Far Away

About things that began life in Redhill and have travelled elsewhere

There are no doubt many things that started in Redhill and are now resident in some far place, either elsewhere in England or abroad. Many of these will have got to their destination by accident, some will have been taken there for a specific reason. All will have a story to tell. This page is about some of those objects and their stories. As with some of the other pages on this website, information is required from those to whom the stories belong.

We begin with the story of Tony Gibbs' Brick (it's not just any brick!)


The Story
Tony lives in Michigan, USA and the story of his brick is told in his own words: -

"I was born in Redhill back in May of 1945 (3 days after VE Day). I am very proud to have Victor as a middle name. I'm sure you may know that many children in England were given the middle name of Victor or Victoria if they were born during Victory Week.
Although my wife Lynn and I were in Northern England and Scotland in the spring of 1999 visiting family, it was our trip to Southern England back in the spring of 1995 that was the most memorable. We popped in on Redhill and Caterham, where I grew up.

Tony is a writer who works from home, and he has this wonderful little bit of his past sitting proudly on his desk in his office. The brick has the words ' R.TROWER REDHILL' on it, and was made at the brickworks of Richard Trower at the Siding Brickworks, Holmethorpe, Redhill.

When we arrived at Redhill, I must say that I was very disappointed to hear from some of the locals at the library that the old hospital I was born in was essentially an abandoned building now. Nevertheless we made our way up the walk to where the old hospital once proudly stood to pay a visit. It was still a very special moment for me, not having been there since I was a child.
I remember on the flight home telling Lynn that I regretted not taking an old brick from the abandoned building as a souvenir. Over the years I recalled this regret to my son, Michael, on more than one occasion.
A few years later Michael was pursuing his doctorate in law degree from Michigan State University when he was privileged to secure an opportunity to study international law for a semester at the University of Notre Dame (an extension campus located in London).

Tony has a replica MG TD with a very appropriate plate.

When he returned home to Michigan he expressed his disappointment at not being able to get to Redhill due to scheduling and time constraints on his studies (although the rascal did manage a jaunt to Paris).
Needless to say he was 'putting me on', as he then presented me with a shoebox containing the now famous 'R.Trower' brick from the old Redhill Hospital - the brick I had longed for for so many years - and a 'signature' one at that!
I must confess I was overwhelmed when he opened the box. He told me how he was able to 'rescue' the brick from the debris. I understand a nice residential development has since been erected in its place while still keeping the distinct architecture from the old hospital.
Although the Redhill brick brings back fond memories of my roots, it turns out to be a better story about a thoughtful and loving person I'm proud to have as a son.
Thanks, Redhill."
Tony Gibbs.


Tony Gibbs and son Michael
Thank you too, Tony, for a wonderful story.
    21 July 2011

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