South Yorkshire’s forgotten brick industry is now proudly remembered at Swinton Rail Station with the installation of a bespoke heritage display.
Passengers and locals will have a chance to learn more about the region’s brick industry, its role in the industrial revolution, and the people who made and built with them through a tribute assembling over 60 different types of locally produced bricks recently installed on the station forecourt.
Created by local councillor Ken Wyatt, the project was delivered through a collaboration between the Friends of Swinton Station and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), with support from Northern.
“Bricks have been used in construction for thousands of years, but it was the ability to mass produce strong, versatile bricks which enabled the industrial revolution to take place at the speed it did”, says Cllr. Wyatt.
“South and West Yorkshire had many coal mines and many brickworks associated to them, which have now all been swept away. This display showcases the diversity of bricks produced locally. Each bricks’ chiselled lettering, or ‘frog mark’ names the brickwork location, manufacturer and sometimes even the owner’s identity”, explains Cllr. Wyatt, who sourced the bricks himself, with donations from a number of local residents, and worked alongside a local engineer to create a bespoke frame to display them at the station.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the creation of this rather unique heritage project. I hope the display is of interest to local people who use the station and others from further afield. There is a growing interest in the importance of the humble brick and its crucial role in our built environment”.
Director of Public Transport Operations at SYMCA, Tim Taylor, added: “This important industrial display demonstrates how Community Rail projects can have a positive impact in engaging local people and connecting them and their heritage to the railways”
“The assembly is a fascinating snippet of Swinton’s recent history. We hope it will make the station more interesting to passengers, as well as showcase local pride in the area’s historical industries.”
Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we encourage and support projects like this. As well as welcoming passengers to the station, this work also celebrates the heritage of Swinton. I would like to thank everyone involved in this project.”