Well I think I have. A few day ago I discovered that St Stephen's brickworks (Newsletter reference) had an absentee owner called T. Pearson - but there where literally hundreds of T Pearsons listed in the old census returns. On a hunch I decided to follow up a census entry to a "Brick Manager and Agent" called Buxton Wilberforce Pearson and this lead me to Thomas Pearson (1821-1876) who in 1861 was a "Builder and Contractor employing 100 men", and in 1871 described himself as a "Brick Manufacturer." While I still have no information explicitly linking this T. Pearson to the brickworks it seems very likely that he is the person I have been looking for.
Looking for Thomas proved difficult - particularly due to an appallingly bad census transcription (8 people in household, 28 incorrect words in transcription) - and I have decided to record the steps I took to find him, and winkle out the details.