Castlecary Fireclay Works, Castlecary, Stirlingshire – Stein


  • Stein, Castlecary Fireclay Works, Castlecary, Stirlingshire.
  • Stein, Manuel Firebrick and Refractory Works, Whitecross, Stirlingshire.
  • Stein & Co, Anchor Brickworks, Denny, Stirlingshire.
  • Milnquarter Fireclay & Gannister Works, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire.

1899 – Castlecary Fireclay Works were opened after a 31-year lease (with a further 31-year option) was signed with the Marquis of Zetland.

15/03/1904 – Production of the brand ‘Thistle’ began.

1905 – The company was incorporated as John G Stein and Co. (20/01/1905?)

Below- 01/08/1906 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Messrs John G Stein & Co Ltd, brickmakers, Castlecary were in court for employing to women to work at 0300 in the morning when women were not permitted to start work until 0600.
1912 – New administration offices built on site.
Below – 1913 –  Castlecary Fireclay works.

10/08/1917 – Kilsyth Chronicle –  There were prospects of a strike of Messrs Steins Castlecary Fireclay workers on Monday but acting on the advice of the Union officials a stoppage of work was in the meantime postponed. The workers are after considerable increases claiming that they are paid 8s less than the rates paid to similar workers under the Glenboig Company.

Below – 07/09/1917 – Daily Record – Wages dispute.

1919 – 1922 – Allandale village was built to provide housing for the workforce at the Castlecary works.

17/01/1920 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – A ballot of the Castlecary Fireclay miners of Messrs J.G.Stein & Co has resulted in the majority voting for a strike to enforce recognition of the local union officials at this company’s High Bonnybridge Works where the miners are out on strike.

05/05/1922 – Kilsyth Chronicle – Fireclay Works close – The closing down of Messrs J.G Stein & Co’s extensive fireclay works at Castlecary, which had been threatened for some time unless there was a spirited revival in trade has caused much disappointment all round. Messrs Stein have kept their works going through the bad times but stocks have accumulated to such an extent that a stoppage has been rendered necessary and it maybe two or three months before a resumption of work is made.

Below – 27/02/1926 – Falkirk Herald – J.G.Steins workers gathering.





1927 – Castlecary laboratory was started.

1927 – Alan Stein takes over the company after the death of his father John Gilchrist Stein.

1928 – Dr Hyslop was the first chemist in charge of the laboratory.

Below – 23/02/1929  – Falkirk Herald – John G Stein annual social outing.

21/09/1929 – Falkirk Herald – Marquis of Zetland’s visit – On Monday afternoon the Marquis of Zetland paid a visit to Castlecary Fire Clay Works of Messrs John G Stein Ltd. On his arrival, he was met by Col. Stein and was conducted over the works. The Marquis showed great interest in the various departments of brickmaking.

Below – 04/04/1931 – Falkirk Herald – Employee’s reunion  – Annual gathering of employee’s of Messrs John G Stein & Co – Col Stein and the trade outlook.








17/01/1936 – Kirkintilloch Gazette – Castlecary – Trade is exceedingly busy at Messrs Steins Fireclay Works at present. Extra accommodation is being provided.

22/05/1939 – Edinburgh Evening News – John G Stein & Co Ltd, Castlecary Fireclay Works are to give every employee who has  1 years service or over a weeks holiday with pay in the summer. Those with less than a years service will receive one day’s pay for every 2 months service.

07/09/1946 Falkirk Herald – Wanted men and boys for firebrick works. Good wages. Inexpensive meals available at the works canteen. Apply John G. Stein & Co., Ltd., Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge.

14/06/1947 – Falkirk Herald – Men wanted for fire clay pit. Mining experience not essential, 6 weeks training given on trade union wages; after training energetic men can earn good wages on piece work – John G Stein & Co Ltd, Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge.

28/02/1948 – Falkirk Herald – Wanted for Castlecary Works, men to train as Silica Brick Moulders, starting at 2s 03/4d per hour; also labourers for engineering and other departments at 2s per hour minimum (men over 21 years) plus good timekeeping bonus; Women and girls as odd stuff dressers and machine hands; 44-hour. 5-day week; union rates of wages: good canteen; bus fares paid over 3s per week.—Apply John G. Stein & Co., Ltd., Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge.

13/03/1948 – Falkirk Herald – Men wanted for fire clay pit. Mining experience not essential, 6 weeks training given on trade union wages; after training energetic men can earn good wages on piece work – John G Stein & Co Ltd, Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge.

Below – 1950 – 1967 – Castlecary Fireclay Works.

03/11/1951 – Falkirk Herald – Electrician wanted; must be skilled in maintenance and repair of all types of motors. Maintenance men and machinists wanted. Must be members of the A.E.U. Apprentices also required to train in these trades. Apply to John Stein  & Co, Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge.

01/05/1954 – Falkirk Herald – Boy wanted for firebrick works office at High Bonnybridge. Good prospects for a smart boy. Applications to the Secretary, John Stein  & Co, Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge.

09/10/1954 – Falkirk Herald – Maintenance Engineer required for large firebrick works. Applicants should have good general experience in heavy industry, including layout and erection of machinery. Able to control staff of approximately 40. Apply by letter in the first instance, giving details of education, experience, and present responsibilities, to Works Manager, John G. Stein & Co. Ltd., Castlecary Works, Bonnybridge. Stirlingshire.

01/1959 – New plant is built to manufacture cements and patches.

07/1960 – The production of the Myrtle, Bluebell and Daisy silica bricks ceases.

1965 – An early computer is installed at the works. This is believed to have been the first installed at a brickworks in Scotland.

1970 – GR-Stein Refractories Ltd was formed by the merger of John G. Stein and Co and General Refractories of Sheffield. GR-Stein became a subsidiary of Hepworth Ceramic Holdings Ltd.

12/1979 – Fire brick manufacture is closed down.

10/1981 – Cement and patch manufacture is closed down.

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