When travelling between Wingham and Taree it is hard to miss the landmark brick chimneys of the Lincoln Brick Works (LBW). The story of this family company began in the 1850s when J Baker arrived from England and established a brickmaking business in a paddock in Morpeth. The bricks were handmade until son Frederick introduced machinery to make dry-pressed bricks.1
Aubrey James Baker was the third generation to continue the family business. After working as manager at the East Maitland works and serving as Mayor of East Maitland in the 1930s, he came to Wingham to create his own business.2 He purchased 12 acres of land from Christina May Gollan and opened LBW in early 1952.3 His first bricks were used to build Wingham Hospital.4
Despite a positive start, work began to dry up and Aubrey moved into a caravan to cut living costs. He told his family that the contract to make the red bricks for the Wingham Catholic Church in 1954 saved him from financial ruin.5
The Baker family are regarded as one of the oldest brickmaking firms in Australia and are only one of three family brickmaking businesses left in the nation. The company creates custom made, dry-pressed bricks that are produced in kilns from locally quarried clay and shale. The family has continued to show innovation in technology and techniques with low emission kilns installed in 2010 to replace the traditional kilns that now lay empty.6
Recent key projects for the company include creating bricks for the new Maitland Hospital (2021) and for the St Mary and Pope Kyrillos Coptic Orthodox Church in Cundletown (2020).7 In 2022 the company celebrates 70 years at Wingham.
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Maitland Daily Mercury, 16 March 1916, 4.
2 Maitland Daily Mercury, 26 June 1939, 12.
3 NSW Land Registry Services, Bk-No: 2226-115.
4 Wingham Chronicle, 27 July 1951, 2.
5 Macleay Argus, 10 May 1954, 4; oral history interview with Baker family 2022.