Storforth Lane Hasland – from brickworks to industrial estate

We’ve been looking at industries in the area around Storforth Lane, Hasland parish, in our last few blogs. We end this story with a look at how the modern Storforth Lane Trading Estate came about and its immediate predecessor – a brickworks.

CJ Saunders, taken from his obituary in the Derbyshire Times, 31 October 1925. According to the article ‘He came to Chesterfield in 1879, as engineering manager of the Monkwood Colliery, at Barlow, now extinct, and some years later went into partnership with Mr. Naylor at the colliery and brickworks at Brockwell. On Mr. Naylor’s death he took over the business, and, as the colliery showed signs of being worked out, devoted his energies to the brickworks. Later he opened the works in Storforth Lane, of which he was managing director when he died’.

In 1898 Charles James Saunders (1853–1925), who had a brickworks on Brockwell Lane (in Newbold), adjoining his home at Brockwell House, incorporated his business as C.J. Saunders & Co. Ltd, with capital of £1,4000 in £10 shares.

The new company was to take over the Brockwell Lane works as a going concern and build a brick and tile-works at Storforth Lane. The works stood on the north side of Storforth Lane immediately to the east of the Midland Railway, from which it was served by a siding, whereas the Brockwell Lane works (which closed in 1914) was never rail connected. Part of the site had previously been occupied by the spoil tips and miscellaneous works of Storforth Lane colliery. Clay was got from pits adjoining the works.

Saunders was chairman and managing director; the other directors were P.H. Chandler and John Saunders; and the other subscribers were Reuben Wragg, a slater, Edward Mitchell and his son Arthur Edward, chartered accountants, F.A. Walker, solicitor, and C.W. Rollinson, architect.

The promoters took all the shares and there was no public offer. The shareholders were largely identical with the syndicate which at about the same time developed the ‘Hasland Building Estate’, the grid of streets between Storforth Lane, Hasland Green and Hasland Road, and the works were probably established in part to supply materials for the new houses.

The company was reconstructed in 1921 and in 1931, a few years after Saunders had died, the works were offered for sale, including the kiln and other buildings standing on a 25a. freehold site, the siding and a loading dock, tools, stores, stock in trade, goodwill and all the remaining clay. Portions of the land were let to a variety of tenants, producing a yearly rent of £91, and the worked-out clay pits were being used to tip refuse by Chesterfield corporation. The company appears to have remained in existence for a short time after this sale.

To give an example as to the extent of works the Derbyshire Times of Saturday 31 March 1934 reported that the clay pit on site had a drop of 60 to 70 feet with about 16-20 feet of water in the bottom.

The Derbyshire Times of 28 February 1931 carried this advertisement of the brickwork’s sale.

In its edition of August 25th, 1934 the Derbyshire Times reported that;

‘Storforth Lane Brickworks, Chesterfield, formerly owned by Messrs. C. J. Saunders and Company, Ltd., which had been idle since the death of the founder two or three years ago, is again working full time and producing large quantities of bricks needed in connection with building developments in Chesterfield and district. A new department for manufacturing rustic and other patent bricks is contemplated for the near future. A new company has taken over the concern and is registered as Brickworks, Ltd., with a capital of £12,500 in £1 shares. The managing director is Mr. Edwin Glossop, of Ambergate. The works and kilns have been reorganised under the new management, whose main works are at Ambergate, with a branch at Twentywell – Lane, Dore. The new owners are looking forward to a long period of prosperity and are hoping to eclipse records established during the past thirty years.’

Kelly’s directory of Derbyshire states that Saunders Brickworks Ltd were operating the site in their 1936 edition. The works appears to have remained open until at least 1942, when it was being described as ‘Saunders Brickworks Ltd.’

After the brickworks closed the site was redeveloped by Edwin Marriott as Chesterfield’s first purpose-built trading estate for small businesses. A company ‘Storforth Lane Industries’ was registered in June 1956, presumably to develop and let the trading estate. Builder and contractor Edwin Marriott was the chairman of the board and permanent director, with the other first directors being Florence Bethune Marriott, Richard Edwin De Glossop and Marjorie Anne Glossop. The company was dissolved in January 2010.

Storforth Lane Brickworks shown on this map published in 1954. Note the ‘Old Shaft (Coal)’ which marks the site of the former colliery pit head. (Ordnance Survey, SK36NE – A, surveyed / revised: pre-1930 to 1954, published: 1955. Courtesy National Library of Scotland).
With the demise of local brickworks a whole raft of trades disappeared. This is just one example of a now disappeared occupation – an advertisement for a brickworks burner placed in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Tuesday 30 April 1929 at the Storforth Lane Brickworks.

Our previous blogs about this area – to the east and west of the Storforth Lane railway bridge – have been:

Our Hasland book
There’s lost more information about industries in Hasland, which includes the Derby Road area, along with the references to the sources used in this blog, in our Hasland book. Copies are available from the Chesterfield Visitor Centre and Chesterfield branch of Waterstones, priced at £20.