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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

Messrs. Ford and Ogden's Pottery Works

Messrs. Ford and Ogden's Pottery Works.

These pottery works are situated at South Malvern, and the firm's town depot and offices are on the South Belt, Christchurch. Mr Ford has been engaged prospecting in the Malvern Hills for some twenty-five years, and about six years ago commenced making fire-bricks and drain-pipes. Since then and during the last three years pottery has been added to the articles produced at the works. There are about twenty hands employed at the works and at the town depôt. The works are so situated as to utilise the railway communication to the utmost, being connected with the main line by a siding. To facilitate the distribution of the material to the different places where it is manufactured, the firm have laid down about a mile of Fowler and Co.'s steel rails, thus ensuring rapid and easy communication with all parts of the works. The steam power employed consists of two engines—one 40 h. p., and the other 20 h. p. The machinery comprises a complete plant for the manufacture of sanitary and drain pipes, pressed bricks and fire bricks, and includes all the latest patents in the different branches of the industry, which' were specially selected by Mr Ford during a visit to England made for the purpose. The pottery machinery, which is a comparatively recent addition, includes all the modern appliances for the manufacture of pottery. The works are very extensive, as are the buildings. These latter include a pottery kiln, extensive drying sheds, rooms for the manufacture and drying of pottery (all substantially constructed of brick), a large house for the residence of one of the members of the firm, and a manager's house, &c. The water used at the works is supplied from a reservoir constructed by the firm from plans drawn by Mr E. Dobson. The reservoir is so situated as to enable a water supply to be carried to every part of the works, and the page 210pressure is such as to force the water to the top storey of the buildings. The manufactures of the firm comprise all kinds of sanitary and drain pipes, all kinds of bricks used for building purposes, fire bricks, all kinds of tiles and garden tiles. In pottery ware, they make bread pans, pickle jars, flower pots, butter crocks, fern pots, and a very large variety of domestic crockery. The firm are particularly fortunate in possessing on their ground fine seams of magnificent clays of different kinds. As an instance of the qualities of these clays, Professor Bickerton, Government Analyst, has analysed them, and states that for quality, variety, and quantity they were unique. During Mr. Ford's recent visit to England, he visited all the principal pottery works in Great Britain, and, on showing at them samples of the Malvern clays, was told they had none to excel, and few to equal them. Of the mineral qualities of the Malvern Hills, Mr. Ford has an enthusiastic belief, having himself made a very fine collection, including ironstone, marble, manganese, glass and casting sand, besides native gems, comprising amethysts, agates, cornelians, onyx, sardonyx, jasper, bloodstones, rubies, garnets, opals, and alluvial gold and auriferous quartz. The works are interesting, as showing the energy and perseverance of the firm, and of the special efforts of Messrs. Ford and Ogden as prospectors. The community cannot but be indebted to them to a large extent for the establishment and development of an industry which has taken such great strides during the past few years as to almost shut out imported goods, which provides employment for a large number of hands, and which, by the manufacture of various articles, has materially assisted in the development of other local industries, notably the manufacture of jams and pickles.