This brick is in the possession of Leslie White and was found in the Hawkesbury (NSW) region during a demolition job. Douglas Fireclay Works, Dalry, Ayrshire. Note the unusual stencilling. It possibly reads ‘I R S26 3″. So was this added at the Douglas Fireclay Works as perhaps an order number, code for the customer…
(Note – SBH – From the details below, Andrew Swinley left Scotland in 1946 for Australia to start a brick making business with his brother James. This was possibly in the Melbourne area but not necessarily so. Does anyone know if they actually managed to establish a brick manufacturing business in Australia?)
01/12/1946 – Sunday Post – They said he would never do it – but he did! This morning Andrew Swinley is standing on the deck of the s.s. Largs Bay—outward bound for Australia. Eleven thousand miles away his twin brother, James, is waiting to welcome him. Together they mean to start a business of their own. Andrew is 36 years old. Until this weekend his home was at 116 Station Road, Lochgelly. He’s a brickmaker to trade. Before the war, he and twin James were never apart. Then Andrew was called up to the Army, James to the Navy. Immediately after the war, James settled in Australia. A few weeks ago Andrew came home to Lochgelly on demob leave. His mind was already made up. He wanted to be with his twin. And he wanted to go where there was scope for the new ideas he’d got during his war-time travels. That was why, a year before he left the Army, he applied for permission to emigrate on demobilisation. Back came the reply—” We’re getting an average of 5000 applications a week. It may be 1947 before you get away”.
Andrew wasn’t daunted. He knew dairy work would be handy. So he promptly took a dairy course in the Army’s education scheme. For a month he worked on a German State farm. And he worked hard. He came out top of his class with 103 marks out of 107. But when demob came, he found he wasn’t any nearer Australia. So he went to see the resettlement officer at Dunfermline. His luck was in. ” There’s a special scheme on just now,” he was told, ” for single ex-Servicemen with building experience.” He got the necessary form and applied. Within a week he was interviewed by an Australian Government representative in Edinburgh. He was asked for references. They were quickly obtained from Wernyss Brickworks, where he worked for 14 years, and Wellwood Brickworks, where he was an overseer for three years. Next, he passed a medical. As his leave isn’t up until 18th December, he needed permission from the Army to reside outside the U.K. He got it. So, because Australia wants building tradesmen, Andrew has done in a few weeks what it’ll take some folk years to do. And his passage is paid by the British and Australian Governments. After he lands, twin James and he will set about starting their own brick-making business. Good luck, lads.
06/12/1946 – Bo.ness Journal – Deanfield ex-marine off to Australia – With 200 building trade emigrants – Now on his way to Australia on the s-s. Largs Bay is Mr William M. Robertson, youngest son of Mr and Mrs William Robertson who live at Deanfield Drive. He is one of a party of 200 building tradesmen emigrating under a scheme arranged jointly by the British and Australian Governments. Mr Robertson, who is 24, served in Italy and Normandy with the Royal Marines, and before being demobilised in March this year spent twelve months Australia. He liked the country so much that he applied for permission to return as a civilian. While in uniform he had followed his trade as a plasterer and his application was accepted almost immediately. Officially scheduled as a concrete worker, he has a guaranteed job awaiting him in the Melbourne area where the emigrants will be housed on arrival in huts. Mr Robertson left Bo’ness with a pocketful of addresses given to him by local people with relatives or friends in Australia. Another party 400 men is expected to leave Britain under the same scheme at the end of this month.