In 1985 we aquired the old Mac Donald brickworks which was one of the first brick factories in Matabeleland , established over 120 years ago , only a few years after the first trains arrived here . It is easy to imagine the various bits of plant and equipment including the Oregon pine (which would have journeyed all the way from North America .) arriving on the early trains .
Our first sawmill was established on the old brick factory site over 30 years ago and for many years there we carried on the tradition Matabeleland business of hardwood sawmilling . The old brick kilns were used to dry ( season ) Mukwa , Teak and other timber .
Eventually we moved into a new premises factory adjacent to the brick factory and have had less use for that delightful old place since . In fact it has fallen into disuse . In the fullness of time it will be developed for other uses .
In the meanwhile we decided to dismantle a huge shed at the brick factory and to extract the Oregon pine from the roof .
We have much experience using Oregon over the years . Usually the customer sources their own from demolished buildings and the like . We take that old timber , “ remanufacture “ it by cutting out the poor quality wood and joining and laminating the good pieces together . This is a time consuming process . We leave many of the nail and bolt holes in place , as part of the “historic” heritage of the wood . The end result , as most people know , is a most beautiful , characterful , product .
We estimate that there will be about five cubic meters of Oregon when we have finished the remanufacturing process .
Over the course of the next few months we will be offering some of this remanufactured Oregon Pine to a few lucky customers on a first come first served basis.
Bulawayo has a fine Railways Museum which deserves a visit to from those who enjoy our history and heritage .
See the attached photographs :