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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tully Mathews

This brick was once part of a chimney in a cottage built for Tamati Waka Nene at Russell/Kororareka.

For the last decade or so I've been researching brickmaking in NSW - I got on to this because an unsourced remark in a book on trades in NZ referred to Samuel Marsden training young Maori men in brickmaking at Parramatta ca.1819. Much pottering about led me to Tully Mathews, a convict from Louth, who worked for the CMS at Oihi or Rangihoua making bricks in 1816.

There was a Terry Mathews of Glebe who died in 1847 who may have been the same man.

The brick research fed into a friend and mentor's Samuel Marsden biography which was discussed today on Chris Laidlaw's Sunday Morning show on Radio New Zealand:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/__data/assets/audio_item/0005/1812929/sun-20081214-0845-Richard_Quinn-m048.asx

11 comments:

merc said...

It that an intentional thumb print indentation on the bottom lefthand corner?

artandmylife said...

That was a great interview - heard bits of it on Sunday and just listened again.

Fresh Local said...

Handmade bricks often had thumb marks on them - the most logical explanation is that the moulder had to press the brick out of the mould.

Other theories suggest some form of id or tally system. I've never heard an explanation of how that worked in practice.

The link is to an edited version of the discussion but still interesting.

merc said...

Guilty, I don't listen to radio...

Fresh Local said...

Think of it not so much as radio but as an audio file that was recorded weeks before it was broadcast. It was briefly a radio show and is now an audio file again.

Most radio in Sydney is cretinous - I only listen to the Koori station in the car in a vain attempt to avoid the "at home he feels like a tourist" syndrome.

http://www.gadigal.org.au/KooriRadio/AboutUs.aspx

merc said...

I have this thing, well many things, about radio now, especially nz radio. Whenever I am at home, or in car, I play paid for music of my own choice, or make my own.
I could say more, but i won't, hehe.

Fresh Local said...

I don't think we're on the same wavelength on this one.

artandmylife said...

You mentioned Vulcan bricks at te Horo (I think) I live 10 mins away from that pottery. May go this weekend....

Fresh Local said...

Te Horo pottery was set up by Mirek Smisek and recently taken over by Helen and John WiNeera. They ran it as The Station B&B and John made and sold pottery there.

John died just over a year ago and when we stayed there last Xmas Helen was undecided what her future would hold.

A year ago the pottery and gallery were like the Marie Celeste with pots in various stages of creation. Every part of the property echoed with John's existence.

There was still a web presence for The Station B&B last time I checked but I don't know about irl. Helen was very raw when we met her but very generous and open.

artandmylife said...

I didn't realise John had died. Flags used to fly when it was open and I hadn't seen them for a while.

I was just looking at the settlement of Woodside (near Mosgiel) where my Grandmotehr grew up - it was a brickmaking place and has many 'fine' brick houses still standing. the brickmaker was John Joseph

Fresh Local said...

I discovered The Station B&B via googling on pottery and kilns. We have relafriends that are building at Te Horo and live there at the weekends. It seemed ideal as a place to stay.

I emailed and got a message from Helen apologising for being disorganised but John had died three weeks earlier. I think it was from an aggressive form of cancer.

There are articles in the Historic Places Trust mag about SI brickmakers but I can't recall whether John Joseph is mentioned.