Slate can be made into roofing slates, also called roofing shingles, installed by a slater. Slate has two lines of breakability: cleavage and grain, which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets. When broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining relatively flat and easily stackable.
Slate is particularly suitable as a roofing material as it has an extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%. Its low tendency to absorb water also makes it very resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing.
Slate tiles are often used for interior and exterior flooring, stairs, walkways, and wall cladding. Tiles are installed and set on mortar and grouted along the edges.
A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, or even glass. Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, and walls, showers, or other objects such as tabletops. Alternatively, tile can sometimes refer to similar units made from lightweight materials such as perlite, wood, and mineral wool, typically used for wall and ceiling applications. Less precisely, the modern term can refer to any sort of construction tile or similar object, such as rectangular counters used in playing games (see tile-based game).
The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn, from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of baked clay.
From: 'Wikipedia: Slate'
The ancient ordinary of this society, dated March 12, 1451, enjoined them to go together in a livery, yearly, at the feast of Corpus Christi, and play their play at their own expense; each to be at the procession when his hour was assigned him, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax: that no apprentice should serve less that seven years, nor a second be taken till the first had served six; that no brother should take a Scot to apprentice, on pain of forfeiting 40s.; that if any brother had taken a slate quarry, or any place to cover with slates, none should undermine him, under a penalty of 13s. 4d.; that none should work upon St. Catherine's day, on pain of forfeiting a pound of wax. An order was added, December 28, 1460, that no brother should take less than 6s. 8d. for handling a rood of slate covering.
Another ordinary, dated September 28, 1579, cited an agreement between the Slaters and Bricklayers, and incorporated the societies with perpetual succession, enjoined them to choose two wardens annually, who might sue and be sued, make byelaws, &c.; that at the general Corpus Christi plays, they should play "The Offering of Isaac by Abraham," where every brother was to attend, on pain of forfeiting 2s. 6d.
Another ordinary of this society, dated March 16, 1677, separated them from the company of Wallers, Bricklayers, and Dawbers, alias Plasterers; and made them in deed and name a fellowship, by the name of Slaters and Tylers; ordered them to meet yearly on St. Catherine's day; to work no kind of black mortar or clay, but to make ovens and chimneys, or funnels. March 30, 1619, the Joiners appear to have granted the use of their hall to this society. November 11, 1654, they appear to have met with the Coopers in the Manors.
In 1821, Gunner Tower, a little to the south of Forth Lane, was converted into a meeting-house for this society.
F. W. Blackett
93 Whitfield Terrace
Newcastle upon Tyne