Started in 1897 by George Westmoreland, the Northcote Tile and Pottery Company remains in business today at its original site in Clyde Street, Thornbury. The business was known officially as Westmoreland’s until 1915, when it became Northcote Tile and Pottery Company, though locals still referred to it as Westmoreland’s. Clay pits as deep as 80 metres were dug on the site. The extracted clay was converted, initially into pottery ware. The company then expanded its range to include terra cotta tiles, flowerpots, chimney pots, drain pipes and garden ware. The company even employed staff to tile new homes in the area.
The Westmoreland family finally sold the business in the 1970’s, after the death of George Westmoreland’s son Herbert, who had run the business since 1937. However, Northcote Tile and Pottery continues in business today and has expanded its business interstate. It also now imports terracotta garden ware as well as continuing to produce its own terracotta products.
Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.
Northcote Historical & Conservation Society. (1988). Northcote: Glimpses of Our Past. Northcote, Vic: Author.