Jees Harts Hill Granite and Brick Company Limited
This company was founded in 1822 by Richard Gee, a
descendent of a long list of landowners dating back to the sixteenth century.
It, and several other quarries were located in the low range of hills which
rose from above the Trent Valley main line of the London and North Western
Railway between Nuneaton and Polesworth. It was granite that was mainly blasted
and excavated, beneath that granite were coal beds worked on the far side of
the hills, served by the line of the former Midland Railway between Nuneaton
and Water Orton. Where the hills levelled off towards Polesworth and beyond as
far as Tamworth coal was worked by several collieries extending southwards
almost to the outskirts of Birmingham.
A siding was provided for Jee's quarries on the down side of
the main line near the 100-milepost (from Euston) and its remains can still be
seen from a passing train. The sidings may have also served other quarries is
the immediate vicinity, . The Jee's also owned a brickworks at Chapeltown on
the Midland Railway line on the outskirts of Nuneaton. This venture was
shortlived, working for only 13 years after its opening in 1890, This may even
co-incide with Jee's first order for their own wagons which may have also
worked from Chapeltown as well as the main quarry.
The body colour and lettering style of Jee's wagons can be
authentically determined from an order book of wagon builders Charles Roberts
of Wakefield. In what appears to be a unique occurrence, the written order from
the purchaser, Jee's Harts Hill Granite and Brick Co. Ltd, on the company's
lime green notepaper, was attached to the order book. The main lettering was
from bottom left diagonally to top right, 'Harts Hill' at top left and 'nr.
Atherstone' bottom right. Two orders totalling 24 wagons (no's 1 to 24) were
placed in 1899. The wagons were built with five planks and side doors and
painted lime green with black letters and ironwork. Previously Jee's had hired
wagons from the Midland RC&WCo of Birmingham.
The internal narrow-gauge railway system was first used to a
wharf on the nearby Coventry Canal, and may have originally used horse haulage.
Rail traffic ceased in 1954, when road transport was preferred.