Pinelands History: Clay Put To Good Use

The St Stephens, Alice's Ride, Forest Drive intersection was once the site of the largest brickfields in the southern hemisphere with reputedly the best bricks in Africa.

A railway line stretched from the Francis Road area to its junction at the corner of Alice's Ride and Forest Drive. This single track existed 25 years before Pinelands was established and served as a link between the siding at Maitland Station and the brickfields at Uitvlugt.

In 1874 Mr. George Pauling of Kimberley was employed as manager of the Kimberley Cape Town Railway line. Later his sons joined him in Cape Town where they discovered that Uitvlugt had a rich clay deposit. Soon the family set about establishing a brickfield.

Towards the turn of the century the business was bought by a Mr. Hare who named it the Central Brick and Tile Company. At the end of the Boer War all the British soldiers returned home resulting in a recession in the Cape. Accordingly there was a reduced demand for bricks. The price of £6 per 1000 was more than the public would pay. Eventually Mr. Hare sold up and closed down the yard.

The old boiler and machines were pulled by mules to the new site in Mowbray which was known as Hares Brickfied. The kilns and the 150ft chimney were dynamited and the bricks shipped to South West Africa/Namibia for the building of the first factory for the Walvis Bay Canning Company.

Early in the 1890's two wood and iron shacks were build adjacent to the brickfield site as living quarters and offices for the foreman and owner. These shacks were spared when the business moved and remained empty until the first estate manager of Pinelands, Bill Logan, took occupancy in December of 1920. The smaller of the two shacks was demolished in 1945 and the other in June 1956.

Article supplied by Brian Watkyns