Boghead Brick and Fireclay Company, Bathgate, West Lothian.


Boghead Brick and Fireclay Company, Bathgate, West Lothian.

1889 – Boghead fireclay works, Bathville, initially owned and operated by Gillies Brothers until the Muir takeover in 1915 from when it operated until 1928.

15/04/1893 – Dundee Courier – The Boghead Brick and Fireclay Company – the object of this Company is to purchase the business and plant of Gillies Brothers, Brick and Fire Clay Manufacturers, Boghead, Bathgate and carry it on in the same or an extended form. Capital £3000 in £1 shares. Registered Office – 21 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.

15/04/1893 – Glasgow Herald – further details of the subscribers – G.Gillies, Brickmaker, Bathgate; R.Lynn, Dowanhill, Glasgow; R.C.S.Bruce, Jewel case maker, Edinburgh; A.B. Bruce, Goldsmith, Edinburgh; G. Mill, S.S.C, Edinburgh; W.R.Mann, Steel Founder, Leith; P. Fairweather, Butcher, Edinburgh.

Below – 1896 – Boghead Brick and Fireclay Works.

Below – 04/12/1897 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – A brickmakers difficulties – Left in the lurch when the ship began to sink – In Linlithgow Bankruptcy Court on Friday, George Gillies, bricklayer, Muir Road, Bathgate, the only partner of the firm of Gillies Brothers, Boghead Fire Clay Works, Bathgate was examined in a petition for the benefits of cessio at his own instance against his creditors …… Examined by Mr Kidd, petitioner stated that he was formerly engaged as a brickmaker in Bathgate. He conducted business in premises belonging to Mr Maxwell Durham of Boghead. He left these premises about 5 years ago. When he left the premises he disposed of his business to the Boghead Brick and Fire Clay Company Ltd, whose business is now absorbed in that of Dickson and Mann. Petitioner considered that his business at the date of sale was almost insolvent. As a consideration for the sale, he received from the first mentioned company 50 of their £1 shares, with 15 shillings paid thereon  ……

Below – 16/07/1898 – Linlithgowshire Gazette –  Theft of brass.

Below – 17/05/1901 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – Boghead brickworks opening additional works.



Below – 21/03/1902 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – An article discusses the Boghead, Bathville, Etna and Atlas Brickworks of West Lothian.


1903 – Robert Muir & Co Ltd – (composition & fireclay brick manufacturers, red & white composition bricks, boiler blocks, flue covers &c.),  Armadale, Barbauchlaw, Boghead &  South Broadrigg brickworks, Armadale Station, Linlithgowshire.

16/06/1905 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – The drought is having some effect now on the public works. The want of water has thrown a number of workers idle at one brickworks at Boghead, where the boilers are fed from a small burn that has become dry.

05/10/1906 – Linlithgowshire Gazette –  Robert Muir & Co of Armadale, Barbauchlaw and Boghead Brickworks are about to become mine owners, insomuch as they are going to open a clay mine in the vicinity of their Barbauchlaw brickworks at the East end of the town.

08/01/1909 – Linlithgowshire Gazette –  Our County in 1908 – …. The foundries and brickworks are not so busy as usual and could do with a great deal more work. Messrs Robert Muir & Co, owners of Armadale, Barbauchlaw and Boghead brickworks having been at law with the United Collieries Company regarding their lease of South Broadrigg Brickworks had their case settled in their favour in the House of Lords early in the year and resumed operations at the works on the 4th July.

24/09/1909 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – New Management at Muirs Brickworks –  Hugh Goldie, who has managed the brickworks and coalmine of Messrs Robert Muir and Ltd., for past three years, having accepted an engagement of similar nature Bonnybridge, left on Wednesday of last week. In order to fill the vacant position. Messrs Muir and  Co., who own Armadale. Barbauchlaw, and Boghead Brick and Pipe Works, and Coal Mine have had to engage a manager for the brick and pipe works, and also a manager for the mine. Mr James Gillespie, late of Turner and Co., Portobello, took up the duties of managing the brick and pipe work on Tuesday, and Mr Heaps, from Blackbraes, a young certificated mine manager, has taken over the management the mine.

Below – 25/08/1911 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – Drought causes local firms to unite in order to construct a pipeline to bring in water –  United Collieries, Etna and Atlas Brickworks, Robertson and Loves Pipe and Can Works. Robert Muir and Co’s works at Boghead brickworks will be disadvantaged as they will not be connected to this new supply but their Armadale Barbauchlaw Works may be able to secure a supply of water from their own resources.

Below1912 – La Rural – A directory detailing the area of Buenos Aires. See page 628. Is this an advert for Muir of Boghead exporting fire clay to Buenos Aires?

30/04/1915 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – Armadale – An old Armadale boy killed – Mr Robert Muir, late managing director of the firm Messrs Robert Muir and Co., Ltd. Armadale, Barbauchlaw, South Broadrigg, and Boghead Brickworks, now residing at Carfin, has just received word from the War Office that his son Robert, who was serving with the Guards, has been killed action. The young soldier received his schooling at Armadale, where he made a large number of friends, with whom he continued in the closest intimacy, and was engaged to be married to Miss Grace Shaw. With the deceased’s parents and family and Miss Shaw, the deepest sympathy is felt.

12/04/1918 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – Boys leg cut off – John Wardlaw. 15 years of age, son of Mrs McCracken, East Main Street, while working at Etna Brickworks on Saturday, had the misfortune to lose his right leg. He had occasion to pass a card to one the workmen and to do so, it is reported, that he made to step over the brick making machine when his foot slipped and got into such a position on the turntable that his leg below the knee was completely severed. He was immediately conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. On Hogmanay night his step-father, John McCracken, while engaged as a kiln burner at Boghead was so severely burned that he died in the infirmary, and in addition, Mrs McCracken has another boy dangerously ill with meningitis. The greatest sympathy is felt for Mrs McCracken in her affliction

03/06/1921 – Linlithgowshire Gazette – Public works coming to a complete stand – Week after week one public work after another is compelled to shut down for want of fuel. First the Atlas Steel Foundry had to close down, then Messrs R. Muir and Co,’s brickworks, and next Messrs Robertson and Love’s fireclay pipe and can works, and lastly Messrs Dickson and Mann, Ltd., have had to close their steel foundry, and the Etna and Atlas brickworks, which were well stocked to begin with, have now also had to shut down for want of coal. Messrs Dickson and Mann could probably have held out little longer as far as fuel is concerned, but the opportunity is being taken to make some desirable repairs on the furnace. They are still carrying on their engineering shops, and the United Collieries are able carry on their machine shops and wagon building shops, being little fuel required with them. All the chimney stacks being now smokeless, the air is pure that one can’t help commenting what a blessing it would be to humanity if the air pollution by smoke could be entirely eliminated. It’s a poor misfortune that does not yield some compensation.


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