Found adjacent to the site of the old Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company, Bonnybridge. Unfortunately, the brick is broken but it would definitely have been stamped Ganister. Note the very large thumbprint to the top right. The manufacturer is unknown. The find location would suggest Scottish origins but … Several brick manufacturers in the Bonnybridge…
(Note – SBH – I would be interested to hear from anyone with information on these works and in particular as to where they were located.)
Below – 01/11/1879 – Falkirk Herald – To iron founders, steel manufacturers and others. A very superior s. c. fireclay, proved to be better than any ganistor (ganister) ever known and is largely used by iron founders, &c. A trial is respectfully solicited, it is certain to give the utmost satisfaction. Apply to Alexander Whyte, Drum Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge by Denny. (Note – SBH – Does anyone know what S.C Fireclay may stand for?)
1884 – Census – Brickworks, Drum, Bonnybridge. Proprietor Alexander Whyte.
10/03/1886 – Falkirk Herald – Found near Bonnybridge Station, Sunday last, a young English terrier bitch. If not claimed in three days it will be sold. Apply D. Wren, Drum Brickworks, Bonnybridge.
31/07/1886 – Falkirk Herald – James McCue, labourer residing at Drum Brickwork, near Bonnybridge, was charged with having on Sunday morning stolen a quantity of strawberries from a garden at Crowden Cottage, Bonnybridge. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a fine of 20s, with the alternative of 11 days imprisonment.
11/12/1886 – Falkirk Herald – Sheriff Buntine had before him at Stirling on Tuesday, John Grant, miner, and R. Paterson, moulder, Denny and John McGoveran, miner, Drum Brickwork, near Bonnybridge, under the charge of a breach the peace and malicious mischief. All plead not guilty, but latterly it was proved that about two o’clock on the morning of Sunday, 14th ult, Grant and Paterson tore the shutters off the window of the house of John Barnett, furnace- man, and broke several panes of glass by means of throwing stones thereat and that they made use of a lot of abusive language. In respect that Grant had been six times previously before the Court, the Sheriff sentenced him to forty days imprisonment, without the option of a fine. Paterson was fined 40s, or thirty days. The charge against McGoveran, who had been once before the Court, was found not proven.
24/09/1887 – Falkirk Herald – (Note – SBH – This is a large account of a trial involving a breach of interdict by John Muirhead sen, John Muirhead jun and James Muirhead, all miners residing at Kirkrig, Clayknowes. Part of the narrative may assist in locating the location of the Drum Brickworks – Can anyone work it out!) … For the defence, Mr Johnston called James Muirhead, who said that on the 21st June last he left his work early to go to Denny to see the Jubilee procession. He went with his father and his brother John along the Bonnybridge Road to the clay park, the third south of the Drum Brickwork, where the three defenders worked. Witness there left the road by himself, and went through the clay field to its south-west corner, where Thomas and Charles Russel interfered. Witness’s father and brother came to his assistance. After the scuffle, he and his father and brother went south along a path on the Drum Farm side of a dyke. They went dead south, and on to Kirkrigg Road. His brother’s wife was coming along the Bonnybridge Road. She could see all that passed quite well. He was not on the lands of Millquarter the 21st June. They could have gone a straighter road than by the Drum path if they had wished to trespass on Millquarter …
10/08/1889 – Falkirk Herald – A number of the workmen of the Drum Brickworks met there on Friday last and presented Hugh Wren with a handsome silver Albert and appendage on the occasion of his marriage. Mr Campbell, in asking Mr Wren’s acceptance of the gift, expressed the hope that he would be long spared to wear it and referred to the good feeling which had existed between him and the men for so many years. Mr Wren, in the course of a few remarks, thanked all for their great kindness. The appendage bears the following inscription “Presented to Mr Hugh Wren by the miners of the Drum Brickworks. August 2nd, 1889.”
22/02/1890 – Falkirk Herald – Breach of the Peace. Frank Downie, labourer, Drum Brickworks, was fined 7s 6d or seven days, for committing a breach of the peace there.
08/03/1890 – Falkirk Herald – Serious assault at Bonnybridge. Jas McHugh, labourer, Stirling’s land, Bonnybridge was at Thursday’s Sheriff Court, Falkirk, charged with having, on the 5th inst., at Drum Brickworks, assaulted Wm. Forrester, labourer, Lochview, Bonnybridge, by striking him with his fists, knocking him down, and kicking him on the breast when down, to the serious injury his person. The accused pleaded guilty and was remanded till Monday on £5 bail, in order to allow the authorities to ascertain whether the injuries are likely to terminate fatally. Forrester, it stated, is in critical condition.
02/04/1892 – Falkirk Herald – Duncan Ferguson, labourer, hereby intimates that on and after this date be will not be responsible for any debts contracted by his wife, Mary Bellingham or Ferguson Drum Brickwork, Bonnybridge.
18/05/1892 – Falkirk Herald – Reference to Drum Brickworks, Bonnybridge in a case of bigamy at Falkirk Sheriff and Jury Court. Dorothy Spiers residing at Drum Brickworks, Bonnybridge admitted bigamously marrying John McKew, Drum Brickworks, Bonnybridge.
18/07/1892 – Falkirk Herald – Politics no justification for assault. At the Falkirk Sheriff Court today, Robert Macdermott, labourer, was charged with having on 12th July assaulted John Campbell, Drum Brickworks. The Fiscal said that the accused had got into an argument about politics, lost his temper, and knocked Campbell down. The Sheriff imposed a fine of £3, with the option of 21 days hard labour.
29/04/1893 – Falkirk Herald – Assault by stone-throwing. A young man named Samuel McMillan, a brick maker and residing at Drum Brickworks was charged with having on the public road at Drum Brickworks, assaulted Duncan McIntosh, jun, labourer, residing there, by ‘throwing a stone at him and striking him on the forehead. He pleaded guilty, and was fined 12s 6d, or failing payment, to go to jail for ten days.
28/06/1893 – Falkirk Herald – Malicious mischief. Philip Spens, labourer, Mill Road, Denny, was charged with having, on 9th June, (1) in moulding shop forming part of Drum Brickworks maliciously broken four grate backs; and (2) on the road in front of houses occupied by Wm. Bathgate and others, maliciously removed from their places four water barrels and thrown them to the ground, whereby they were damaged and the water collected in them lost. Accused, who had been previously convicted, pleaded guilty to the second part of the charge. This plea was accepted, and a fine of £1 was imposed, with the alternative of ten days’ imprisonment.
08/06/1895 – Falkirk Herald – Death of John Russell, Seamores, the age of 76 years. Mr Russell owned the farm of Drum, which he occupied until a few ago It was his farm that the now famous ganister seam was discovered a few years ago which led to the erection of several large and important brickworks at Bonnybridge. Mr Russell, who is survived by a widow and family, was of a quiet and unassuming nature and was held high esteem in the district. Two of his sons are extensive farmers in East Lothian.