Thank you to Olga Kubareva for forwarding photos and information on this brick. Olga is a director of the Museum and Exhibition Center of the KB JSC “Apatit” in the city of Kirovsk, Murmansk region, Russia. On a survey of an old mine in the Khibiny Mountains, several Dougall stamped bricks were found. The mine operated…
Bonnyside Brickworks or Fire Clay Works, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire.
James Dougall & Sons Ltd, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire
Alternative brickworks include:
- Bonnyside Brickworks, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire
Aludo – due to the harder driving of many types of furnaces under modern operating conditions there is an increasing demand for a refractory of better quality than a first grade 42% alumina firebrick. This demand is being successfully met in a very wide variety of conditions by the Aludo 6 refractories which contain 60% alumina and have improved properties as compared with a first-grade firebrick with regards
– higher spalling resistance
– greater volume stability
– better resistance to slag attack
– increased resistance to temperature and load
– improved resistance to abrasion at high temperatures
It is recommended that Dougalene B15 is used for jointing or surfacing of Aludo 6 refractories.
JD – Semi Silica – is manufactured from the well known Bonnybridge ganister which is obtained from the Company’s own mines. Although less refractory than other firebricks produced by the Company, JD has greater volume stability than the ordinary type of firebrick under heavy loads provided the temperature is not excessive. It also has the advantage for some purposes of a slightly higher thermal conductivity. JD is not normally recommended for use at working temperatures in excess of 1400c. Contains 78 – 80% silica.
Dougall or Dougall A – Their qualities are in the range of firebricks containing 35 – 40% alumina.
Docken and Aludo 4 – are in the range of high alumina firebricks containing between 40 – 44% alumina.
Sicardo – 95+% silica carbide – this firebrick will only have a very low percentage of additives. Special shapes are made from this. Sillimanite is also produced.
Silicon Carbide does not occur naturally but is a synthetic material with a formula SiC. It is also made by mixing in an electric furnace, sand, coke, salt and sawdust. SiC does not melt but dissociates at a temperature of over 2200c. The refractory product may have a lower softening temperature dependant upon the additives used.
28/03/1845 – Glasgow Herald – Clay to be let for such a number of years as may be agreed upon with immediate entry. A large field of fine clay on the property of Bonnyside, well adapted for making bricks and tyles. It lies nearly adjoining the great canal at Bonnybridge and also close to the line of the Central as well as the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. Besides the ordinary sale of the district, there will be an extensive sale for several years for bricking for the tunnels on the various new lines of the railway at present in progress. The clay is of very considerable depth and proved at Mr Cairns’ Brickfield to be of very superior quality and particularly well adapted for manufacturing both bricks and tyles. The easy access to the canal and railways is also very advantageous. Further particulars on application to H. Salmon the proprietor, Falkirk. 24/03/1845.
1884 – George and Robert Dougall started the Bonnyside Works in 1884.
22/05/1886 – Falkirk – The Edinburgh International Exhibition – James Dougall & Sons, Bonnymuir Fire Brick Works, Bonnybridge. Court 2 – among the ‘Pottery glass and kindred industries’ occupy stand 60, where they show fire clay, gannister bricks for steel and iron furnaces, special stoppers, nozzles of pipes for steel furnaces, fire clay blocks, grate and stove backs etc. (Note SBH – I think this should refer to Bonnyside, not Bonnymuir – to clarify).
1893 – 1893 – Bonnyside Brick and Tile Works, Bonnybridge. James Dougall & Sons.
1899 – 1900 – James Dougall & Sons Ltd – Bonnyside Brickworks, Bonnybridge. Sole agents Wright & Stewart 59 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. ( Should McDougall actually read Dougall?)
21/01/1899 – Falkirk Herald -… All the brickworks to the east and the west of our district have been kept very busy, and the prospect at present, with the numerous new works buildings going up, are quite as good they were a year ago. Messrs James Dougal(l) and Son (Limited), fire-clay brick manufacturers, Bonnybridge have put in new boilers and mills, and extra stove accommodation, during the past year, and have been very busy …
1903 – Dougall James & Sons Limited, Bonnyside Fire Clay Works, Bonnyside R.S.O. Stirlingshire; T A ” Ganister.”
Below – 1903 – Advert – Dougall James & Sons Limited, Bonnyside Fire Clay Works, Bonnyside.
19/05/1906 – Falkirk Herald – A miner, named William Rae, living in Skinfiats, was fined 10s, or seven days’ imprisonment, for having committed a breach of the peace on 3rd May. Thomas Douglas, brickmaker, Bonnyside Terrace. Bonnybridge admitted having created a breach of the peace on 1st May at Bonnyside Brickworks. High Bonnybridge. The Sheriff passed sentence of 10s, or seven days imprisonment.
1907 – Same advert as for 1903.
02/07/1907 – Falkirk Herald – Gas Associations visit to the Bonnyside Fireclay Works – The members of the Western Section of the Scottish, Junior Gas Association paid a visit on Saturday afternoon to the Bonnyside Fireclay Works of Messrs James Dougall and Sons, Limited. The party, which numbered about seventy, included representatives from the leading Scottish gas companies and gas departments of corporations. Amongst those present were —Mr McLeod, of Provan Gas Works, president of the association; Mr Lowe, assistant manager, Glasgow Gas Department; Mr Hislop, Uddingston; and Mr Simpson, Bellshill. The Rev. J. C. Russell, D.D.; Messrs Robert Dougall, E. M. Stewart, and E. G. Smith, directors of Messrs Dougall and Sons, Limited, and Mr G. Wink Wight, C.A., secretary, received the party and welcomed them on behalf of the company. The works were gone over, the machinery being seen in motion, and the various processes of making fireclay goods shown in full operation. Of especial interest were the various blocks and retorts used in gas works as well as in iron, steel, and chemical works. The party then descended the pit and examined the underground workings. Thereafter dinner was served in the company’s hall, and Dr Russell welcomed the members of the association. Mr E. M. Stewart, manager and director, read a paper on the history and manufacture of fireclay goods.
07/09/1907 – Falkirk Herald – The employees of James Dougall and Sons, Ltd., Bonnyside Brickworks, held their annual excursion last Saturday, the venue being Crieff. Fully 200 took advantage of the special opportunity for visiting the charming Perthshire tourist and health resort. The party left special-train 8 a.m. and reached Crieff in due course. The weather was in its best behaviour, which enabled the visitors to view the charming scenery under the best conditions. Mr E. M. Stewart, managing director, accompanied the excursionists, and he presided at the dinner, to which the firm generously entertained the employees, in the Town Hail. There, a splendid repast was enjoyed, followed by songs from several of the company, Mr Tom Wishart presiding at the piano with much acceptance. In addition, Mr Stewart managing director entertained the office staff to luncheon and a drive to the famed Drummond Castle Gardens. In addition to proofs of the goodwill of the firm already alluded to, it falls to be noted that the firm also defrayed half the railway fare of the entire workers, a kindness much appreciated all. Pipe Major Macfarlane accompanied the trippers, and his excellent pipe music contributed his quota to the success and pleasure of the trip. After a delightful visit, the party entrained for home about 7 p-m., and Greenhill was reached about 9 p.m., everyone in the happiest mood at tho sight-seeing and pleasure of the day.
02/10/1907 – Falkirk Herald – At Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday, Michael McAndrew, miner’s drawer, Griffiths’ Buildings, High Bonnybridge, was charged with having, along with two other men, who were before the Court last week, on 13th September, on the Drove Road, leading between Bonnybridge and Bonnyhill, and near Bonnyside Brickworks, occupied by James Dougal and Sons, Limited, brick manufacturers, with a view to compelling Alex. Fleming, labourer, residing at 126 Gordon Street, Camelon, who was then employed as a labourer in their clay pit, to abstain from working, intimidated him, and threatened to “go for him” and challenged him to fight, cursed and swore at him, and used abusive and threatening language towards him. The complaint further stated that the accused, along with other persons, followed Fleming in a disorderly manner, shouting and cursing, for 150 yards along the road. A plea of guilty was tendered by the accused. Mr Will Stevenson, solicitor, Falkirk, in the course of a statement on behalf of the accused, stated that the reason he was not present at the last calling of the case was owing to the fact that he went to Prestongrange, and four days later the complaint was served at his house in Bonnybridge. The first thing he knew of the case having been brought up was when read of it in the evening papers. He at once sent a message to his mother to send the police, and he went home, and he called three times at the police office in Bonnybridge, but the constable was out on all three occasions. When walking through Bonnybridge on Sunday night he was arrested and refused bail. Sheriff Moffatt, in imposing a fine of 30s, or ten days’ imprisonment, said he would cause an inquiry to be made into the hardship which it was alleged the accused had suffered.
25/08/1909 – Falkirk Herald – Success of a local mining engineer – It is gratifying to note that Mr Archibald McNeil, M.E., late pit manager the firm James Dougall and Sons, Ltd., Bonnyside Brickworks, at the recent Board of Education examination in mining, held South Kensington, has been awarded a first-class certificate in honours, and the King’s medal in coal and metal mining. Mr McNeil was a student in the Coatbridge mining engineering classes, and his success reflects credit on that institution and demonstrates his thorough equipment for the conduct of mining engineering classes, to which he is devoting himself.
19/11/1910 – Falkirk Herald – Presentation to mine manager. ln the Bonnyside Hall on Wednesday evening the miners of Bonnyside Brickworks (Messrs J. Dougall and Son) met and presented John McPhail with a barometer and Mrs McPhail with a gold-mounted umbrella on the occasion of their departure. Mr E. M. Stewart presided, and the gifts were presented By Mr James Blair. Mr McPhail was also the recipient of a bible and travelling rug and Mrs McPhail a wrist bag from the members of Bonnyside Works Mission. The presentation was made by Mr C. Cruise, and McPhail suitably acknowledged.
Below – 1911 – Advert – James Dougall & Sons.
25/03/1911 – Falkirk Herald – Sequel to the Bonnybridge fracas. John Logan, labourer, Bonnybridge. was charged with having (1) on 18th curt. at the works office. Bonnyside Brickworks occupied by Jas. Dougall and Sons, Ltd., assaulted David Gillespie, works foreman. High Bonnybridge by kicking him on the thigh with his booted foot, and (2) assaulted John McCafferty, labourer, by striking him on the face with his fists and biting him on the neck. Accused pleaded guilty the first charge only. The Fiscal accepted the plea. Mr Will. Stevenson, solicitor, Falkirk, appeared for the accused and explained that Logan was employed at the brick works at 22s per week. On the date mentioned he only received £1, and seeing the foreman passing, he kicked him with the side of his boot. Accused was then knocked down and severely handled, both of his eyes being blackened. Traces of the injuries received could still seen, and in view of the fact that the accused had been severely handled, Mr Stevenson asked his Lordship to admonish him. Fine 20s, or ten days’ imprisonment, was imposed
13/12/1911 – Falkirk Herald – John Hawthorn, labourer, Bonnyside Terrace. High Bonnybridge, appeared upon a charge of having on 30th ult., at Bonnyside Brickworks, assaulted Minnie Gemmell, brick-worker, kicking her on the haunch with his booted foot. He pleaded guilty and stated that the girl had used bad language to him. The Fiscal said the girl was only 16. She received a severe kick. A fine of 10s or five days imprisonment was imposed.
29/07/1911 – Falkirk Herald – John Porteous, Labourer was sentenced to 40 days imprisonment after stealing a silver pocket watch from a jacket hanging in the workmen’s shed at Bonnyside Brick Works, High Bonnybridge.
29/07/1911 – Falkirk Herald – Notwithstanding the heavy rains the past week, the fire which broke out a fortnight ago in a field on Bonnyside estate still in a smouldering condition. The field affected is the property of Messrs James Dougall and Sons. Ltd., Bonnyside Fire Brickworks, and not the Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company, as erroneously stated last week’s issue.
09/03/1912 – Falkirk Herald – The firm of Messrs J. G Stein Co Ltd, Bonnybridge and Castlecary Fireclay Works and the Messrs Dougall and Co, Bonnyside Fireclay Works closed their works on Saturday last due to the restrictions and scarcity of coal. Up to 700 hands are affected by the stoppage.
11/05/1912 – Brickworkers strike – Bonnybridge is once more tho throes of a labour fight. On this occasion, it is at Bonnyside Brickworks (Messrs James Dougall and Sons, Ltd.), where over 150 men have ceased work as a protest against the dismissal of four of their number. The men came out on Tuesday night, and strong picketing has taken place. The district is quiet, and no disturbances have so far occurred. On Thursday night a public demonstration was held at The Toll, when addresses were delivered to a large gathering by Councillor Alexander Turner, Councillor Anderson, and Mr J. McKenzie. Tho men are members of the National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers, and Mr J. McKenzie, organising secretary, has taken their interests in hand.
Below – 02/07/1912 – The Scotsman – The Bonnybridge brickworkers strike.
Below – 06/07/1912 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Strike riot at Messrs James Dougalls, Bonnybridge. Edward Martin Stewart, Managing Director assaulted.
21/02/1914 – James Dougall & Sons Limited, Brick manufacturers, Bonnybridge – for sale 200 ordinary shares of £1 each and 100 5 1/2%. Cum pref shares of £1 each; fully paid – Marshall and Hunter Solicitors, Falkirk.
17/11/1917 – Falkirk Herald – Brickwork labourers. A number wanted for firebrick work. Government Class A work. Time or piecework. Minimum 45s. James Dougall and Sons Ltd, Bonnybridge.
09/09/1922 – Yorkshire Post – Company dividend – James Dougall and Sons (Limited), Bonnyside Fireclay Works – Dividend of 7 1/2% on the ordinary shares.
23/07/1924 – Falkirk Herald – A brickworker named Jas, Douglas, residing at 3 Russell Place, High Bonnybridge, pleaded guilty at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday to having on 9th July, in Bonnyside Brickworks. High Bonnybridge, assaulted a fellow-worker, by throwing two half-bricks at him, one of which struck him on the body and the other on the elbow. Mr Andrew Hunter, solicitor, Falkirk, appearing on the accused’s behalf, said that Douglas and the complainer worked together. The complainer had accused Douglas in the morning of having circulated tales about him having interfered with some young girls. The row took place as they were going work in the morning and at dinner time Douglas went to the complainer to ask him what meant by those stories. It appeared that Douglas was working with a spade amongst lime, and he had a brick his hand, which he shied at the other fellow. The accused was on holiday now and as he was anxious to enjoy his holiday, he hoped his Lordship would enable him to do so by dealing leniently with him. Sheriff Robertson said that according to Mr Hunter’s statement it looked as if the accused had gone back to this man and renewed the altercation which he had earlier in the day. It would have been wiser if had kept away. He did not do so, however, and the result was that he threw a half-brick at the other man. If he had come to fisticuffs he might have received more sympathy. It did not look well to find grown men throwing bricks at one another. A fine of 30s was imposed and paid at the bar.
21/01/1931 – Falkirk Herald – Sequel to Bonnybridge Work’s Blaze. The distressing sequel to an outbreak of fire in the Bonnyside Brickworks, High Bonnybridge, early on Monday morning took place at the works on Tuesday, when Donald Stewart, glazier, 52 Mary Street, Laurieston, who was repairing the roof of one of the buildings involved in the fire, fell through and sustained injuries to his head and left leg. He was removed to the Falkirk and District Infirmary, where he was detained for treatment. It appears that Stewart, who is employed by Messrs Daniel O’May & Company, glaziers, Falkirk, was working on the roof of a stove when he fell through the roof, which consisted of asbestos sheets, and landed on the cement floor, a distance of about 12 ft. The Bonnyside Works are occupied by James Dougall & Sons, Ltd., and the fire occurred about 2.30 a.m. on Monday. It was discovered that it had broken out in a stove in which a large number of fireclay spirals had been placed in wooden crates to dry. The flames shot into the air and spread with such rapidity that all the crates were destroyed. Over a 100 panes of glass, measuring 6ft. by 2ft., on the roof were broken by the intense heat. The fine was first seen on the top of the gas kiln situated immediately underneath the cement floor of the stove, where bricklayers had been using a scaffold. The entire stove was burnt out before assistance could be got, and the outbreak only lasted for a short period. The damage to the building and material is estimated at £200 and is understood to be covered by insurance.
11/09/1931 – The Scotsman – Brickworks manager killed on the railway – The body of a middle-aged man found lying on the railway line near Camelon junction, was identified yesterday as that of Thomas Love Bernard, Bonnyside House, Bonnybridge. The deceased, who was the manager of Dougall’s Brickworks, High Bonnybridge was returning home along the line when, it is surmised, he was overtaken and run down by a goods train before he could get out of the way.
07/10/1933 – Falkirk Herald – Fireman injured – In the course of his employment at the High Bonnybridge Works of Messrs Dougall & Sons, brickwork fireman named James Hutcheson residing at Cowden View, Bonnybridge was on Monday last severely burned on the eyes. The accident occurred while Hutcheson was engaged in firing a steam boiler and injury is such that it is feared he will lose the sight of an eye.
08/06/1935 – Falkirk Herald – The employees of Messrs James Dougall & Sons, Ltd., met in a social capacity in the Welfare Hall, High Bonnybridge, on Friday evening of last week, to do honour to Mr Duncan Ferguson, works foreman, who has retired after having served the firm for 21 years. ln his opening remarks, Mr John M Phail, manager, who presided, expressed his gratification that such a large number had attended, and hoped that the evening would prove an enjoyable one for all. He also intimated an apology from Mr Boyd C, Mitchell, managing director, who was prevented from being present by his father’s indisposition. A splendid tea was then served by a voluntary party of interested ladies, whose service and arrangements were deserving of the highest praise. After tea, the chairman, at the close of a felicitous speech, and on behalf of the firm and employees, asked Mr Ferguson to accept a wallet of treasury notes, as a token of their profound esteem, and as an earnest of their good wishes for a long and happy retirement. The gift, he said, was also a mark of appreciation of the faithful service he had given to the firm. For a long time, his wide experience and expert knowledge of the routine would be missed in the works, as Mr Ferguson himself would be missed by all. On accepting the gift the recipient’s son, Mr W. R. Ferguson said he was touched by the kindly feelings which prompted it. It gave him the greatest pleasure to know that his father had been held in such deep regard by those with whom he had worked. On his father’s behalf, he thanked them all most heartily, not only for the valuable gift but also for the spirit of sincere friendship that had led to the presentation. The remainder of the evening was happily spent, songs being rendered by the Misses Gavin, Cullen, and Stocks, and Messrs J. McDonald, J. Nolan, and J. Martin. After the customary votes of thanks had been accorded to Mr McPhail to the ladies who had served the tea, and to Messrs Coyne and Mills, who had carried through the arrangements, the whole company joined in singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
1938 – List of mines in Scotland – Jas. Dougal & Sons Ltd., Bonnyside Firebrick Works, Bonnybridge. John McPhail manager. Thomas Boak, under manager. 48 employed underground and 34 employed above ground.
Below – 08/01/1938 – Falkirk Herald – James Dougall and Sons social outing.
Below – 01/11/1941 – Falkirk Herald – Disgruntled employee damages bricks in the gas kiln buildings (Note – SBH – Gaskil is a stamp I have seen on several Dougall bricks and I suspect it represents an abbreviation of Gas Kiln and thus where and how they were fired)
Below – 1944 – 1967 – Bonnyside Works.
09/12/1944 – Falkirk Herald – Theft and reset of petrol. Thomas Connell, in custody, pleaded guilty to having, between 24th and 28th November, broken into the garage at Bonnyside Brickworks, High Bonnybridge, occupied by James Dougall & Sons, Ltd., and stolen a drum containing 10 gallons of petrol valued at £1 1s.
1947 – James Dougall and Sons took over the Whiterigg Fireclay Mine, East Whitburn. They sold 50% to the Douglas Fireclay Company.
c. 1953 – James Dougall bought out the 50 % share of the Whiterigg Fireclay Mine, East Whitburn as owned by the Douglas Firebrick Company. The clay from the Whiterigg clay mine had a low iron content and was used in the manufacture of saggars.
15/05/1953 – The British Clayworker – New Acquisitions by Ceramic Holdings Ceramic Holdings Ltd., as from March 31st, 1953, have acquired 98.2 per cent. of the issued share capital of James Dougall & Sons Ltd., Firebrick Manufacturers, Bonnybridge, and the whole of the issued share capital of the Diamond Clay Co Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent, who are specialists in the manufacture of refractories for the Pottery Industry. The two companies will continue to trade independently under their present Board of Directors and it is intended later to apply for a Stock Exchange quotation for the shares of the new holding company. The Directors of the Ceramic Holdings Ltd. are Mr W. Boyd Mitchell, M.B.E., Chairman and Managing Director of James Dougall & Sons Ltd, and Chairman of the Diamond Clay Co. ltd.; Mr Alan D. Cuthbert, Shipowner; Mr G. N. Hodson, M.B.E., Chemical Stoneware Manufacturer; Mr Donald. L. Platt, Floor Tile Manufacturer; Sir A. Murray Stephen, M.C., Ship-builder; Mr C. R. F. There fall, M. C., Firebrick Manufacturer. The Board of Directors includes in Mr Threfall, Mr Hudson and Mr Mitchell three Past Presidents of the British Ceramic Society showing that the Board as a whole, in addition to industry experience, are conversant with an unusually wide range of products in the ceramic industry itself.
28/01/1955 – The Glasgow Herald – Refractories Placing – Ceramic Holdings Ltd., capitalised at 250,000 in ordinary shares of 10’s each, of which there are in Issue or to be issued fully paid 400,000 shares, are applying to the London and Glasgow stock exchanges for permission to deal and for a quotation for the whole of the issued Ordinary shares. The company have no debenture stock, mortgages, or loan capital outstanding. Incorporated in February 1953, the company acquired the issued share capital of the subsidiaries, James Dougall and Sons, Ltd., formed in 1907, and the Diamond Clay Company, Ltd., formed in 1933, as at March 31, 1953. James Dougall and Sons own Works at Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire, and manufacture heat-resisting firebricks and other refractories for use in iron and steelworks and coke oven plants, and for other similar purposes. The Diamond Clay Company own works at Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, and manufacture specialised refractories for the pottery industry, so that the two businesses are to some extent complementary. To effect certain improvements to the Dougall works, the company have issued 52,000 Ordinary shares Of 10’s each at 10’s 7 1/2d per share. All the works are fully employed An interim dividend of 5 per cent. (Previous year 3 per cent.) was paid on January 14 last, and on the assumption that the profits for the current year will be approximately those for the year ended March 31, 1954 – namely. £73,450 – it is intended to recommend a final dividend of 5 per cent., payable towards the end of July. It is expected that full particulars will be advertised on Monday and that dealings will begin on Thursday. February 3. Brokers to this placing Are Cazenove and Co., Stock Exchange, London, and S. M. Penney and MacGeorge. Glasgow. Stock Exchange.
Below – 13/08/1955 – Falkirk Herald – Wash machines for brickwork. Mr W Boyd Mitchell, who has been managing director at Dougal’s Brickwork, High Bonnybridge for 25 years, marked the occasion of his semi-jubilee by presenting two electric washing machines for the use of the employees and employees wives. The picture shows a demonstration in progress.
1962 – Dyson Refractories take over the site.
Dyson produced bricks in the “East works” and in the West Works, Graphite/Alumina Isostatically pressed products for the control of molten steel in the continuous casting process in steel mills.
Dyson sold the ISO (Isostatic products) business to Foseco in the early ’90s. Foseco then developed the manufacturing process and gained significant market share in Europe. In 2008, RHI purchased the operation from Foseco (who in turn sold out to Cookson/Vesuvius).
The operation in Bonnybridge no longer produces isostatic products, this is done at the RHI site in Clydebank. RHI Bonnybridge produces the graphite/alumina granular material which is shipped to Clydebank for pressing/heat treatment/kilning/finishing.
What is left of the East works is no longer owned by Dyson but a local dairy farmer.
Below – A dense unmarked brick found in abundance on the Bonnyside Works site. Most likely a James Dougall or Dyson product.
Below – The Scottish Industrial Archaeology Survey published a report in 1985 entitled ” A survey of Scottish brickmarks. During the compilation of this report in which the survey officers visited working and derelict brickworks sites, many items of interest were donated or found. Many of these items were thereafter donated to the National Museum Scotland. The item below is one of these items. A brass stamping plate marked ‘Docken’.
Below – a Similar brass stamping plate marked ‘Dougall’.