Gibbs and Canning

Gibbs and Canning Ltd was a terracotta works at Glascote Heath, Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK. It was situated at approximately 52°37'35.6"N 1°39'50.6"W. The works  was on the main Glascote Road, which was then situated where Beyer Close is now.  The factory was made up of Glascote Colliery and the clay works. Both coal and clay were mined there.

It produced a wide range of wares including pipes, bricks, sinks, vases and jars. When it finally closed the site was cleared and a housing estate built on parts of the grounds. There is now very little evidence left of the buildings, railways, clay and coal pits.

advertisment for gibbs and canningThis advertisement of 1850 lists their main products at the time. Although it is much less glamorous than the architectural ceramics, it provided more of the income. The newspapers of the time have many reports of the improvements in the sewage systems of towns and villages. Gibbs and Canning Ltd was one of the main providers of pipes. As well as the depot mentioned in this advertisement, Gibbs and Canning had agents all over the country. There were many places where their wares could be viewed. (Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive.)building in george street Tamworth

I am researching the works, with my emphasis being on the architectural terracotta. This was used in many famous buildings, and was used to good effect all over the world. Local examples appear on even humble buildings such as terraced houses and local shops. The building in the right is dated 1898, and is in George Street, Tamworth.

A visitor to Glascote Heath in years gone by would have seen a very industrial scene. Part of this would be the chimney of Gibbs and Canning’s terracotta works, which could even be seen from parts of Belgrave and Wilnecote. At its peak the local area was also affected by the smell and sight of the smoke from the kilns and the waste from the coal and clay pits. Engines and locomotives worked noisily and hundreds of workers were employed in all sorts of jobs. It was a very busy place.

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