Dykehead Fireclay Mine, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire

Dykehead Fireclay Mine, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire.

1920 – Dykehead Ganister and Firebrick Co., Ltd, (Formerly George Turnbull & Co.), Bonnybridge. Dykehead Mine – Situated at Bonnybridge, at the side of the North British Railway, Glasgow to Edinburgh line; it is 1/2 mile east of Greenhill Junction on the Caledonian Railway. Maps: One-inch New Ser. Ordnance and Geological 31; six-inch Stirling 30 N.W. Latitude 55° 59′ 21″. Longitude 3° 52′ 45″. Geological age: Millstone grit. The Dykehead Fireclay Mine is at present (1916) being extended and deepened. Hitherto only fireclay has been worked, but to meet the great demand for silica bricks it is now intended to use the associated ganister seams. A railway siding is being made to the mine at Dykehead; Brickworks are in course of erection, with crushing and mixing mills, drying sheds, and kilns of the continuous Newcastle type. (These are now (1917) in operation At the new works, an output of 500,000 bricks a month is expected. The full section of strata which it is intended to work is not yet completely opened up (Dec 1916), but will average some 24 ft. in thickness, and will be worked in three benches. A section recently examined in the newly-driven road showed: — Sandstone roof Ft.In. 1. Fireclay … … 0 8 2. Coal and blaes 0 4 3. Fireclay 1 6 4. Ganister 3 6 5. Coal 1 2 6. Brown rib 0 3 Coal 0 4 7. Fireclay and Ganister.

  1. This is a very variable seam and elsewhere in the field reaches a thickness of 3 to 6 ft.
  2. A 3 to 7-inch dirty coal, apparently very constantly present and a useful local index-mark.
  3. Also very variable, locally as much as 4 to 5 ft. Both 1 and 3 contain irregular patches and lenticles of ‘ganister.’ Sometimes indeed the ganister predominates and the clay occurs as partings.
  4. The top foot or so of this seam is somewhat flaky in character, the rest were seen in the new road was an excellent ganister, pale-buff in colour, fine-grained, even-textured, rooty and somewhat micaceous.
  5. Tyritous coal, averaging about 1 ft. 2 ins.
  6. Is a brownish irony rib.
  7. Includes fireclay and ganister proved in borings, but not yet fully exposed in the mine. The combined thickness varies from 12 to 15 ft. and is composed of Fireclay Ganister 2 to 3 ft. (approx.) Fireclay This ganister may occur either near the top or near the centre of the fireclay; it is similar In character to the upper seam. Description of rock. 19581. Top part of the bed. Fine-grained pale-grey, highly micaceous sandstone. Average grain about 0″05 mm. mainly quartz and mica. Cementing material argillaceous, but has locally developed carbonate of iron in small crystals and patches. No secondary silicification. 19582. Lower part of the bed. Pale-grey fine-grained, soft micaceous sandstone, with carbonaceous streaks. Grain angular, about 0*05 to 0*1 mm. Mostly quartz and mica. Interstitial matter argillaceous. No secondary silicification. Reserves: Large. Products: The ganister will be sold in the ground raw condition (both wet and dry); silica-bricks and blocks will be made.

16/03/1957 – Edinburgh Evening News – A jury in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, have awarded damages of £2000 to James Green, a packer’s labourer, 72 Temple Denny Road, Denny, who while employed by Glenboig Union Fire Clay Co. Ltd., Glenboig, Lanarkshire, on August 12, 1953, was injured by a fall of stone in Dykehead Mine, High Bonnybridge. Green sued the company for £6000. Green was performing his duties, which included loading clay into hutches, when he saw a large stone sagging from the roof of the mine. While clearing clay from below the stone, under the directions of another employee, he was struck on the right leg when the stone fell. He blamed the other employee, for whose conduct, he claimed, the defenders were responsible. Green also contended that the defenders failed in their duty under statute to ensure that the roof of the place where he was working was made secure.

Below – Information – British Geological Survey. Ganister from the Top Ganister Bonnybridge Fireclay Works, Stirlingshire
Ganister from the Top Ganister Bonnybridge Fireclay Works. A number of works and mines were active in the Bonnybridge area. They worked and processed the Carboniferous, Millstone Grit Upper Fireclay, a series of fireclays and ganisters.

The works at Bonnybridge included James Dougal and Sons Limited working the Bonnyside Pit and the Bonnyside Fireclay Works (the only pit recorded working the ‘Top Ganister’); the Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company working the Drum Mine; Dykehead Ganister and Firebrick Company Limited working the Dykehead Mine and the Glenyards Fireclay Company working the Glenyards Mine.
The ganisters were usually crushed at the works and sold in the ground condition to steel manufacturers for lining converters etc. Mixtures of ground ganister and fireclay were also
supplied to foundries and chemical works.

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