Retired police sergeant keeps collection of 3,500 bricks in his garden shed

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() An eccentric collector has shown off his extraordinary collection of almost 3,500 bricks which he keeps in his garden shed.

Mark Cranston, 56, began the hobby in 2010 when he was looking for a brick as a doorstop for his garden shed and found a white painted brick from a former colliery.

The discovery inspired the retired police sergeant from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders to look into the brick's history - and his passion for them grew from there.

Mark Cranston, 56, began the hobby in 2010 when he was looking for a brick as a doorstop

Mark Cranston, 56, began the hobby in 2010 when he was looking for a brick as a doorstop 

Mr Cranston has shown his extraordinary collection of almost 3,500 bricks in his garden shed

Mr Cranston has shown his extraordinary collection of almost 3,500 bricks in his garden shed

He has a brick that in the late 1990s was retrieved from the demolition of the execution block at Glasgow's HMP Barlinnie, Scotland's largest prison

He has a brick that in the late 1990s was retrieved from the demolition of the execution block at Glasgow's HMP Barlinnie, Scotland's largest prison

Over the last nine years, dedicated Mr Cranston has amassed a huge collection of bricks from around England, Scotland, Wales and abroad.

He stores the rare bricks in his garden shed which the married father-of-two has had to extend over the years as his collection grew.

It now measures 20ft (6m) long by 10ft (3m) wide with multiple shelves, like a library, to store the bricks.

Mr Cranston said: 'I was just looking for a brick to keep the garage door open and the first I picked up had a name on it.

'The first brick was the one from Whitehill Colliery in Ayrshire which peaked my interest. When I looked it up online I was surprised by the history behind bricks.

'I started to see there was a lot more bricks out there. They were once outside but I've got a shed now where they're all inside and dry. 

Over the last nine years, dedicated Mr Cranston has amassed a huge collection of bricks

Over the last nine years, dedicated Mr Cranston has amassed a huge collection of bricks

He stores the rare bricks in his garden shed which he has had to extend as his collection grew

He stores the rare bricks in his garden shed which he has had to extend as his collection grew

One of the star attractions in the collection - Bonnyrigg, recovered in St Petersburg, Russia

One of the star attractions in the collection - Bonnyrigg, recovered in St Petersburg, Russia

'But I'm running out of space and it's not ideal - I need to get bigger premises.

'Ultimately the aim is a museum where people can come and see them all. Everything else like pottery, glass and iron go on display but not the humble brick.'

Among his collection Mr Cranston has a fire brick that was salvaged from the SS Politician, which ran aground in the Outer Hebrides in 1941 and was carrying 264,000 bottles of

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