Where were the Armstrong Clay Pipe moulds for the last 50 years?

At the rear of this house. John and Jessie Armstrong originally lived here. Fred married Mary and they also shared the house, inheriting it after the deaths of Fred's parents.

Fred demonstrated the use of the gin press for a local newspaper, some years before he died. This photograph was taken in the back yard where the moulds were kept in wood boxes and drawers.

In 2000 we found the yard looking like this. Mary is almost 80 and had accumulated rubbish over forty years.

Note the gin presses at bottom left of the picture.

The unearthing of the moulds!

Mary thought they were of little or no value but had kept them covered with old sheets, bags, magazines and anything she could find.

There were nearly 60 moulds and only two were badly damaged. We also found parts of the presses and even a stem scraper tool in useable condition.

Fred had greased the moulds nearly 50 years ago when he first stored them in the yard. The grease has protected them and they will restore beautifully with a little work.

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