Cumbernauld Fireclay Company, Cumbernauld, Glasgow

Cumbernauld Fireclay Company, Glasgow.


1874 – The Cumbernauld Fire-clay Company was founded, in 1874, by James Wallace and Matthew Goodwin. The Works are built beside the Caledonian Railway with fire-clay from Abronhill. In 1882 the Works are sold for £4000 to the newly formed Glenboig Union Fire-Clay Company under James Dunnachie. The shareholders are told that Cumbernauld “possesses a clay field practically inexhaustible of unapproachable quality”.

Below – 03/09/1879 – Glasgow Herald – Cumbernauld Fire Clay Works for sale. By the 26/09/1879 the upset price had been reduced to £3000.

17/10/1879 – Glasgow Herald – Fireclay Works for sale. To be sold by Public Roup … On 22/10/1879. The valuable and extensive fireclay works belonging to the Cumbernauld Fireclay Company situated at the South and South East of the Caledonian Railway at the Cumbernauld Station and within 13 miles of Glasgow, with the whole machinery, steam engine plant, mineral lease and managers house. The works which are of modern construction and have all the latest improvements are ready for immediate operation and are capable of turning out bricks and all classes of fireclay goods of superior quality. The proprietors have expended on the works upwards of £11,000 but to insure a sale they will be exposed at the low reduced upset price of £2500 …

1882 – Cumbernauld Fire Clay Co – Andrew MacDonald Agent, Brandon Street, Motherwell.

09/1882 – Cumbernauld Fire Clay Co was sold to the newly formed Glenboig Fireclay Union Company. Source Kenneth Sanderson.

10/1882 – John Gilchrist Stein moved to work at the Cumberland Fireclay Company. He had been a brickmaker at the Winchburgh Works where his father was the manager. On the death of his father on 06/10/1882, he confidently suggested he should be given the manager’s position. This was declined and thus his move to the Cumbernauld Fire Clay Co.

22/04/1891 – Kirkintilloch Herald – … licensing court … A Cumberland application. Robert Chapman applied for a public-house license at Cumbernauld Station. Mr Robert McFarlane, writer, spoke in support of the application. Mr Wark, writer, appeared in support of an objection by the Glenboig Fire-Clay Company, who did not wish a public-house so near their works as a temptation to their men. It was within 40 yards of a new school. Mr Chapman was a great breeder of dogs, and travelled over the whole kingdom, and so was unable to give the house his personal supervision. A meeting had been got up in favour of the license, but as an expression of the opinion of the locality it was a farce. He produced large photographs to show the position of the public-house and the works and school. Mr Kerr desired to contradict what he called a misstatement by Mr Wark. The meeting was a representative one, and there were 80 present. Mr Donnachie and others were present but forsooth, because the vote went against them by 3 to 1 they called the meeting a farce. Mr W. Young said Mr Kerr was moved to the chair by one of Mr Chapman’s supporters from New Monkland. He had been long resident in the district and professed to know most of the people in it who were worth knowing -(laughter) – but at that meeting he was surrounded by strangers. Mr McBride, writer, spoke on behalf of certain objecting residents. Mr McFarlane challenged Mr Wark having authority from the Glenboig Fire-Clay Company to appear for them as objectors. Mr Wark maintained that the directors had repeatedly considered the matter. Mr McFarlane challenged proof of that. The works happened to be managed by Mr Thomas Donnachie, an ex-teetotal lecturer. (Laughter.) Mr Wark merely represented Mr Donnachie, who seemed to have returned to his old occupation. (Laughter.) The photographs shown were taken from a back view, and were, on that account, indicative of the mental squint on the part of those who now objected. (Laughter.) Mr Kerr detailed the steps he took to have a public meeting to get the opinion of the district as to the need for a license, and he maintained that the meeting fairly expressed a preponderance of public opinion in favour of the license, which he moved that it be granted. Mr John Gilmour asked how many licenses Chapman held already? Mr McFarlane said one at Coatbridge and one at Glenboig. Mr John Gilmour said the applicant had as many as he could well manage, and he moved that the application be refused. Sir Young seconded. Mr J. W. Burns spoke against the license being granted. The vote was taken, when 32 voted to refuse, 11 to grant, and 5 declined to vote.

Below – 1896 –  Cumbernauld Firebrick Works.

30/08/1902 – Kirkintilloch Gazette – Mining matters … The Glenboig Fireclay Companys Cumbernauld employees are at present in variance with the masters. Up to the present the employers have provided the drawing, but they now desire the men to do their own drawing and to give the men as an equivalent an advance of threepence per ton. An average darg (quota) on which the men are paid is about 5 tons per day and this advance would not, the men state, pay the drawers. The men worked until Wednesday in the hope of a settlement and then lifted their graith (equipment) when there seemed no likelihood of a satisfactory arrangement.

19/06/1903 – Kilsyth Chronicle – The Glenboig Union Fire Clay Company have been making a number of alterations to their pipe-making machinery at their Cumbernauld works lately, and they are now about to enlarge their works by erecting new stores, etc.

13/08/1913 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – The long spell of dry weather is now having a serious effect on the industries in Eastern Dumbartonshire. Owing to the shortage of water the miners and moulders employed by the Glenboig Union Fireclay Company at their Cumbernauld Works have had to stop work for the present. At Messrs Weir’s Fireclay Works at Castlecary the situation has also become so serious that the workmen are being thrown idle. Some hundreds of workmen are affected.

Below – 1914 – Cumbernauld Firebrick Works.

15/09/1922 – Kirkintilloch Gazette – Warrants were granted against Francis Neilson, carter, Salisbury Street, Glasgow, charged with trespassing in a salt house of Glenboig Union Fire Clay Company at Cumbernauld, and Sarah Daly or Hughes, widow, Wynd, Cumbernauld, charged with being drunk and disorderly at Cumbernauld on 3rd July.

19/12/1924 – Kirkintilloch Gazette – Acknowledgement. Mrs Ferguson and Son thank the workers of the Cumbernauld Brickwork and other friends for sympathy and floral tributes in their sad bereavement. Cumbernauld Station.

c. 1969 – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests the works closed around this time.

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