An insight into the life of Sam Preston

An insight into the life of Sam Preston, a former Haunchwood Brick and Tile Company employee by his Widow Olive as told to Yvonne Everitt.

Sam used to live in Haunchwood Road and all he had to do to get to work at Haunchwood Brick and Tile company was climb over the fence at the end of his garden which backed onto what is now known as Vale View Open Space.

Sam with Chimney pots made at Haunchwood Brick and Tile Works. Photo courtesy of Olive Preston via Yvonne Everitt

After Sam and Olive married they moved to Ansley Road and so Sam had a little further to travel to work. Olive told of how she and Sam would cycle on a tandem for miles in their spare time. They did not have a family of their own even though they were fond of children, but a few local children in Ansley Road would come to their home on a weekend and help Sam to do some gardening. Apparently their parents did not allow then to dig in their own gardens. It was obvious that Olive and Sam enjoyed having these children around them. Olive told of how Sam made some special little tools at the brickworks especially for the children to use when the came to help in the garden.

Olive loaned me the only special photograph she had of Sam at his place of work so that I might make a copy of it in order to record it in any history project about the brickworks. In the photograph Sam is standing next to a fantastic Chimney Pot he helped to make. It was probably made in the ‘Pot Shop’ where chimney pots were made of beautiful intricate designs, Some of these chimneys can be seen on some of the very old houses today.

Olive related an occasion when they were on holiday in Torquay when Sam said he wanted to show her something. Olive guessed that it was going to be something that had been made at Haunchwood and she was right. Sam pointed out two terracotta urns at either side of a gateway into a park which had been made at his place of employment. Olive said this often happened when they were out and about.