Cupar Muir Tileworks, Cupar, Fife

Cupar Muir Tileworks, Cupar, Fife. (Note – SBH – It is often difficult to determine whether research results refer to the Cupar Muir Works, the Brighton Works or indeed the Trafford Bank Works so all 3 should be read in conjunction with each other. If anyone can clarify then please get in touch).

12/04/1859 – Dundee Perth and Cupar Advertiser – The skeleton of another antediluvian seal was found last week among the plastic clay by the workmen employed at the Cupar Muir Brick and Tile Works. The skeleton belongs to the same species as that discovered some years ago, now in the possession of David Page, Esq. We understand the skeleton has been secured for the College Museum, St Andrews.

Below – 25/04/1867 – Fife Herald – New brick and tile works. James Mill Manager of Brighton Brick and Tile Works for Messers Mitchell and Duncan during the last 14 years, begs to announce to his friends and the public generally, that he had secured a lease of the field of clay immediately to the West of that occupied by the late firm, where he intends carrying on business on his own account, and trusts by his usual attention to business, and supplying a first-class article at a moderate price, to be favoured with a share of public patronage. Brick and Tile Works, Cupar-Muir, April 1867.


16/05/1867 – Fife Herald – Presentation. On the evening of Saturday last, Mr Thomas Horne, foreman the Leven Brick and Tile Works, was invited his fellow-workmen and a number of friends to meet them in Mr A. Cameron’s, for the purpose of giving him some tangible proof of their regard and esteem for him on the occasion of his going away to fill a similar situation at Cupar Muir Brickworks. Mr David Thomson, after a few brief remarks, in the name of the subscribers, presented Mr Horne with a very handsome gold Albert chain. Mr Home, in reply, thanked them kindly for such unexpected and unlooked-for gift, after which, toasts, songs, and recitations followed, and all dispersed a reasonable hour, highly gratified with their evening enjoyment.

25/07/1867 – Fifeshire Journal – Bricks, tiles and drain pipes. James Mill (late manager of Brighton Tileworks) begs to inform his friends and the public generally that he has now on hand a stock of bricks, tiles and drain pipes of superior quality for which he will be glad to execute orders with his usual care and punctuality. He will also be glad to supply fire clay goods of every description of good quality and at moderate prices. Those moot generally in demand be will in stock, such as fire bricks, plain and ornamental chimney cans, vent linings, samples of water pipes &c. J. M. will attend Cupar weekly markets as usual, and Mr Cleghorn, Druggist (next door to National Bank), will either take in orders for him or give information where he may be seen. Cupar Muir Brickworks, 16th July 1867.

08/08/1867 – Fife Herald – On Monday, while a number of the men employed at Mr Mill’s Brick and Tile Work were taking some sand from a field, they came upon a stone coffin containing the remains of a human skeleton and an urn. The former comprised the skull, with the jaw-bones and teeth nearly entire, and the latter was in the shape of a goblet and was made of earthenware. On the outside were some traces of ornamentation. From the appearance of the place from which the coffin was exhumed, more shall likely be found.

03/09/1868 – Fife Herald – Bricks, tiles, drains and ditch pipes. James Mill begs to thank his friends and the public generally for their kind support since he commenced business, and to intimate that he is now in a  position to supply large or small orders for drain or ditch pipes, common bricks, pavement bricks, roofing tiles, &c; and anything not generally kept in stock made to order on the shortest notice. The goods are all manufactured under his own personal superintendence. The quantity of the goods of his manufacture requires no commendation to those who have already used them, and those who have not need only to give them a trial.  Fire bricks; sewerage pipes, common red clay, chimney cans and fire clay cans, plain and ornamental, are also kept in stock; and any article of fire clay manufacture are supplied. All orders are punctually attended to. Cupar Muir Tileworks, Cupar.

08/04/1872 – Dundee Courier – The toad in the rock again. On Saturday the workmen employed at Cupar Muir Brickwork (Mr Mill’s) found a live toad embedded in alluvial clay 24 feet from the surface. The animal, which was of yellowish colour, rather flat in shape, with a very small mouth (if it had any at all), and with a smoother skin than ordinary toads, was, with the clay surrounding it, taken care of by Mr Mill, and in the course of the afternoon was visited by Drs Tuke and Fraser of the Fife and Kinross Asylum and others.

21/09/1872 – Fife Free Press – Melancholy fatal accident At Cupar Muir. On Thursday morning between nine and ten o’clock, a sad accident happened to a labouring man named Andrew Mill, aged fifty-three, whereby he lost his life when engaged at work at the railway siding in connection with Cupar Muir Brickwork. It seems that a goods train going south had halted opposite the siding to take on two waggons of clay. The whole train was then shunted onto the north line, where the van and a number of trucks were left standing to allow the two waggons from the “lie” to be attached to them. After this had been accomplished, the engine and the remaining trucks were backed for the purpose of being coupled onto the van part of the train. Deceased, who was standing at this time between the up and down lines of rails, had his attention directed to another goods train which was coming from the north, and not observing that the engine on the north line of rails was being backed, he turned round to cross over in the direction of Cupar Muir. The engine at this moment came up, and Mill was knocked down by the foremost of the trucks, three of which passed over his legs, inflicting the most frightful injuries. From the knees upwards the flesh was torn in a horrible manner. The poor man was immediately conveyed home, and Dr Mackie, Cupar, sent for. Notwithstanding every effort was made to preserve life, he died an hour after the accident occurred. Mill leaves a wife and a large family.

12/06/1873 – Fife Herald – Reduction of the hours of labour. The employee’s of James Mill, Cupar Muir brick and tile works (numbering upwards of fifty hands) waited upon their employer the other day and asked reduction of their working hours from 57 to 51 hours per week, without any reduction of pay. The workmen at Brighton Tileworks (Messrs Duncan & Son) also made like demand, and in both cases, the request was granted.

26/02/1874 – Fife Herald – Drain Pipes etc – Bricks, drain and ditch pipes from 1 1/2″ to 12″ diameter can be supplied by J.Mill, Cupar Muir Brick and Tile Works, Cupar, Fife

27/09/1884 – Fife News – Political demonstration at Ladybank. Grand procession. Enthusiastic proceedings. The Howe of Fife also said its say on the great franchise bill and as was to be expected it has left no doubt about its meaning … Robert Chapman, Cupar Muir Brickworks took part in the demonstration.

1878 – Jas Mill, Cupar Muir Tileworks, Cupar, Fife.

11/01/1883 – Fife Herald – Sudden Death. While Robert Band, aged 60, and residing in Kirkgate, Cupar, was engaged on Thursday forenoon loading a truck with pipes at the Cupar Muir Brickworks, he was observed to take suddenly ill. Sitting down on a barrow, he put his hand to his face and almost immediately expired. He had been apparently in his usual health and took breakfast only an hour previous. Death attributed to apoplexy. Deceased leaves a widow and a grown-up family, with whom much sympathy is felt – the more so, as only a year ago, one of the family was killed on the railway.

06/10/1883 – Fife Free Press – Presentation. On Saturday last the workmen at Cupar Muir Brickworks met in the Walker’s Tavern (Mr D. Sinclair’s) and presented Peter Appleby with a purse of money on the occasion of his leaving for a higher situation in Kirkcaldy. Mr William Imrie, in presenting the gift, spoke in high terms of their friend, who after nearly thirty years at Cupar Muir, had no foes, but left with the good wishes of many friends. Mr Appleby, in returning thanks, expressed the wish to be successful in gaining the esteem of those with whom his lot had now been cast. With songs &c, a pleasant evening was passed.

09/04/1884 – Fife Herald – Wanted, a brickmaker. Apply J. Mill, Cupar Muir Brick and Tile Works, Cupar, Fife.

23/09/1884 – Dundee Advertiser – The How of Fife demonstration. The Liberals of Howe of Fife and the surrounding districts had a magnificent demonstration on Saturday in favour of the franchise bill and against the action of the House of Lords in stopping its progress … The plumbers and tailors followed and these were succeeded by the Cupar Muir Brick and Tile workers carrying two flags and an imitation kiln …

11/03/1885 – Fife Herald – Brickmakers wanted. A brickmaker. Apply J. Mill, Cupar-Muir Brick and Tile Works, Cupar Fife.

1886 – James Mill, Brick and Tile Maker, Cupar Muir Tileworks, Cupar, Fife (Page 543).

21/11/1888 – Fife Herald – The gale … and about 40 yards of roofing of a drying shed at Mr Mill’s Brick and Tile Works, Cupar Muir, were blown off …

02/04/1892 – Dundee Peoples Journal – Brick and tile burner, also brickmaker wanted at Cupar Muir Tilework. Apply either by letter or to Jas. Mill at the work.

1893 – 1896 – Cupar Muir Tileworks. J Mill, brick and tile manufacturer.

05/02/1898 – St Andrews Citizen – Cupar. Damage by gale at Brighton Tileworks. On Tuesday night or early on Wednesday morning a wooden structure not unlike a chimney, seventy feet in height was blown down by a severe gale at Cupar Muir Brickworks tenanted by Messrs Smith & Son, builders, Kirkcaldy. The pillar-shaped apparatus was erected about a fortnight ago and is an American patent for drying bricks. (Note – SBH – Is this article referring to the Brighton Brickworks or the Cupar Muir Brickworks).

24/06/1899 – Dundee Advertiser – New public companies. The Fife Brick and Tile Company – to carry on the business of coal masters and traders in bricks, tiles etc. Capital £10,000 in 1000 shares of £10 each.

27/07/1899 – The Scotsman – Clerk for Cupar Muir Brickworks, having two or three years experience of bookkeeping, wanted immediately. Apply G. W. Bruce, solicitor, Leven.

25/11/1899 – Dundee Advertiser – Man (married) wanted for Cupar Muir Brickworks. One with working girls preferred. Apply to the manager.

03/02/1900 – St Andrews Citizen – Painful accident to a boy at Cupar Muir Brickworks. On Wednesday evening a distressing accident occurred to a lad of 14, Duncan Jamieson, employed at the Fife Brick and Tile Works, Cupar Muir. By oversight, he stepped into the pit containing the machinery for mixing the clay, and before he could be extricated he was severely injured by the knives. One of his feet was almost severed from the leg, the bone of the leg was broken, and the knee dreadfully lacerated. Several medical men were soon on the spot, and in accordance with their advice, the lad was sent by the 9.21 train to Dundee Infirmary.

1901 – Directory of Clay Workers – Smith and Sons, Cupar Muir Brickworks, Cupar.

21/09/1901 – St Andrews citizen – The Fife Brick and Tile Company Limited. Cupar Muir Brickworks, Cupar Fife, have common red and pressed brick, drainpipes and roofing tiles always in stock.

17/10/1901 – Dundee Courier – Attempted train wrecking. Yesterday at the Onpar Sheriff Court, Peter White, son of Robert White, baker, 17 Kirkgate, Cupar, and James Millar, son of David Millar, mason, 13 Short Lane, were charged with having, on 17th September, on the line of the North British Railway Company leading between Cupar and Springfield, and at a part thereof at Cupar Muir Brickwork Siding, placed and left a brick and a railway key between the points and the stock rail of the down mainline in a manner calculated and intended by them to obstruct the line and obstructed the said main down line and endangered the trains thereon and the lives and limbs of the persons travelling thereby. Both pleaded guilty. The Fiscal (Mr H. H. Brown) said he had received a letter from the Clerk to the Cupar School Board setting forth that the boys were notorious truants. It was while they were playing truant that this happened. Fortunately, some of the neighbours observed the boys on the line in the vicinity of the points, and a man proceeded to examine the points, and only got the obstructions removed when a train, which was coming from Springfield, was between 200 and 300 yards away. Had the train reached that point where the obstruction was placed and the obstruction been still there the train would undoubtedly have gone off the rails. At that particular place trains passed at great speed. He did not believe the boys thought of the serious consequences that might follow upon their rash act. Mr J. L. Welch, Jun., spoke in extenuation of the boy’s offence and said that where the obstructions were placed was at a point which led off the main line into the siding at Cupar Muir, and any train coming down would have passed over the points. He thought the probability of an accident occurring was very remote. The Sheriff said he was satisfied the mischief the boys had done might have resulted in serious damage; it might even have resulted in a loss of life. He could scarcely take it to be a mere boyish trick and thought the kindest thing he could do for them was to impose punishment that would have some effect both upon them and other boys. They would each receive eight strokes with the birch rod.

03/01/1903 – St Andrews Citizen – … During the year three very handsome cottages have been erected on the St Andrews road by Robert Paterson, who has lately been appointed manager of the Cupar Muir Brick & Tile Company, and quite recently a villa has been begun for Mr Robert Nivison, at present resident at Lydox House, Dairsie …

14/04/1903 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Failure of a law firm. It has been announced that Mr G W Bruce, solicitor, is in financial difficulties. He has interests in many businesses including the Fife Brick and Tile Company Limited, Cupar Muir.

29/06/1903 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Mr G. M. Stewart, Clydesdale Bank, Cupar has been appointed secretary of the Fife Brick and Tile Company, Limited, Cupar Muir, in succession to Mr G. W. Bruce, Leven.

1912 – 1913 – Fife Brick and Tile Company Limited, Cupar Muir, Fife.

27/10/1936 – Edinburgh Gazette – The Companies Act 1929 – The following company has been struck off the register and as such is now dissolved – The Fife Brick and Tile Company.

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