Balgray Bauxite Company Limited, Fardalehill Mine, Nr Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

“… Tiles were made at the rail-served Plann Brickworks and  Balgray Bauxite Company had a small mine at Fardalehill. Quarry house still stands…..”


c.1914 – Balgray bauxite Company Limited – Fardalehill Mine – The company was formed just before the 1914 war to exploit the recently discovered bauxitic fireclays which had been traced from Saltcoats to Fardalehill, just west of Kilmarnock. It continued to mine the clays till after the 1939-45 war but sold most of the clays to other producers. – Source KW Sanderson

17/06/1937 – The Scotsman – During the bankruptcy examination of Dr Thomas Walker Love and the Craigelvin Coal and Fireclay Company he states that he formed another company known as the Balgray Bauxite Company operating in Airdrie. (Note – SBH – No date is given for the formation of the Balgray Bauxite Company but it looks to be much later than the date cited above by Mr Sanderson ?)

19/06/1937 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Craigelvin Coal and Fireclay Co. Dr Loves evidence in bankruptcy examination. Deficit 0f over £3,400. The examination in bankruptcy of the Craigelvin Coal and Fireclay Company was concluded on Wednesday when Dr T. Walker Love gave evidence. The statement of affairs of the company showed liabilities amounting to £3644 10s 8d and the net assets amounting to £182 6s 4d, a deficit of over £3400. Mr John Wilson of Messrs Stevenson, Guthrie and Wilson, solicitors, Glasgow cross-examined Dr Love on behalf of the trustees.

At the last hearing on 8th February, you referred to a book kept at Craigelvin Mine and kept by Mr Marshall which you described as the Day Books? – Yes.

At the last hearing, you were asked was there any cash book kept at the mine between March 1935 and the date of the sequestration? – That must have been the cash book, the book I referred to that day was kept at the mine.

I show you a book. Does that contain the record of sales of coal, dross and fireclay? – Yes, that which was paid for at the pit head.

And so far as it concerns only the goods which were paid for at the pithead, the book does not represent the cash book of the company?  – That is so.

Does it contain a record of the expenditure of the company? – No, not as far as I can see.

I now show you the cash book of the Craigelvin Company. Is the last entry in that book dated 23rd March 1935? – Yes.

Was any record of the cash transactions of the Craigelvin Company kept from day to day after 23rd March 1935? – Not that I know of.

Was any profit ledger kept in connection with the company’s affairs? – Nothing at all apart from what I gave Mr Jarvey (the trustee) this morning.

Is your evidence, Dr Love, that you gave to the trustee all the books relating to the affairs of the business? All that I can lay my hands on.

Did you draw any sums from the firm by way of salaries or profits? – Only when there was money in it.

Did you draw a regular sum weekly? –  No, only when there was money in the bank.

Was there not generally money in the bank? – No, it was the other way about.

Is it not the case, Dr Love, that you drew £3 a week more or less regularly from the Craigelvin Company? – No, I only got it occasionally.

Did Mr Wooton (the other partner in the firm; draw a sum weekly?- He got it when we could give it to him. We never gave it to him every week.

Did you keep any record of what you drew from the business? – Well. It was in among the papers. Any that was kept that books were in among the papers.

Sheriff Guild – As far as I am aware that answer is simply unintelligible. The question was twice repeated.

Mr Wilson – In what book did you keep a note? – I kept them on what you call 2 oz. papers, plain dispensary papers, at least at the last when things were getting into a muddle and all these papers I gave to my solicitor.

Dr Love. I have asked you In what book you kept a record of your drawings from the business. My question refers not merely to the last few days of the company but throughout its existence?-  They were kept on papers, on slips or lists. I have nothing else to go by.

Is it your evidence that throughout the life of the Craigelvin Company, the only record which you kept of your drawings was kept on slips of paper? – No. not at first, only at the last when things got into a muddle.

All the books which the trustee has received from you in connection with the Craigelvin Company business are before you on the table. I ask you to pick out the book which contains the records of drawings by Mr Wooton and yourself front the business. Mr Love was asked to make all examination of the hooks on the table. He examined two of them. One of them, he said might contain records of the drawings, but he could not identify those records.

Dr Love was shown two slips of paper on one of which he acknowledged a gratuity of £30 which he had given to his son William, in return for services rendered to the Craigelvin Company. On the other, acknowledgement of a sum of £43 3s 10d which, Dr Love said. Mr Walton and himself must have divided between them.

Did you give a gratuity of £30 to your son, William? – He got it because he had no clothes and in recognition of services which he had rendered to the company by motor work.

Sheriff Guild – Did you give him £30 or did you not? – I gave it to his mother for him.

Did the Craigelvin deposit any money or property without receiving value for it? – Not so far as I know.

How long is it since the Craigelvin Company became embarrassed? I think it was from the first day that Mr Wooton came to me.

Is it your evidence Dr Love that the CraigelvinCompany has had difficulties in meeting its obligations from the date of the constitution of the firm? – Yes.

When did you become aware that the firm was insolvent? I cannot give you a definite date.

Can you state approximately when you became aware that the company was insolvent? – I think it became insolvent a few weeks after it was spoken about after it was formed. I began to see that everything that was bought was C.O.D.

The business was started in or about May 1934, is it your evidence that it was insolvent from within a few weeks of that date? – lt must have been, but I cannot say to a definite date.

I show you an amended statement of affairs signed and initialled by you. Is that a correct statement of affairs? – I do not see how the liabilities amount to £3644. It cost me between £3000 and £4000 of my own money.

Do you realise, Dr Love, that the value of your estate does not necessarily have any relation to its cost? – Oh. I know that.

Can you account for the deficiency of £3462 4s 4d  as shown In the statement? – I did not realise there could be such a thing. I do not see how it came to be. I did not realise it.

Dr Love,  I put it to you that the deficiency might be accounted for in part by the fact that you have used the partnership funds in the conduct of your other businesses and for private purposes?- Not for private purposes. There was absolutely nothing for private purposes.

Sheriff Guild – That is a double question and you have only got half an answer.

Mr Wilson – Did you use partnership funds in the conduct of your private business? – No, certainly not. It was the other way about. I used my own money.

Did you conduct a business under the descriptive name of the Balgray Bauxite Company? – No, that was part of Craigelvin Company. They were all to be one company.

Sheriff Guild – Did Mr Wooton have any interest in the Balgray Bauxite Company? – Yes, because he moved the material of the Craigelvin Company for use at the Balgray Company.

The question I put to you is: Did Mr Wonton have any interest in the Balgray Bauxite Company? – He was going to have an interest. The two companies were to amalgamate.

But during the period that you carried on business as the Craigelvin Coal and Fire Clay Company and at the same time as you carried on the Balgray Bauxite Company, had Mr Wooton any interest in the Balgray Bauxite Company? – As far I remember he sometimes got coal and other things from the Balgray Bauxite Company.

Was he a partner? – No, the company was not properly formed

In answer to Mr Wilson, Dr Love said that part of the Balgray Company belonged to the Craigelvin.

Do you mean, Dr Love, that certain property belonging to the Craigelvin was transferred to the Balgray Bauxite Company? – lt was given on loan.

Were the Balgray Bauxite Company’s wages sometimes taken out of the Craigelvin Company? – There was sometimes money taken out temporarily.

Dr Love was shown a memorandum in which it was stated that various sums of money were transferred from the Craigelvin Company to the Balgray Company. He said that the money was repaid to the company but there was no record of re-payments being been made. The Balgray Company did not begin to produce minerals until May 1936, and it was a long time before they got a penny out of it. The first money they got was on 6th March 1936. At that time a considerable amount of his own money had been used to keep the Balgray Company going. Dr Love was shown a memorandum book labelled “Important Data.’  Mr Wilson referred Dr Love to an entry of having received from Mrs Stanley, Rhyl, North Wales, a cheque for the sum of £1600 for investment in David smith and Co as 6 per cent preference shares. Dr Love said that £1000 was paid into David Smith and Co. With the other £600 he bought Kennedy’s property at £310; gave to Armour and Co. as part of the amount due for volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica £30, to Messrs Hamilton and Callander, solicitors £21, to the Bible Society £2, and to Mrs Currie, Brownieside Farm £20. The entry in the book added: ”Only told David Smith about the £1000.

Dr Love explained that the encyclopedia was purchased to gain the latest scientific knowledge about clay in mines etc., and that the site of Kennedy’s property was to be used for the erection of offices for the Craigelvin Company.

What was your purpose?” Sheriff Guild asked Dr Love, “In purchasing a site for offices for a company that could not meet its debts?”- “I did not know about the capital too much,” replied Dr Love.

Mr Wilson mentioned that the property in question was included in the assets relating to Dr Love’s personal estate?

At the conclusion of his examination, Dr love admitted that the property should be shown in the lists of the asset of the Craigelvin Company, and he consented to its inclusion in the list of assets. The examination was closed and a date was fixed for the signing of the deposition. In the personal bankruptcy of Dr Love, the evidence given was read over to him under oath in the Sheriff Court yesterday. The proceedings took place in private.

c. 1945 – closed?

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