The Heritage postbag has been bulging with readers letters following the article we featured about Handley Brick Works, Woodside, a fortnight ago. Here we print the memories of the son of a former worker.

Stanley Burr, of Fairdene Road, Coulsdon, writes: My father, the late Frederick Burr, who died in 1971, and my brother, the late Frederick Arthur Burr, who died in 1991, were both qualified brick burners for the Woodside Brick Works. I was employed as a lister driver.

My job was to collect and bring back the clay bricks from the drying sheds and take them to the kilns. My father worked for Handleys, as the brick works was previously known, and at the beginning of the Second World War, when the brick works closed, my father worked for Wandsworth Gas Works as a stoker.

When the war ended he was recalled back to the brick works where he worked until his retirement. I have enclosed a photograph (pictured) of my father receiving an award for his long-term service to the company, taken outside the offices with other workers looking on.

My brother, Frederick Arthur Burr, who was also a brick burner, lived in one of the rented houses in Beckford Road, Addiscombe, backing onto the brick works site. My sister-in-law still lives there. I have enclosed a notice (pictured) to my brother from the Woodside Brick Works for an increase in rent for 2s-9d per week.

On this notice you can see the names of company directors.

The brick burners in those days were told to burn the bricks and blister for decorative garden walls which can still be seen today around the areas of Addiscombe and Croydon.

The house I used to live in with my mother and father has now been pulled down to make way for a road to the new housing estate which has now been erected on the old Woodside Brick Works.

Rocco Merola, of Brooklyn Road, South Norwood, remembers: My story started in 1955 when my cousin, who worked at the brick works, obtained a contract for me.

I came from Italy and under that contract I had to stay at the brick works for four years I stayed for 15 years. I remember Mr Handley, Mr Milsted and Bob Letts, who were all my foremen.

My job involved working in the kilns and taking the bricks out, which was very hard and very dirty. Then, in later years, I drove the forklift truck loading the lorries with the bricks.

At lunchtime I would walk to the boundary of the brick works to Thomas Beckett School as my eldest daughter attended the school.

My memories are that the work was very hard, of being in a strange country and of learning a new language. The work was hard but I made many friends.

If anyone would like to send in their memories of Woodside Brick Works, please send your stories or pictures to:- Tamasin Coates,

Heritage Page, Croydon Guardian, Unecol House, 819 London Road, North Cheam

SM3 9BN.