Member of the Leader's Local Bygones Facebook group, Richard Jones, from Gwersyllt, looks back at tile factory Dennis Ruabon. Richard worked there from 2003 until its closure in January 2008. He ran a machine known as the 'wet pan', which milled the raw clay into clay ready for the process for making bricks and tiles...

Dennis Ruabon.

Dennis Ruabon.

In 1867 Henry Dennis, who was at the time managing director of the Hafod Colliery, near Ruabon, discovered vast amounts of high quality Etruria Marl clay in Ruabon.

On this discovery of high quality clay, the Hafod Brickworks was born.

Henry Dennis constructed the Hafod Brickworks very close too the site where the Etruria Marl clay was found, and this became known as Hafod Clay Pit.

The business flourished at a time when demand for the red bricks and terracotta was high.

By 1893 a new factory, which became known as the 'Red Works', was constructed on the site where the present day building still stands.

Dennis Ruabon.

Dennis Ruabon.

It was with this new constructed factory Red Works, where the birth of arguably the best known and quality of tile and bricks in Britain.

During the early 1900s, most buildings within proximity of the Red Works, and even around Britain, were constructed with bricks and tiles which were manufactured at the site.

In 1934 Red Works was under control of Henry Dennis' Son, Henry Dyke Dennis, and became a private limited company known as Dennis Ruabon Limited.

The newly changed business was continuing to grow with popularity and demand for Ruabon bricks, tiles and terracotta products.

After 10 years of the business growing in popularity and demand, in 1944 Dennis' grandson, Patrick Gill Dyke Dennis, took control and launched a modernisation programme at the Dennis Ruabon Limited site.

Dennis Ruabon.

Dennis Ruabon.

Dennis Ruabon Limited continued to produce vast amounts of bricks, tiles and terracotta products across the UK, in helping expand infrastructure across many cities, towns and villages across the country.

It was not until 40 years after Henry Dennis' grandson Patrick Gill Dyke Dennis modernised the site, and in the early 1980s, a major investment and modernisation programme saw the construction of a completely new factory and plant complex, with a further major investment to install a modern high speed, computer controlled tunnel kiln, which was more than 100 metres long.

Read more: Flintshire industrial reputation built brick by brick

Automated handling and transfer equipment, together with packaging and palletising plant, completed the transformation.

Dennis Ruabon tiles went on for another 28 years, manufacturing various types of quarry tiles as well as pavers, before shutting down in January 2008.

The company went into liquidation as a result in decline in business, the site was purchased back again and went under a different name, Ruabon Sales Ltd.

January 2008 was the last month that the famous quarry tile was ever manufactured again.