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The object (right) was found
in 1960 during the culverting of the Stonebridge Brook, Tottenham, and donated to Bruce Castle Museum. The curator sought the assistance of Samuel South(3) with the identification.

Samuel(3) estimated that it was over 200 years old and was used for puddling [or pugging] clay for brick and pot making. He explained that the object was set upright, the smaller diameter at the top, within a cylinder and resting on a pivot. The upper end was attached to a horse harness.

Courtesy of Bruce Castle Museum

Clay and water was fed into the upper part of the cylinder and the roller turned by a horse walking a circular path round it [see left]. The spiral setting of the spikes would mix and soften the clay driving it down to an outlet at the base of the cylinder.



Eleanor Mitchell

Eleanor is the great grand -daughter of Joseph South and Mary Ann South (nee Dutton); descended from their son, Ernest.

In May, Eleanor travelled from her New Zealand home for a tour of the UK and visited some of her distant relations. A pleasant day was spent visiting the villages  of Barkway, Barley and Reed.  

Lunch was taken at the "Woodman" pub with Tom Doig, the local historian. Tom presented Eleanor with a brick he had recently unearthed and was probably made at the Morrice Green brickfield where Joseph is likely to have worked.

Eleanor studies some of the South archives 

The brick has been taken to New Zealand but it is not known whether a Customs declaration  for importation was  required!

Bert Brown

Contact has been made with Bert Brown, b 1919, who worked at the South pottery as a general worker in the yard during the 1930s and returned after his war service in 1947 when he became foreman in the claypit. Bert and his family had moved to Devonshire Hill Lane in 1927 and were the first tenants of one of the houses on the new estate developed by Tottenham UDC. He went to Devonshire Hill School where one of his school friends was Ted South. Bert has provided valuable archive material about the working practices and conditions at the pottery. 

Devonshire Hill Lane

In addition to the proposals to develop an Isolation Hospital and a railway station at Devonshire Hill (neither of which were built - Update 37) further research has established that other developments were contemplated. In March 1852, the minutes of the Local Board of Health record that a letter had been received notifying "the proposed construction by the New River Company of a Reservoir at Clay Hill [former name of Devonshire Hill]". As with the later development proposals, however, the project was abandoned.


Update 27 included a description and transcribed extract from the sales ledger (1882-1885) of Samuel South(1) and which is preserved at Bruce Castle Museum. The ledger cannot be photocopied or scanned because of possible damage but images of each page have been taken with a digital camera. A sample page is reproduced below. The entries were made by Samuel(1) and record the orders delivered to customers. 


Samuel South(1) sales ledger - courtesy of Bruce Castle Museum

KLB  9/03


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