Cousland Lime and Fire Clay Company Limited, Dalkeith, Midlothian

Below – 01/12/1897 – Glasgow Herald –  Prospectus for Cousland Lime and Fire Clay Company Limited, Dalkeith, situated close to the Ormiston Branch Railway. Capital £20,000. Directors Mr James Gibson, Banker, Musselburgh. Mr John Fletcher, Merchant, Edinburgh. Mr Marcus Brown, S.S.C, Edinburgh and Mr E.R. Fletcher, lime burner, Cousland.

… The fireclay bed forms a most important adjunct to the value of the property. This bed which is immediately above the limestone and could be worked along with it is from 4 to 5 feet in thickness and the quantity is therefore very large. After making full allowance for pillars left in, from which the material could not be got, there would result from 100 acres aa quantity of fully 360,000 cubic yards of fireclay available for manufacture wither as ground fireclay for building purposes or for goods such as fire bricks, drain pipes, flue covers and such like. The question, of course, crops up as to whether the clay is suitable for such uses as it has not up till now been exploited commercially. The present tenant has had this clay manufactured into various articles such as fire bricks, pots etc. and these samples have been shown to me. I was very favourably impressed with the quality of these samples. The bricks presented a fine surface of very good colour and I have been informed the samples were tested in one of the roasters at a paper mill and gave satisfaction. From my past experience, I know that such a test in a soda recovery roaster is a very severe one and if the bricks stand such a test they would be good for all ordinary furnace, boiler and flue work. The pots made from this clay showed that it could be worked into the goods with a thin body and therefore would be available not only for all heavy goods such as pipes, sanitary ware, traps, grease boxes etc. but also might be suitable for the finer classes of light glazed goods.

The fireclay industry is recognised as a most profitable one. The Glenboig Union Fireclay Company which has paid a dividend of 10% for the past year mentions in its report, recently issued, that the demand for the company’s productions keeps steadily increasing and was more in some departments than the company was able to meet.

It is believed that from the fireclay branch, this company should do an extensive trade and that a handsome profit should arise therefrom.

There is upon the ground ordinary clay as well as large quantities of blaes not hitherto utilised which will admit of the manufacture of ordinary composition bricks for building purposes. It is further proposed to manufacture cement …

The current lessee Mr E.R Fletcher will give up the lease but join the board of directors of this company ….