John Cathles Hill (1857–1915), builder and brickmaker, was born in Anderson’s Entry, Hawkhill, Dundee, on 12 December 1857, the eldest son of Robert Hill and his wife Eliza, née Cathles. There were six children, three boys (including John) and three girls, one of whom died in infancy. The elder Hill was a wheelwright and joiner, and in 1860 succeeded his father and grandfather as tollhouse…
These fantastic drainage tiles were found and donated by Brian Wardell.
A friend of his remembers them arriving at a farm in Northumberland on the back of an LBC lorry in the 1970s.
They are all marked in varying degrees of clarity with a single repeating line of text between 2 ribs – LBC Phorpres LBC Phorpres LBC
London Brick Company – It has been estimated that a third of all the brick houses in England are built from London Brick Company bricks. The London Brick Company started production just over a century ago and usage peaked in the Post-War rebuilding period up to the Nineteen Sixties. Maximum production rose, at one point, to an amazing 16,000,000 bricks per day.
The early brick presses only applied two presses to the powdered clay in the brick moulds. The trade-name Phorpres came about because Fletton Bricks made in Bedfordshire are pressed twice in each direction so that they are literally ‘four pressed’ if the phrase is pronounced quickly it becomes Phorpres.
Below – 4 different sized ribbed drainage tiles. They all measure 12″ long.
Largest to smallest
11″ outside diam x 8 3/4 ” inside diameter
8 3/4″ outside diam x 5 3/4 ” inside diameter
5 1/4″ outside diam x 3 3/4 ” inside diameter
1 1/4″ outside diam x 3″ inside diameter
Below – A further hexagonal drainage tile found by Ian Suddaby at St Andrews, Fife. It is marked Phorpres and will be an LBC product also.