Builder launches search for West Midlands brickies who worked on factory site 30 years ago

A leading regional builder has launched an appeal to find the bricklayers who worked on a former ceramics factory in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1980s after uncovering commemorative stones on the site.

Persimmon Homes West Midlands is currently demolishing the former Dyson Industries factory, in Shelton New Road, to make way for more than 130 homes.

Demolition work is well under way and it could take up to four months to clear the site. However, during the works, unusual memorial stones have been discovered and Persimmon is keen to solve the mystery. There are several brown stones with the words Harts Hill on them and the image of a hand. However, on the back of the stones, there are white discs which have been signed, presumably by the builders who were working on the site around 30 years ago. One says P Beech Dec 17th 1986 To All The Bricklayers while another is signed Dec 1986 D F Cotterell.

Stephen Cleveley, sales director for Persimmon Homes West Midlands, said:

“We have found several of these memorial stones on the site and we are keen to find anyone who worked on the factory so that we can unlock the mystery of why they were put there.

“The development is in an historic part of the city and the factory has played a major role in the town’s past. We would like to mark that by incorporating one of these Hartshill memorial stones in the development.

“Ideally, we would like to find one of the bricklayers so that they can relay the stone in our new development and keep an important link with the past.”

The development will be called Mintons Wood, in recognition of the town’s ceramic history where Thomas Minton established his famous pottery factory in the late 18th Century.

Persimmon plans to provide a selection of two, three, four and five-bedroom properties together with a commercial element on the site. The new homes are due to be launched onto the market in early 2017 and it is hoped the first occupants will move in next summer.