Owned by Richard Hoyle then later by Messrs Wood & Fairweather, the works were situated on the River Derwent. It employed one foreman, three blackmakers or firemen, one warehouseman, two coopers to make casks and two wherrymen to man the wherries which carried the produce to ships for transport to countries as distant as India and Italy. Lampblack was the smoke from burning a mixture of tar and creosote oil and was used in the manufacture of paint and rubber. The mixture was fed into fires and the smoke was carried by draught into "arches". These were sealed up by iron doors at the beginning of each week and were not opened until the end of the week when men went in to rake up the deposit of soot and put it into casks. The firm closed in 1930 having opened in the early 19th century.
Very interested to see the picture of The Blacking Factory. I believe my Mam's Grandparents were caretakers there when she was young,and I've often heard her talking about it (she's 86) If it was possible, I'd love to have a copy of the photograph for her.
Posted by: C Armstrong at October 16, 2012 3:46 PM
Thanks for the comment Christine. Although the picture we have is fairly small we may be able to print you off a copy. Tried to email it but couldn't.
Posted by: Whickham Web Wanderers at October 17, 2012 10:51 AM