Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline, Fife

John Shepherd Street, born 8/12/1859, son of Richard Street, brick manufacturer, Dunfermline, and Euphemia West, grandson of William Streets and Anna Shepherd, married 02/02/1800 Glasgow.  John S Street resident Dunfermline 1871-1891.

(Note – SBH – I have included here, any references to the Street family, that I cannot connect to a particular brickworks).

13/09/1884 – Dundee Courier – Contractors wanted, accustomed to brick and pipe making and burning. Apply at Appin Brickworks, Townhill, Dunfermline.

1886 – Street Brothers, Appin Brick and Tile Works and Richard Street & Sons, Townhill ( page 551).

17/09/1887 – Dunfermline Saturday Press – Unwarrantable use of water – At a meeting of the Water Works Committee on the 8th inst, the superintendent reported that Messrs Street Brothers, Appin Brick and Tile Works had without permission from or intention to him communicated the use of the town’s water from the pipe laid for the domestic supply of the houses at Appin Place to persons who did not pay for it and were not authorised to use it. The committee recommended that in these circumstances the supply to Street Brothers should be by meter after Whitsunday next and that they are charged £2 for the water unwarrantably used.

Below – 20/04/1889 – Fife News – 11-year-old boy awarded £125 damages after having his hand crushed by a brick press he was working for Street Brothers, Appin Brickworks.

1893 – Street Brothers, Appin Coal and Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline  – Fire clay – J.S. Street, Manager.

Below – 1893 – Advert – Street Brothers Appin Fire Clay Works Townhill Dunfermline.

Below – 1895 – Appin Fireclay Works.

Below – 1896 – Advert Street Brothers, Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline.


1896 – David Bruce was Under Manager at the Appin Fire Clay Mine, Townhill, Dunfermline.

25/02/1896 – Edinburgh Gazette – The firm of Street Brothers, Fire Clay Goods Manufacturers, carrying on business at Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, near Dunfermline, and at Cruicks Terra Cotta Works near Inverkeithing, and also the firm of Richard Street and Sons, Brick Builders and Contractors, carrying on business at Townhill, near Dunfermline (of both of which Firms the
Subscribers are the sole Partners) were dissolved mutual consent on the 25th day of January 1896. The Subscribers Richard Street, Junior, and Thomas Thomson Street will continue to carry on business Fire Clay Goods Manufacturers at Appin Fire Clay Works aforesaid under the style or firm of Street Brothers, and they will also continue to carry on the business of Brick Builders and Contractors at Townhill aforesaid under the style or firm of Richard Street and Sons. The Subscriber John Shepherd Street will continue to carry on business as a Brick and Tile Manufacturer in
his own name at Cruicks Terra Cotta Works aforesaid. All parties indebted to the said Firms, or either of them, will please make payment to the said Richard Street, junior, and Thomas Thomson Street, and all parties having claims against the said Firms, or either of them, will please lodge the same with them without delay.
Street Brothers.
Richard Street and Sons.
Richard Street Jun.
William Burt Street.
John S Street.
Thomas T Street.
James Lawson, Clerk to Street Brothers, above designed, Witness.
Robert Hynd, Clerk to Street Brothers, above designed, Witness.

Below – 13/07/1898 – Dundee Courier – John Sheppard Street clay dispute.

29/03/1899 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Fatality at Fife fireclay works – Patrick Connor, labourer, Second Row, Townhill, died on Monday night from the effects of an accident which occurred in the afternoon. He had been assisting in filling a cart where excavations were being made at Appin Fireclay Works, when a mass of fireclay weighing about two tons, which had been undermined, fell upon him and buried him. He was speedily extricated, and it was not thought he was seriously hurt, but it subsequently appeared that he had been injured internally. The deceased was 70 years of age.

12/04/1899  – Glasgow Herald – Street Brothers Limited with a share capital of £42,000, divided into 4200 preference and 4200 ordinary shares of £5 each, has been formed to acquire, work and further develop the business of brick and fire clay goods manufacturers, quarry masters and builders carried on by the firm of Richard Street & Sons and Street Brothers at Appin Fireclay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline and at Cruicks Works, Inverkeithing. The Townhill business was established upwards of 60 years ago by the grandfather of the vendors. The price to be paid for the whole businesses, leaseholds, goodwill, stocks etc has been fixed at £34,000, payable to the extent of £21,000 by the whole ordinary shares of the Company fully paid up and the balance in cash or preference shares. Subscriptions are invited for the 4200 cumulative 5 per cent preference shares and the list of applications will open on Friday 14th April and will close the following Monday.

Below – 12/04/1899 – Glasgow Herald – The subscription list will be opened on Friday, 14th April, and will close on the issue of 4200 cumulative five per cent, preference shares of £5 each.

Street Brothers Limited, brick and fire-clay goods manufacturers. Builders and contractors, and quarrymasters, Townhill (Dunfermline) and Inverkeithing. (Incorporated under the companies acts, 1852 to 1893.)

Share Capital … £42,000.  Divided into 4200 preference shares of £5 each … £21,000 and 4200 ordinary shares of £5 each …  £21000.

The preference shares are entitled to a cumulative preferential dividend of five per cent, per annum, and also to priority on the capital of the company before the ordinary shares.  All the ordinary shares are taken by the vendors in part payment of the purchase price.

A fund to redeem the preference shares will be established.  The preference shares are now offered for subscriptions and will be payable as follows:-

On Application,   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   £1 per Share.

On Allotment,   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …    £2 per Share.

One Month after Allotment,   …   …   …   …   …   …   £2 per Share.

Subscribers may pay up their Shares on Allotment, and they will receive Interest or Dividend at the rate of Five per Cent, per annum from the date of payment.

Directors. – Richard Street, Jun., Esq., Townhill, Dunfermline, Chairman.

John Houston, Esq., Architect, Dunfermline.

George Philp, Esq., High Street, Dunfermline.

Thomas T Street, Esq., Townhill, Dunfermline, Managing Director.

Bankers – The North of Scotland Bank Limited, Dunfermline, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Branches, or their correspondents.

The Commercial Bank of Scotland Limited, Edinburgh and Branches.

Solicitor – John F Yule, Esq., 13 Bridge Street, Dunfermline.

Secretary – Harry Street, Esq., Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline.

Registered Office – Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline.

Abridged prospectus – The Company has been formed for the purpose of Acquiring, Working, and Further Developing the Business of Brick and Fire Clay Goods Manufacturers, Quarrymakers, and Buildings carried on by the Firms of Richard Street and Sons and Street Brothers, at Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline, and at Cruick Works, Inverkeithing.

The Townhill business was established upwards of 60 years ago by the grandfather of the Vendors.  Both Appin and Cruick Works and Clayfields have been reported upon by Messrs John and G. H. Geddes, Mining Engineers, Edinburgh, and Mr Alexander Christie, Manager, Seaton Brick and Tile Company, Limited, Aberdeen.  These gentlemen report that the terms of the leases of both fields are reasonable and satisfactory, and there is practically an inexhaustible supply of Blue, Surface, and Fire Clay of the best quality, that the works, have been recently reconstructed and modernised, and that the buildings are up-to-date and in first-class order.  Both works are connected with the North British Railway by Sidings, and at Cruick there is in addition a shipping pier.  Messrs Geddes and Mr Christie estimate a gross profit from the works of £4420 per annum, calculated upon the basis of 20 per cent. below selling prices.

Mr Christie estimates the value of the whole Works and Plant at £31,937.

Messrs Barstow and Miller, C.A., Edinburgh, have admitted the books of the Appin Works for the period from 1st January 1896, the date when the vendors became sole partners of the firms, to 11th November last, from which date the business is to be taken over by the company, a period of 2 years and 45 weeks, and have prepared a profit and loss Account showing the profits earned during that period, without deductions of income tax paid.
Interest on borrowed money, and salaries to partners, to have been   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   £3521  18  3
To which there falls to be added the value of the material used out of the firm’s stock-in-trade, and wages paid to firm’s workmen in connection with extensions to buildings, and additions to machinery and plant at Appin Works, paid for out of revenue.
This expenditure has been certified by Mr Christie as amounting to   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …     £4981  4 11

Making a Gross Profit for the period reported on earned by Appin Works of   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   £8503  3  2

Or almost £3000 per annum.  The Cruick Works were acquired on 1st January last.  The sum of £1050 per annum is required to meet the dividend on the preference shares, and by the articles of association, the directors are bound to set aside out of the profits, prior to the payment of any dividend on the ordinary shares, a sum of £1000 per annum, as a fund for the redemption of the preference shares, until a sum equal to the amount of these shares has been accumulated.  The vendors (Mr Richard Street, Junior, and Mr Thomas Street) are the promoters of the company.  They have fixed the price to be paid for the whole businesses, including Appin Works and Cruick Works and Quarries, together with the leaseholds, goodwill, buildings, machinery, stocks, &c., at £34,000 payable to the extent of £21,000 by the issue to them or their nominees of the whole ordinary shares of the company fully paid up, and the balance in cash or in preference shares at their option.  The balance of £8000 of the present issue of preference shares is required for the extensions referred to in the engineer’s report, and to provide the working capital of the company.  The vendors will provide all of the preliminary expenses incident to the formation of the company to and including allotment.  There are contracts, &c., incident to the current business of the Company.  Applicants for shares will accept the above as sufficient notice and will be deemed to waive any further compliance with Section 33 of the Companies Act, 1867, with reference to contracts and agreements.  The memorandum and articles of association of the company, the agreement, and contract, the leases, and reports of the accountants, and of the engineers, and valuators can be inspected by intending subscribers at the offices of the solicitor of the company.  When no allotment is made the deposits will be returned in full, and where the number of shares allotted is less than the number applied for, the surplus deposit will be credited in a reduction of the amount payable on the shares allotted.  The application will be made for a stock exchange quotation for the preference shares.  Prospectuses may be obtained from the bankers, brokers, and solicitor, and at the offices of the company. 11th April 1899.

Below – 28/05/1901 – Plans of a house being erected at Gardeners Land, Dunfermline for Thomas T Street – Hillpark House, 37 Townhill, Dunfermline.


19/08/1901 – Dundee Evening Telegraph –  New Works at Inverkeithing – Very extensive additions both in the way of building and the laying down of new plant has just been made to the Inverkeithing Works of Messrs Street Brothers Ltd, extensions which will give employment to a large number of hands. The firm had its origins in 1837, their fire bricks work being at Kingseat Hill and at the site now occupied by the house of Mr Ness. The father of the brothers Street was the first to make stock bricks in Scotland, at that time this class of brick commanding a much higher price than ordinary bricks.

The Townhill Brickworks was then opened and on the clay giving out there the Appin Brickworks on the Townhill Railway was started. 3 years ago the firm was formed into a Limited Liability Company incorporating with it Cruicks Terra Cotta Works, Inverkeithing. At these latter works the company have carried on the manufacture of teapots, vases and terracotta ware but owing to the extension of the bricklaying business of the Company under the superintendence of Mr James Street, new buildings and new brick making plant have been added to the Inverkeithing Works which are situated at the South side of Inverkeithing Bay, nearly opposite St Davids shipping port for Fordel Coal and a short distance from the hamlet of Jamestown and the old salt pans at Inverkeithing.

The new building is 4 storeys in height, while the new brick making plant is capable of turning out 2o,000 bricks a day and gives employment to some 150 men. The clay is taken from Inverkeithing Bay by means of a barge and crane and on the shore, a 3-ton crane has been erected which lefts the clay to the upper stores of the building. The clay then passes through various processes, gradually finding its way to the patent duplex brick making and brick pressing machine. A new kiln on the Hoffman principle has been erected with 14 chambers each capable of containing 16,000 bricks. The Company have also a whinstone quarry at Inverkeithing in which they have introduced a stone breaking machine. The clay in Inverkeithing Bay has the reputation of being of very good quality for brick making. The new works are to be formally set in operation today.

31/03/1902 – Edinburgh Evening News – Lord Kincairney has issued his judgement in an action by William Macalpine Leny, Dalswinton, Dumfriesshire, proprietor of the lands of Bellyeoman, Fife and another to have Street Bros Ltd, Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline who are tenants of a clayfield and coalfield on the lands of Bellyeoman, interdicted from removing sandstone or blaes from the complainer’s property and using them in connection with the manufacture of bricks. The respondents claimed that under their lease they were entitled to work the surface clay and to remove loose sand or sandstone which obstructed the working of the clay. They also stated that they had to remove the blaes in order to work the coal. His lordship has found that the respondents had no authority to use the sand or blaes and has granted interdict.

1903 – Street Brothers Limited, manufacturers of enamel bricks, fire clay goods &c. Appin fire clay works; TA “Streets, Townhill”; TN 722

06/06/1906 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Fife Trade depression. Serious outlook – For some considerable time, dullness has been experienced in connection with the brickmaking industry in the district of Dunfermline. The Appin Fireclay Works of Messrs Street Brothers were on Monday shut down, although it was known for some time that this step was not unlikely. The brickworks at Inverkeithing carried on by the same firm have also been closed. About 100 men, it is stated, will be affected. The same dullness is being experienced at the Lochhead Brickworks, at which a number of men were recently paid off.

11/06/1906 – Street Brothers Limited. At an extraordinary general meeting of the members of the above company, duly convened and held at Appin Fire Clay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline on Monday 11/06/1906 the following resolution was passed – That it has been approved to the satisfaction of this meeting that the Company cannot by reason of its liabilities, continue its business and that it is advisable to wind up same and accordingly that the Company be wound up voluntarily and that Andrew Burt, Solicitor and Bank Agent, Dunfermline be and is hereby appointed liquidator for the purposes of such winding-up. Thomas T Street – Chairman.

23/06/1906 – Dundee Courier – Winding up a Dunfermline Company – Second Division of the court of session yesterday granted the petition by the North of Scotland Bank, Limited, asking for the winding up, under the Court, of the firm of Street Brothers,  Appin Fireclay Works, Townhill, of which the bank are creditors to the amount of £703 9s 3d. The capital of the Company is £110,000 nominally.

23/06/1906 – Fife Free Press – Fife Company wound up – ln the Second Division of the Court of Session yesterday, the petition of the North of Scotland Bank, Limited, for the winding up of Street Brothers, Appin Fireclay Works, Townhill, Dunfermline, was granted. The Company was incorporated in 1899 with a capital of £42,000, afterwards increased to £110,000. The petitioners are creditors of the Company to the amount of £703 9s 3d and hold 2150 fully paid up preference shares of £5 each in the Company.

06/09/1906 – Edinburgh Evening News –  John Shepherd Street, brick manufacturer, Forthview House, Inverkeithing appeared before Sheriff Guy in the Edinburgh Bankruptcy Court today in connection with his sequestration. The state of affairs showed liabilities amounting to £3818 while the assets were £2715. The statutory oath was administered.

Below – 1913 – Appin Fireclay Works.

10/10/1914 – Edinburgh Evening News – Kiln setter and kiln emptier wanted. Apply to John Gray, Appin Brickworks, Dunfermline.

Below – 04/02/1931 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Theft of copper from the Appin Brickworks.

15/08/1931 – Dunfermline Press – Re-opening of Appin Fireclay Works. Appin Brickworks, Townhill, which had been closed for several years, were re-opened by the Lochside Coal & Fireclay Company on Wednesday. Thirty men and boys have found employment at the works. It is understood that the re-opening is only temporary in order to meet an abnormal demand for bricks and other products of the Company.

Below – 1938 – Appin Fireclay Works.

Below – The last-ever picture of the house before it was demolished – It was considered unusual in that most houses in the area were made from stone but this was made from brick – not that unusual considering the owner owned a brickworks! Source


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