Brick man of Leeds is ‘Mr September’

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SINCE the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed the story of Morley brick collector Neil Brittlebank in May last year, he has built something of a reputation for himself.

Now he’s set to attract even more admiration after being selected to feature in a ‘dull man’ calendar.

Mr Brittlebank, from East Arsdley, explained he was approached by two men who put the calendar together soon after we reported on his unusual hobby last year.

Despite the somewhat dubious-sounding honour, Mr Brittlebank is taking it in good humour.

“They were very nice and I was happy to do it,” he said.

He joked: “At least I didn’t have to take my clothes off!”

He will now appear in next year’s Dull Men Club annual calendar as ‘Mr September’.

Neil is a former miner who spent 12 years at East Ardsley colliery, 16 at Rothwell and four at Sharlston.

He became interested in collecting bricks following the closure of Lofthouse Colliery in 1984 - after seeing large piles of bricks on the site, he decided to salvage some of them.

Now he has a collection of around 300, some of which form a path in his back garden.

He said: “I looked at some of the bricks and I thought it was a shame they would just disappear, so I asked if I could take some and he said yes.

“Back when I became a miner, some collieries had their own brickworks and there used to be dozens in Yorkshire.

“I just think it’s a shame not to preserve them, they are part of our history. People collect bottles and other things like that but not bricks – quite often they are just left lying around.

“It’s a bit of fun, it did snowball with the brick collection, I sometimes have them left on the doorstep by people. It was nice to be included in the calendar.”

Mr Brittlebank has retrieved bricks from some unusual places. He once carried a brick all the way around Spurn Point when he went there for a family day out. He also has a number of duplicate bricks, which he calls ‘twicers’.

The 2015 edition of the Dull Men Club calendar also includes pictures of a member of the Roundabout Appreciation Society, a man who collects milk bottles, a ‘drain spotter’ and David Morgan, from the Cotswolds, who has the world’s largest traffic-cone collection.

The the Dull Men’s Club, launched in America in the 1980s and now growing steadily in Britain, has around 5,000 members.

It’s catchline is: “Where dull men - and women who appreciate dull men - share thoughts and experiences about ordinary things.

On twitter, @b0ringtweets, otherwise known as ‘Boring Tweeter’ has over 233,000 followers. He tweets things like: ‘Good morning. I woke up in the middle of the night but I went back to sleep.’

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