THE Cherryton Brick Works have been closed for decades yet this was once a hive of industry and activity, producing thousands of bricks for projects all over the country.

Situated at Tulligarth near Clackmannan, the brick works was opened in 1935 with its registered business address at Renfield Street in Glasgow.

Often where there was a colliery, there was a brick works. The Tulligarth Colliery Pit 2 was a short distance from the works, and both had access to the Stirling and Dunfermline railway line that ran immediately behind them.

The colliery played an important role, for it was the slag produced from mining the coal that was used in the manufacture of the bricks.

The slag was brought up from the mine, processed and the bricks made by hand initially. They were pressed into the wooden moulds and shaped. Each one was marked Cherryton.

They were then stacked, baked in the kilns, and a week later were ready for distribution. A train would reverse along the siding from the pit and pick up its load. It was a profitable side-line for the colliery owners, especially with the housing boom immediately following World War II.

Later, brick making machinery was installed, meaning the whole process was faster and bricks cheaper to produce as less manpower was required.

However, Tuesday 23rd November 1976 the company’s managing director Thomas Stevenson announced the brickworks would close.

Twenty-five men would lose their jobs. Stevenson also owned the Clackmannan Fuel Supply Company, which laid off three men at the same time, although two truck driving jobs were saved for coal deliveries.

The manager at the brick works Alexander Lamond said there had been no indication that the business was in trouble or men would be put on notice to quit.

At the time of its closure it was making around 28,000 bricks per day and it was claimed the order books were healthy, with the Scottish Social Housing Association having just placed an order for half a million bricks to build new homes.

Regardless Stevenson shut the Cherryton operation down in 1977 when the company was voluntarily wound up

On 23rd August however the Minto Brick Company Ltd was incorporated and in 1979 James Minto acquired Cherryton. It would not survive and went into administration a year later, finally closing on 1st August 1980.

The chimney at the brick works remains, towering over the neighbouring countryside, as does the large Belgian kiln and some of the archways where bricks were once stacked. Little else at the abandoned site survives.