Name on a brick

I have an allotment, in Edinburgh, and of the eight which surround mine (including the ones that touch just at a corner) two have water taps. I've been there for 10 or more years, and filled a bucket or attached a hose more times than I could count. In April 2019 there I was, idly filling a bucket, my eyes wandering over the adjoining plot next to the tap. Some tidying up... some weed-suppressing matting weighted down by bricks. And on the old bricks (an allotment area is full of them - making paths, walls, props, movable weights) are the brick-makers names. One name - AUCHINLEA - popped out at me. I'd never seen a brick with this name on before, and here were two, within touching distance. I felt that heart-stopping lurch which you get - the adrenalin surge or whatever it was. This was a real coincidence that shocked me. It was like lottery numbers coming up. </p> <p>In March I had just finished a family tree blog, which I'd researched for a year or so, on and off, and worked on heavily over a month - I'd been discovering some of my great-grandfather and great uncle's business interests - I'd known the name "Auchinlea" since childhood, when we used to drive past a great big factory with the work written in ?metres-high? print in the wall. Made out of bricks. "My grandfather used to own that" said my father. This was near Wishaw / Bellshill. </p> <p>I do family history, as noted, and have always known about the Auchinlea Coal Company Ltd - we have metal box with the name on the lid, and so on. But I didn't know about brick-making... I thought this big building my father referred to was a coal mine, and had only recently discovered the connection. </p> <p>In February-March, my research write up had been themed around *bricks* and brick-making. The Auchinlea Quarry and Brick Company had come into my view due to a comment I had found: "Originally called Omoa Quarry (later Cleland Quarry), Auchinlea Quarry belonged to S King & Co; then Auchinlea Coal Co until 1934 then finally Auchinlea Quarries & Brickworks Ltd. During 1923 Auchinlea Coal Company’s annual output was 160,000 tons of coal. Auchinlea Brickworks was purchased by a Mr. Leggat (Senior) in 1931, and operated until 1976." (posted by someone on 11/08/2018 and discovered by me while searching.) </p> <p>I had consciously considered the possibility of finding a brick with "Auchinlea" written in it, had consulted a web-site of a brick collector, and had wondered if I would ever see such a brick, "in the flesh". I'd thought about visiting the location and rooting around for bricks. (A later visit with my sister and brother did indeed lead to a family brick in exactly the sort of location you'd predict.) </p> <p>What mattered here was that a brick from the west of Scotland showed up under my nose, where I'd stood so often before, and would have recognised the name, just as I was idly looking at bricks (not even picking them up to examine them, or anything). The "easiness" of the discovery was startling in the moment, and really creepy for some time afterwards, as well as the timeliness and the unexpected location.<br /> I documented it online, here: <a href="https://noisybrain.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/bricking-it/">https://noisybrain.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/bricking-it/</a>
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Date submitted:Mon, 28 Oct 2019 08:18:13 +0000Coincidence ID:10363