Cadder Brick Co Ltd, Balmore Works, Balmuildy Road, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow

Keir & Cawder, Bishopbriggs Works, Glasgow.

Alternative brickworks include:

  • Blackhill Works, Glasgow.
  • Holytown Works, Glasgow.
  • Summerston Works, Glasgow.
  • Cadder Works, Glasgow.

The Cadder Brick Co Ltd, Balmore Works, Balmuildy Road, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow.


27/02/1929 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Accident – While engaged in filling blaes from a bing at Mount Vernons Colliery Company’s Cadder Brick Works, Bishopbriggs on Saturday, Jas Flannigan, 1139 Shettleston Road, Glasgow was injured by a large stone which fell and caught him on the ribs. After receiving medical attention, he was conveyed in an ambulance wagon to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow where he was detained.

30/09/1931 – Kirkintilloch Herald – New Company – Among the new companies registered last week was the Cadder Brick Co Ltd. Capital £4,500 in £1 shares. Private company to carry on the business of manufacturers and dealers in bricks, pottery, earthenware, china and terra cotta and ceramic ware of all kinds. Subscribers – A.A Stuart, brick manufacturer, Langlands, Carrick Drive, North Mount Vernon; Alexander Aitken, brick manufacturer, 27 Montrose Street, Clydebank and Howard R Kirk, brick manufacturer, Uladh Tower, Dalmuir.

28/07/1934 – Kirkintilloch Herald – A new Brickwork – Preparations for the opening of a large new Brickwork have commenced at Bishopbriggs. A start has been made with the building of the chimney stalk and also a 24 chamber kiln, each chamber capable of holding 10,000 bricks. Machinery of the latest type suitable for dealing with a large output is also to be installed. A lease of the ground has been secured by Messrs The Cadder Brick Co Ltd, 250 Alexandra parade, Glasgow from Messers Keir and Cawder Ltd, Bishopbriggs, the proprietors of the Cadder Estate. The new brickfield is situated on ground adjoining No 15 pit, a former colliery now closed and worked by Messrs Carron Coy, Falkirk. There is a large blaes bing at No 15 pit and also 2 other blaes bings at 2 old disused collieries nearby, which ensures a plentiful supply of material for many years. The opening of the brickfield will give work to a number of men in the district, who have suffered much unemployment since the closing down of the collieries in the vicinity.

Below – 28/11/1934 – Kirkintilloch Herald – The new Cadder brickworks.

30/11/1934 – Kirkintilloch Gazette – The Cadder Brick Co Ltd have opened a new works at Balmuildy Road, Bishopbriggs where kilns built by Messers Duncan Stewart Ltd, Bonnybridge are capable of an output of 180,000 bricks per week. Production began on Monday. It is expected that 40 employees will get work.

14/10/1935 – The Scotsman – Bishopbriggs firm’s purchase of brickwork. Keir & Cawder ltd Bishopbriggs have acquired from the Cadder Brick Co Ltd, Bishopbriggs the latters brickwork at Cadder Moss. Opened in 1928 the brickfield is equipped with all the latest methods of production. Messrs Keir and Cawder have also acquired the large blae bings on the Springfield Estate at Bishopbriggs for the manufacture of bricks and commenced to transport the blaes from Springfield to Cadder Moss brickwork

18/11/1936 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Brick works transport – To facilitate the importation of the necessary material and also the export of bricks, Messrs Keir and Cawder Ltd, Bishopbriggs have overhauled and relaid the old colliery railway formerly owned by the Carron Company which runs from Cadder yard of the L and NE Railway near Lenzie to their brickfields at Cadder Moss, Bishopbriggs, a distance of about 2 miles. The demand for bricks has necessitated this step and the railway will be used in addition to the present motor transport.

1936 – 1937 – The Cadder Brick Co., Ltd., brick manufacturers, 250 Alexandra parade, E.l ; Tel. No., Bridgeton 1125.

17/07/1937 – The Scotsman – Demand for bricks causes cancellation of holidays. Owing to the orders on hand and the demand for bricks, employees of the Cadder Brick Co Ltd, Bishopbriggs are not being granted any holidays this year but are receiving double pay for 3 days, this being the length of the recognised annual holiday.

03/05/1939 – The Scotsman – Tile Factory at Cadder – 10 acres of ground have been secured on Messrs Keir and Cawder’s estate at Crofthead Farm, Cadder, Bishopbriggs by the Merrylee Tile Company, London who propose laying down plant etc for the manufacture of roofing tiles for houses. Plans of the firms proposals have been considered by Lanarkshire County Council who have recommended that the chairman of the town planning committee and the town planning assistant discuss certain proposals with the company. Crofthead Farm is adjacent to Kirkintilloch Road and this will ensure easy transport.

1939 – 1940 –  The Cadder Brick Co Ltd,brick manufacturers, 250 Alexandra parade, E.l ; Tel. No., Bridgeton 1125.

Below – 12/07/1946 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – Marley Tile Co ltd have commenced making concrete roofing tiles at Cadder, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow  ( Unsure at this time whether this, as in the Merrylee Tile Company 1939 advert above, is on Keir and Cawder land or not)

16/10/1946 – Kirkintilloch Herald  – Going strong – Working a 2 shift system of 8 hours, Messrs Keir and Cawder Ltd are making 20,000 bricks per day at their Cadder Brickworks, Bishopbriggs. One of the most modern brickworks in Scotland, the firm has discarded the old system of hand loading the bricks from the machine into bogies and then wheeling them to the kilns for burning by the introduction of an electrically controlled conveyor belt. The belt receives the bricks from the pressing machine and conveys them along the top of the kilns where the men and women engaged as ‘setters’ build the bricks ready for burning. Formerly coal was used to assist in firing the kilns, so as to obtain the necessary heat but, to meet the coal situation, the firm have introduced oil instead of coal. Bricks ready for disposal, which were previously hand loaded into bogies are now loaded direct into the awaiting vehicles by a travelling conveyor which is movable from kiln to kiln as they are ready for emptying. Through the above methods much laborious hand work has been eliminated and in addition, a speedier output is maintained.

13/11/1946 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Sounds in the night – A car back firing may have started the scare which set detectives and police speeding to the Cadder Brick Works, Balmore early on Tuesday. A burner at the brick works told the police that he had heard  two voices in the darkness speaking with what seemed to be a foreign language and then two reports, like revolver shots. Police however reported later that they found nothing suspicious in the area.

March 1957 – The British Clayworker – Keir & Cawder introduce 3-Hole Brick. (Note – SBH – I have added this Keir and Cawder entry here to make sure it is recorded as I am uncertain which Keir and Cawder site it relates to)

Substantial sales are reported of the three hole perforated brick recently introduced by Keir & Cawder Ltd., of Glasgow.  It is a pressed brick, and the company claim that it is probably the first pressed perforated brick to be manufactured on a commercial scale in the United Kingdom.  The brick is 2 7/8 in. Popular in the North as the nominal 3 inch brick, and the perforations are approx. 7/8 in. diameter.  It is claimed to be of improved strength and insulation, and naturally of less weight.

Apart from improved performance by such bricks in the normal type of structure, the perforation system allows scope for further study of the application of pressed bricks to reinforce work.  By insertion of reinforcing steel rods through the perforations such bricks should provide scope for use in the construction of load bearing walls, for lintels and other structures where unperforated bricks cannot at present be adequately used.

The makers claim that these bricks give a saving in weight of more than 1/2 ton per 1,000 in finished brickwork.  Tests carried out in the company’s technical and research laboratories have shown crushing strength is higher than in normal solid clay bricks.  It gives improved bonding with mortar because of the key qualities of the perforations.

June 1957 –  The British Clayworker – Steel Strapped Bricks in Scotland. (Note – SBH – I have added this Keir and Cawder entry here to make sure it is recorded as I am uncertain which Keir and Cawder site it relates to)

Scottish builders, contractors and consultants were introduced to mechanical handling of packaged bricks of a very successful demonstration staged at the Bishopbriggs works of Messrs Kent and Cawder. Ltd., and at Ballock where Blackburn, Dunbarton Ltd., demonstrated the receiving end and actual construction using packaged bricks and the necessary related techniques.
The methods used were those already demonstrated on packaged handling of building bricks, based on practical work on multi-storey construction. Scottish interest stems from the growing amount of multi-storey housing work now projected and in the connection, Group Captain R.C. Hockey. Director of Blackburn confirmed his company’s intention to use these methods on their coming Paisley contract.  Blackburn have been interested in the packaging and mechanical handling of bricks for some considerable time and out interest is now doubly keen: after building 30,000 bungalows, two-storey houses and three-and four-storey flats since the war, we are about to commence at Paisley the first 15 storey flats to be built in Scotland.  The basic construction of these flats is reinforced concrete, but the whole of the outer cladding will be brick and some one million bricks will be used in the six blocks of flats to be built under the contract.  The brickwork will be completed in eight weeks: 20,000 bricks will be laid each working day, even at top floor level.  120 ft. Above ground level.  All this would be impossible without a system such as this.
Another advantage he foresaw was the ability to take packaged bricks directly from the lorry to the upper floors in a congested construction area, saving ground level space for other materials.

He also anticipated elimination of the 10 per cent loss or wastage through breakage of bricks in under the present methods.  The fullest advantages would only develop through decreased cost of packaging at the brickworks, and that in turn demanded wider use of the packaged brick system.

At Bishopbriggs the company saw bricks coming from the kiln being packed by the Signode system, being loaded by a variety of the DSIR specially designed barrow units and the use of ramps, and other special gear.

At Balloch the reverse process was shown the unloading by barrow and elevation by mobile crane to the building level.  Col. K.G.H. Fryer of the DSIR, outlined the techniques used, and among the large number of interested principles were Group-Captain R.C. Hockley, Director of Blackburn; G. O. F. Kynaston of Keir and Cawder; Andrew Ritchie, brickworks manager, Keir and Cawder; and H. M. Llewelyn. of the Building Research Station, Thorntonhall.

Below – 12/11/1975 – Birmingham Daily Post – SBC require a works engineer for the Centurion Brick Factory North of Glasgow.

1976 – Brick and Clay Record  -Centurion – Face brick in Scotland. New plant for face brick production near Glasgow, Scotland.  Three chamber kilns can fire 72 million brick per year.  Markets just starting.

Centurion was the name selected by the employees of Scottish Brick Co.  Ltd. for the new plant in Bishopbriggs Scotland.  Its location near the Antonine Wall, a major Roman civil
engineering project, was the inspiration for this modern face brick plant. Face brick are just beginning to be an accepted building surface in this Central area of Scotland.  In the past, brick have been covered with stucco, particularly for home building.  The new plant represents a dramatic step forward by Scottish Brick Co. Ltd. to establish this new market.

Mine high carbon shale –  High carbon shale is mined near the plant and is stockpiled until needed.  A front end loader moves the shale to three hoppers feeding a double roll crusher.  Crushed material moves into the feed hopper, then is taken automatically as needed to a system of three grinding mills.  Ground shale is conveyed to double shaft pug mill mixer where some moisture is added.  One man operates this entire raw material preparation department.
The mix spends at least 20 minutes in a souring tower before feeding out the bottom and moving to the two extrusion lines.  Slugs of extruded clay are side cut, 20 at a time, and off-beared into docks on alternate sides for lift truck pick up.  Packages of 500 brick are assembled here and taken directly to the kiln. Three chamber kilns, each with 28 compartments, are used to fire the brick.  Each compartment holds about 25,000 brick.  In a normal cycle, four compartments are drying; six are pre-heat; five are burning more than 800 C.; five are cooling; one has the door top removed, and one has the door open.  The other six are working compartments.  Burners are on top, firing down the side of the setting.  Every 12 hours they are moved forward one complete compartment.
Brick are unloaded by lift truck and banded into a 500 brick package without a pallet.
The Centurion plant is continuing to improve manufacturing technique.  Additional clays for body composition are being tested and various surface texturing will be added.  As customer acceptance increases, and Scottish Brick Co. is convinced that it will, Centurion will be able to meet that demand.

December 1976 – Brick and Clay Record –  Scottish Brick Corporation. Head office in Glasgow and at one time fifteen works in central Scotland producing pressed common bricks. They took over the National Coal Board’s Scottish brickmaking interests in the 1960s (Douglas). The new Centurion plant at Bishopbriggs, producing 72 million facing bricks a year, was opened in 1976. Facing bricks were rarely made in Scotland, the traditional material being stone or roughcast (harling). Caronaceous shale is mined near the works, crushed, ground, and extruded. The bricks are cut by wires, twenty at a time. There are three kilns each with 28 chambers of 25,000 bricks capacity. (They are of a Dutch design, known as Vlammoven, similar to a transverse-arch Staffordshire kiln.) In a normal cycle 4 chambers are drying, 6 preheating, 5 firing at over 800 0 C, 5 cooling, one has the top of the wicket open, one has the wicket fully open, and 6 chambers drawing and setting.



Info from Andrew Gemmell

Carron Co. Carron Stirlingshire owned Cadder Mines near the Wilderness Plantation, Bishopbriggs.
Alexandra Transport Co., Alexandra Parade, Glasgow made Cadder bricks from waste out of mines and clay from Blairskaith Quarry in the Parish of Baldernock.
Lots of men lost their lives in a fire at Cadder Mines in August 1913. No 15 pit and 22 men were suffocated.
Bricks then became ATC, Alexandra Transport Company.
Then became Scottish Brick Company.
Then they shut the place and moved it to the Caterpillar Works at Uddingston under the name of Ibstock.
Then they have shut that and I think Ibstock are bring their bricks up to Mossend, the Eurocentre.



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