Extraction Industries & Manufacturing Memories of Nitshill Brickworks

The History

Extraction Industries & Manufacturing

Memories of Nitshill Brickworks

In the 1950s, my upstairs neighbour, Mr Phillips from Haughburn Rd.,  was the night watchman there and he had a little howff. Mrs Phillips would take me with her sometimes when she was taking his ‘pieces’ to him. He had a billy, which he boiled his tea in, and a huge big fire. We would sit there sharing them with him, and a few wee bits of home baking, all cosy and warm with only the fire and candle lamps for light. Those were the days.'
Margaret Malloch Walker
Used to build large dens, great times there!'
David Brown

The photo was taken in the Nitshill brickwork on Cleeves Road.

The photo was taken in the Nitshill brickwork on Cleeves Road. The person on the far right of the photo is my brother Daniel, the one second from left was his future father-in-law, his name was ‘Sanny’ (I think it was short for Alexander) Tervit. The other men, I don’t know their names. The photo was taken about 1963/64. My brother thinks they opened early 1900s and closed mid-seventies. The owners were a company from Ayrshire called Kenneth’s.'
Martin Brady 

Yes, an important social note about the brickworks. Around 1964, I was walking to Nitsie along Cleeves Rd. Coming toward me, a couple...wee argument, well more a wummin’s rant...he was silent...she was “av got in the messages, swept the flairs, made the bloody beds, peeled the totties, took the comb thru the weans hairs for nits.... Finally, she paused fer a breath...then ...classic Glesga timin, so good it shut her right up...he says... “Did ye empty the ashes?” Never forget that moment...a was 10 feet beyond and buckled! My best memory of Nitshill, brickyard Cleeves Rd., and the quarry...all wrapped up in ashes!'
William Douglas
Played in there many a time. You were lucky if dugs not there! Aunty and Uncle Mick Bennett stayed round the corner from it.'
John Boyd
I think we used to nick oil for our bikes from there. Kids playing in it get chased by the old Irish watchie.'
Callum Murdoch
I used to go and sit with the watchie, he would bugger off to the boozer and leave us in the site office!'
Ricky Brown

Alex Glass had some Nitshill bricks and told us:

They were used to build the houses in South Nitshill. They were found when the house on Whitriggs Road were demolished. There are some on display within the grounds of Cleeves Primary School. Also, there is a part of a flywheel discovered when the new school was being built. A couple of the bricks have been donated to the Glasgow Museum’s Resource Centre in Nitshill.'
Me ‘n Joe Mullan used to play in the soot house, diving into the soot, going home black! And I remember the brick-arched Killins being a labyrinth to walk in.'
David McPherson
I've got a Nitshill brick in my hut, found it on a job I was doing in Elderslie. My mates kept asking me “wits in the poly bag, wee man?” Didn't have the courage to explain.'
Douglas McVey
My da worked in it, must have been early [19]60s. He made the bricks, far as I can remember. Granny lived in Househillwood Road and I went up to see dad. You could practically walk in off the street, holes in fences etc. Health and safety wasn’t a thing then.” When asked if his dad wore any protective clothing, such as gloves, apron or face masks, Graham replied “Not anytime I was there.'
Graham Dempsey
I lived at 329 Househillmuir Road; my back garden faced on to the bricky. It closed about [19]75’ish. I remember everybody came out to watch them pull down the big chimney. There was people with cameras taking photos, so there must be photos out there somewhere.'
Rab Donaldson