days for the building of the massive viaducts at Branksome along with new roads and bridges for the new southern railways.Nearby Bournemoth was also rapidly expanding and many houses and trades people were in high demand hence the growth of such heavy labour industies in the area.Clay pits,brickyards and quarries were spinging up everyone, in an area so rich in sand ,lime, gravel,stone and peat.Initially the migration workforce for these new industries were the navvi gangs who arrived in the area and were quickly identified with their familiar thick coats and corduroy trousers tied with thongs beneath the knees ,along with their cloth caps slanting over one ear.These men were to soon to integrate and marry into the local community. and at the same time many moved to live in the developing newtown and up on hill area of parkstone.,built to accomodate them with their new families.There were now new craftsmen aside from the former agriculturial workers and farm laborers.These included brickmakers,potters..etc with new skills who worked n developed the new clay works,brickyards and potteries.Many of these new industries were self financed and developed by local families like Ray Wills great grandmother Elizabeth(Fancy)Rogers financed and developed the family brickyards the Albion Brick Company and Alderney Brickworks which her sons managed from her humble begining with one pig!! Many local families had their own smallholding farm in those days.
Kinson Potteries situated in the south-west corner of the paish towards Poole had 27 acres of clay of three different qualities
some beds being as much as 40 feet thick although all were under a great depth of sand.
The pottery works here were started early last century but received a fillip with the increase in building around Poole and Bournemouth . In 1854 the Kinson clayfields and Fired pottery Company was established with a capital of £40,000. the money was raised by a buisness group from 'up country' and the potteries leased locally. By the 1860s the works had twelve kilns, a boiler, engine house,drying shed, stables and offices. bricks,tiles, chimney pots and drain drain pipes were made.
At about this time oil had been found in Cananda and an oilfield established at Collingwood. Good fire-bricks were required for the procesing and the potteries at Kinson manufactured refractory chimney flue bricks which suited the purpose.
orders were duly dispatched. Their progress wa recently traced and went thus:-
By horse and cart from the potteries to Poole Quay, by barge to London or Southampton, across the atlantic to Quebec or Montreal, by raft or barge up the St.Lawrence river to York(present day Toronto), by railway to Collingwood harbour, by raft along the southern shores to Nottawasaga Bay to the beach nearest the site and by hand the rest of the way. Cheaper oil was found elsewhere and production at Collingwood ceased in 1861. Recently some of the bricks ,each bearing the words KINSON,POOLE, were found in a field there .One was returned to England in 1969 and presented to the potteries.
By 1884 the fortunes of the concern had declined when William Carter bought the Potteries. William was the son of Jesse Carter ,virtual founder of the Poole Potteries, and was to be the father of Herbert Carter ,well known in Poole. the new owner of the property reorganised,cut down here and rebuilt there, and relying on judgement and experience gained in a small brickworks he already owned, he began to make a success of the buisness. Stoneware, drainpipes and various terra cotta goods were made. He adopted steam road haulage when it was first introduced to the advantage of the firm but to the decriment of the Corporation' s roads. early calls to clients were by penny farthing and later ones by one of the first cars in the district . A German expert was employed to build a special kiln that was required. William carter moved into the hermitage,then a cottage overlooking the potteries and part of the property. By the beginning of the century his son Herbert was working at the pottery. According to Herbert Carter ,whose book 'I call to Mind' has been a valuable reference for this paragraph, the buisness was none too efficient with the best having to be made of an old engine with another similar one
added in 1905. Inside the sheds were lit by bottle-lamps, these being 'portable' lamps of cast iron which burnt poor paraffin. It was decided that the deep layer of sand, hitherto unused, should be utilised in the making of the new continental sand and lime bricks. This venture was not a great success and money had to be invested in new machinery from the Continent.
At this point the power was changed from steam to anthracite(gas) in an endeavour to save fuel. there was gradual success until a setback in the form of an explosion which caused great damge, though no loss of life, and disrupted work for one year The firm gradually flourished in spite of competition from larger concerns; Herbert carter succeeded his father and became Chairman of Directors in 1908. By 1970 the potteries had been closed and demolished.
Elliot's potteries started at Bear Cross.Mr.E.A.Eliiot, who farmed extensively in the area, discovered good brick clay when a well was sunk on his farm at Cudnell. A brickworks was started here where the farm-land met the crossroads, and hand-made bricks were made from around 1880 to 1900. When the clay at Bear cross ran out the brickworks was moved to the rise of land at West Howe ,in Poole Lane. The clay here was a much better quality Ball Clay. Later, in 1912, drain pipes, terra cotta ware and roofing tiles were manufactured in addition to bricks. In 1922, Mr.N.T.Elliot entered the firm and by 1927 the manufacture of bricks fior domestic fireplaces was started and these together with stoneware drain pipes, were made untill the potteries closed in 1966. Bournemouth Corporation and Max Factor's (local light industry) bought the land.
To the east of Elliot's stood Painter and Ropers 'Kinson Steam Brickworks', later owned by Burdens. This was a smaller concern where hand-made bricks were manufactured.(Taken from Old Kinson by S.J.Lands)
In 1873, a Builder's Merchant and Ironmonger going by the name of Jesse Carter bought a near derelict pottery in the town of Poole, Dorset. The pottery remains in the same location today. Jesse had already realized that there was a large deposit of clay just to the north of the town, and an excellent means of transporting his goods out, and his fuel in, through the harbour. By the 1880's the factory was well known for its tiling products, mosaic flooring and advertising panels.
A rival pottery in the same area was based at Hamworthy and known as the Patent Architectural Pottery. The Carter pottery rapidly overtook the Hamworthy factory in quality and quantity, and in 1895 the Carter family bought the competition for £2,000. The next significant occurance was in 1901 when Jesse Carter retired. Upon his retirement he handed over control of the potteries to two of his sons, namely Charles and Owen. It would appear that Charles was the 'managerial' type and Owen was more of a 'hands-on' artist. Another name worthy of mention in the following period of twenty years or so, is James Radley Young. Young was the head of the Design Department and his influence doubtless helped to put Poole Potteries where it is today. The period between 1901 and 1920 saw countless coming and goings of the Carter family involving sons, uncles, brothers and the like, and the First World War did not do much to help the situation. But the Carter Company prospered and distinctive styles were beginning to emerge.
In 1920, Charles Carter introduced Cyril, his son, to one Harold Stabler, who in turn had Cyril shaking hands with John Adams. Stabler was a designer and silversmith, and Adams a designer and potter. Of as much interest was Adam's wife, Truda, who was to be a huge influence over the following years. In 1921 the company of Carter, Stabler and Adams was set up as a subsidiary of the Carter Company to produce ornamental and domestic pottery. We should bear in mind that at this time the Carter Company was primarily concerned with the manufacture of tiling and architectural products. Carter Stabler and Adams (CSA) set to with a will and, with a lot of input from Truda Adams introduced a range of hand decorated, bright and vivid designs.
The items produced in the 1920's and 30's are the most sought after today. The range was impressive to say the least. Decorative tiles, stoneware, vases, urns, jugs, bowls, plates, dishes and so on. They were produced in a huge range of colours, decorations, and finishes. In addition Harold Stabler and his wife Phoebe introduced a faience range and a whole series of figures and plaques. We see the introduction of the range known today as 'Traditional' with many design variants. Sometimes the novice Poole collector will confuse the two letter pattern code under the base of a piece with the initials of the artist. Given time and experience it becomes easy to recognise the difference.