Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, Dundyvan, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

The Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, Dundyvan, Coatbridge.

1876 – Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited established.

19/10/1895 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited. The object for which this company has been established is to acquire from Wm. J. A. Donald, of 70 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow, the ground and buildings at Dundyvan Road, Coatbridge, presently occupied by the Eglinton Chemical Company Limited, as brickworks, with the machinery, plant, and stock, and goodwill and book debts of the business. Capital £3500, divided into 3500 shares of £1 each. The first subscribers are—Wm. J. A. Donald, chemical manufacturer, 70 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow, one share; Charles E. S. Macgregor, assistant manager, Dundyvan Brickworks. Coatbridge, one share; Wm. Donald, clerk, 70 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow, one share; Robert Donald, student, 40 Lily Bank Gardens, Glasgow. one share; Charles McArthur, writer, 149 West George Street. Glasgow, one share; James McFarlane, clerk, 70 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow, one share; and James Murdoch, salesman, 70 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow, one share. The registered office is situated at 70 Great Clyde Street, Glasgow. Messrs Macbride, Davidson, McArthur, and Stevens, 149 West George Street, Glasgow, are the solicitors for the company.

1889 – Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, Dundyvan, Coatbridge owned by the Eglinton Chemical Company in 1889 and managed by J. A. MacDonald. It was one of the few Scottish brickworks to specialise in making silica bricks. In the 1914 – 1918 war when the supply of Austrian magnesite was cut off, the brickworks turned to burning Greek and Manchurian raw magnesite. It was known as the Eglinton Magnesite Brick Company in 1928. Source Kenneth W Sanderson.

Below – 1897 – Eglinton Silica Brickworks, Dundyvan.

OS Map 1898 Eglinton Silica Brick Works, Dundyvan

02/12/1897 – Glasgow Herald – Brickworks – Foreman wanted, experienced thoroughly steady and capable man to manage Silica Brick Works near Glasgow. Wages for a first-class man, 50s per week with engagement – apply by letter only, stating experience to the Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, 70 Great Clyde Street.

14/12/1897 – Glasgow Herald – Brickworks manager wanted. Smart, reliable, experienced brickworks manager for silica brickworks near Glasgow. Salary to begin £150, £200 per annum according to experience and qualifications. Apply in writing only, stating experience to the Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd 70 Great Clyde Street.

13/12/1899 – Glasgow Herald – Court of Session. The Eglinton Chemical Company Limited (in liquidation) and Patrick Graham, the liquidator thereof have lodged answers to the petition of W J A Donald. They contain the following … In the corrected balance sheet it appeared that the petitioner was a debtor of the company to the extent of £4351 15s 11d  and that two companies carried on by him, the Firhill Lime and Whiting Company (Limited) and the Eglinton Silica Brick Company (Limited), of which companies he was practically the sole owner, were debtors to the respondents to the extent of £876 11s 2d …

23/01/1900 – Edinburgh Evening News – A litigious Glasgow Company – In the court of session today, Lord Kincairney closed the record in 3 actions at the instance of the Eglinton Chemical Company Limited. 212 George Street, Glasgow … The 3rd action is against the Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, 8 Firhill Road, Glasgow and concludes payment of £921 with interest. It is stated by the pursuers that they have for years past supplied the defenders with calcined flints and cleaning waggons and that the sum sued for is the balance still due to account …

1903 – Eglinton (The) Silica Brick Co. Limited (Silicate bricks) –  Eglinton Brickworks, Dundyvan; office, South Exchange  Court, Glasgow.

1907 – Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, 70 Firhill Road, Glasgow.

11/09/1907 – Coatbridge Express – Leaving work without notice. Yesterday, in the Sheriff Court—before Sheriff Glegg—Bernard Mullen, labourer, Buchanan Street, Coatbridge, sued the Eglinton Silica Brick, Co, Ltd., Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge for as wages due to him for three days and two hours. The defence was that the pursuer deserted his employment without notice and was not entitled to recover the sum sued for. Mr J. J Bannen, Coatbridge, appeared for the pursuer, and Mr James Bell, Airdrie, for the defenders. Proof was led to show that the rules of the works, which were posted up, required a week’s notice on either side of termination of employment. The defender said he was illiterate and could not read the notice, and that he was never told. The Sheriff absolved the defenders with expenses.

Below –  1910  – Eglinton Silica Brickworks, Dundyvan (and still present in 1938).

1910 – 1911  -Eglinton (The) Silica Brick Co. Limited. Manufacturers of Magnesite bricks and cement for basic furnace linings.Works Dundyvan, Coatbridge. Registered Office – William J. A Donald, 60 Firhill Road.

1910 – 1911 –  Eglinton (The) Silica Brick Co. Limited. Manufacturers of Silica, Bauxite, Chrome and Magnesite bricks and cements for acid and basic furnace linings. Registered Office – William J. A Donald, 60 Firhill Road.

1911 – 12 – William J. A Donald, Manufacturer, 60 Firhill Road  (Of the Eglinton Silica Brick Co, Ld., and the Firhill Lime and Whiting Co., Ld; works, Coatbridge and Glasgow); res., Coltswood, Coatbridge.

Below – 1912 – Advert for the Eglinton Silica Brick Company Ltd, Glasgow.

1914 – The Hurll, Garnqueen Works was closed at the start of the 1914 war due to shortage of labour. The steel industry was desperately short of calcined magnesite for fettling the furnaces, as this magnesite was all imported from Austria, so raw magnesite was imported from as far away as Manchuria and calcined by the  Eglinton Silica Brick Company of Coatbridge. To supplement their production they took over the Garnqueen Works to make more calcined magnesite or periclase. After the war, the Garnqueen Works was used to make briquettes from iron ore fines for the Tharsis Company thus enabling them to be used for the blast furnace feed …

27/02/1915 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Whifflet railway accident. The first inquiry was into the circumstances attending the death of Wm. John Alexander Donald, brick manufacturer, Coltswood House, Coatbridge. George M. White, a cab driver, Academy Street, stated that he was in the employment of the deceased, who was managing director of the Eglinton Silica Brick Works and drove him from Coltswood House to the works at 7.15 a.m. on 18th January. He landed him at the end of Stobcross Street between 7.30 and 7.35. It was a specially dark and stormy morning. About 10 minutes later be learned that Mr Donald had been run down by a railway waggon and killed. Evidence by Allan, one of the employees in the office, stated that the ceased was in the habit of coming and giving him instructions for the day’s work. One of the railway employees had that morning been asked to shunt in two waggons of magnesia into the works and 35 minutes later they were being pushed in, in front of an engine. It was dark and very gusty at the time. A man was walking in front of the waggons with a lamp in his hand. The waggons moved in at the gate leading to No. 3 lye which comes off the Souterhouse branch of the North British Railway and runs along the works. A few minutes later he heard that Mr Donald had been knocked down by the waggon which he had not seen in the darkness. Corroborative evidence was led. A girl employed as a brick worker spoke to noticing that someone had been run down. The Sheriff—How did you get into the works that morning?—Through the top gate at the level crowing. That is the man entrance to the work off the railway. The jury returned a formal verdict.

15/02/1916 – The Scotsman – Wanted to lease for government work for the period of war, fireclay brickworks capable of production 15-20 thousand bricks weekly. With offers, particulars of kilns are requested. The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd, 60 Firhill Road, Glasgow.

21/03/1916 – Daily Record – Men wanted immediately for temporary employment during this week discharging magnesite from wagons on to the ground; 6d per ton will be paid each man as soon as wagons are emptied … The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd., Atlas Brickworks, Armadale.

Men wanted immediately for temporary employment during this week discharging magnesite from wagons on to the ground; 6d per ton will be paid each man as soon as wagons are emptied …  The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd., Shawsrigg Brickworks, Larkhall.

Men wanted immediately for temporary employment during this week discharging magnesite from wagons on to the ground; 6d per ton will be paid each man as soon as wagons are emptied …  The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd., Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig.

10/06/1916 – Hamilton Advertiser – Wanted  – Joiner for our Cleghorn Works – Apply The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd, 45 Renfield Street, Glasgow on Monday. Also wanted  – A first-class mechanic for our works at Cleghorn.

29/06/1916  – Hamilton Advertiser – Stonebreaker (experienced) wanted. Good wages, a local man preferred. Apply personally to The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd – Terra Cotta Works, Cleghorn.

15/07/1916 – Coatbridge Leader – The strike at silica brickworks. Coatbridge work girls before the munitions tribunal. A general munitions tribunal sat in the County Buildings, Glasgow, last Saturday to consider a charge brought by the Silica Brick Company (Limited) against women and girls in their employment at Coathridge, and who were accused of taking part in the recent, strike there. Sheriff Fyfe was chairman, and Miss Young and Robert Baird were the assessors.

Mr William Duncan, managing director of the company, stated that they were the only manufacturers of magnesite bricks in Scotland and as those were urgently required for lining furnaces in the steelworks of two of the Allied countries, their entire output was made available for the Ministry of Munitions. The establishment was not controlled. A machine for making the bricks, installed about a year ago, was recently substituted for the hand labour of workmen. The Ministry of Munitions had intimated that they would not be satisfied until their output had reached the top level of this machine. They accordingly asked the women to work longer hours, assuring them it would be lighter, and that no change in the rates of wages would be made. The women asked for increased wages in respect of three additional hours’ work, and their request was agreed to. Subsequently, however, believing that several of their number had been dispensed with, the respondents refused to resume work on the grounds that the agreement had not been kept by the firm. The works manager, in his evidence, denied that these girls had been dispensed with; they were merely suspended.

An agent for the employers said they had no desire to be hard on the girls, and suggested they should give an undertaking to return to work and obey the new conditions.

Mr Owen Coyle, who represented the respondents, agreed to this proposal, provided the status quo prevailed.

The Sheriff—What business is it of theirs as to the number of people employed here?

Mr Coyle agreed that it was the right of the firm to staff their works, but contended there was a duty incumbent on the employers to intimate altered conditions. He explained that the respondents were not members of any trade organisation.

The Sheriff—They are not to dictate to the management. Any reasonable representation will, I feel, receive consideration from the management, but that is very different from taking up the attitude that they are bound to be consulted.

Two of the respondents said they realised now that they should have continued work; they were ignorant of the provisions of the Act. The firm’s agent stated that he was informed all the workers had been retained.

The Sheriff, in admonishing the respondents, said surely they realised that any, thing which hampered the production of anything necessary for the prosecution of the war was a very grave offence, chiefly against their own country. He could not too strongly impress upon them that any stoppage of work for any time during the war was taking part in a strike and punishable by a penalty of £5 for every day they were out on strike. But that, prosecution had, he thought, served a good purpose as it had cleared the air of certain opinions the respondents seemed to have entertained which would be subversive of all discipline in the conduct of industrial work. Respondents must dismiss from their minds that they had to be consulted, or have a say, in the direction of these works in which they were employed. If their conditions were not agreeable they had their remedy and would have them considered.

Mr William Donald, managing director of the Eglinton Silica Brick Company, Ltd., points out that he thinks it right to state that, as they were naturally desirous of being associated in their manufactures with the munitions requirements of Great Britain, their productions were required not only for the steelworks and copper works of all the Allied countries but also for those of our own country and the British Colonies. In taking action against their workers they did so in what they considered to be the general interest, so that they and many other workers should know that strikes are illegal during the period of the war., whether the workers are men or women. and whether the employer’s works are controlled establishments in the terms of the Act or not.

20/01/1917 – Coatbridge Leader – At the Dean of Guild Court on Thursday afternoon a plan of a brick engineer repair shop which the Eglinton Silica Brick Company (Limited) propose to erect within their works at Stobcross Street, Coatbridge was passed. The dimensions of the building, as shown on the plan, will be 61 feet by 26 feet.

28/02/1917 – Coatbridge Express – At a meeting of the Middle Ward Water Committee on 12th ult.. a question arose as to the water supply for Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig. The clerk submitted a letter, of date 5th January, which he had received from the Clerk to the Lower Ward District Committee stating that a communication from the Harland Engineering Company on behalf of the Eglinton Silica Brick Company had been submitted to the last meeting of Cadder Water Committee, requesting consent to take the water for the brickworks from the Airdrie and Coatbridge Trust, which also supplies the Gartliston Works, the length of piping required being thus shortened by 400 yards and that the Cadder Water Committee having regard to the circumstances had agreed not to object to this proposal. The Lower Ward Clerk also stated that he had just received a further letter the Harland Company stating that the matter which, when the application was first made, had been stated to be one of urgency, was now in abeyance. The committee agreed that in the circumstances, no action was called for on their part. The minute was approved.

24/03/1917 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Failing to answer the telephone. Yesterday—before Sheriff Lee—the manager in charge of the industrial establishment in Stobcross Street, Coatbridge, of the Eglinton Silica Brick Coy., Ltd., which company was granted a conditional exemption as regards said establishment from the requirements of the Lights (Scotland) Order by Wm. McDonald, Chief Constable, Coatbridge, between 2.22 and 2.29 a.m. of 12th March 1917, being more than half an hour before sunrise, he failed to accept through the telephone at said establishment within 15 seconds, of its despatch, a test call which was sent at that time by the night operator at the Telephone Exchange, Coathridge, contrary to the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Regulations. He pleaded guilty. Mr R Denholm, solicitor, said the management had made arrangements for attention to the ‘phone being carried out, and they regretted that in this instance it had not been done. The Fiscal (Mr Lindsay) said the Company had been warned several times previously. The Sheriff pointed out that if attention was not given to the telephone as required by this Order, the exemption referred to might be withdrawn. He imposed the same penalty as in the first case of the kind a fortnight ago, namely, £5, but he was bound to say that if there were repetitions of this neglect he would have to impose a much more serious penalty.

18/08/1917 – Coatbridge Leader – Mr J. A. Milligan, works clerk, Eglinton Silica Brick Co., Ltd., has been presented with a pocketbook and a wristlet watch with a luminous dial as a token of esteem from the workers, on the occasion of his leaving to join the colours. The presentation, which took place within the works on Monday night, was made by Mr B. McNeil, the oldest employee.

12/12/1917 – Daily Record – Bricklayers wanted at Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig. Class A work – Eglinton Silica Brick Company.

Six brickworkers wanted at Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig. Class A work – Eglinton Silica Brick Company.

13/04/1918 – Daily Record – Kiln Burner wanted – Apply The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd, Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge.

19/12/1918 – Daily Record – Brickworkers wanted – Eglinton Magnesite Brickworks, Dundyvan, Coatbridge (Same as Eglinton Silica Brickworks?).

01/03/1919 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Wanted. Man to fire boiler and attend engine. Apply the Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd, Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge.

22/03/1919 – Coatbridge Leader – The Eglinton Silica Brick Company, 15 Renfield Street, Glasgow were likewise granted authority to erect an engine room and wet mill at their Stobcross Works, Coatbridge.

19/04/1919 – The Scotsman – Important sale of brickmaking plant and machinery at Garnqueen Brickworks, Glenboig on Tuesday 6th May at 12 o’clock. Shirlaw, Allan and Co, auctioneers, Hamilton have received instruction from Messrs Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd, 45 Renfield Street, Glasgow to sell by auction as above. Particulars afterwards. Catalogues from auctioneers, Hamilton. April 1919.

Below – 29/04/1919 – Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd for sale.

Below – 04/06/1919 – Kirkintilloch – Water supply issues at the Eglinton Silica Brickworks, Glenboig.

1920 – The Eglinton Silica Brick Co., Ltd. 45, Renfield Street, Glasgow. The silica-brick trade in Scotland was started by the Eglinton Chemical Co., of which the present company was originally a branch, about the year 1876, for the supply of silica bricks to Scottish Steel Works. The raw material at first employed was flint from County Antrim, Ireland. Later, chalk flints were imported from the Thames and, to a certain extent, from the northern shores of France. The Thames flints could at one time be bought at 5s. to 6s. per ton c.i.f. Grangemouth. These flints were calcined in shaft kilns, and each kind had different characteristics; the French flints, while purer chemically, were low in fusion point. The bonding material was highly plastic clay obtained from South Wales. The bricks were moulded by hand machines, which, until recently, were exclusively used in this country for moulding silica bricks; these have now been superseded by power presses, which are doing just as satisfactory work as that done in the past by manual labour. After being dried, silica bricks were burned in Beehive kilns, at a temperature of about 1400° C. These flint bricks contained about 93 per cent, silica, the balance being alumina, lime and iron. They were chiefly used in the chequers of steel furnaces, where they would stand better than the best English bricks. They were, however, used also in the crowns of steel furnaces in several works in Scotland, as well as in other parts. One great advantage of these bricks consisted in their less expansion than other silica-bricks, and they were, therefore, better able to withstand variation of temperature without cracking. Also, they could be employed in furnaces for repairs during fettling, and for this purpose alone were in great demand. Until recently little enquiry had been made as to the ganisters used in Scotland, but, judging from the samples that have been hitherto submitted to us there is nothing in this country to compare with the English ganister. There are, however, considerable deposits of quartzite in the islands and west coast of Scotland which have been brought to our notice by the Geological Survey, and which, we believe, could be easily delivered at Glasgow at prices which should enable them to be used for refractory purposes. Quartzites are largely quarried in the United States for the raw materials of silica-brick manufacturers.  Practical tests have been made of the samples submitted, and our opinion is that the deposit -Sample No. 2 (North side of Loch Leven, Ballachulish, 1 mile east of Callart Cottage), might be expected to give the quartzite best fitted for tile manufacture of silica-bricks.  The Eglinton Silica Brick Company is at present (1916) entirely engaged in the manufacture of magnesite bricks from imported material. The above information and report on samples has been kindly supplied by Mr Wm. Donald, Manager of the Eglinton Silica Brick Co.

27/11/1920 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Boy wanted at once for Works Office. Good at figures. Apply Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge.

24/10/1921 – The Scotsman – The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd (in voluntary liquidation) The subscriber having sold the works and business of the above-mentioned company to the Eglinton Magnesite Brick Company Limited as at 27/09/1921 ceased to have any interest therein from the said date. All persons having claims against The Eglinton Silica Brick Co Ltd or the subscriber as liquidator, thereof, are requested to lodge them with him within 10 days from this date. David Guthrie, C.A Liquidator. 31 St Vincent Place, Glasgow. 20/10/1921.

08/04/1922 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – 1914 Overland for sale. In splendid condition with a new body and a complete new hood. Price wanted £140 or best offer. Can be seen at Eglinton Brickworks, Dundyvan, Coatbridge.

1928 – Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, Dundyvan, Coatbridge owned by the Eglinton Chemical Company in 1889 and managed by J.A. MacDonald. It was one of the few Scottish brickworks to specialise in making silica bricks. In the 1914 – 1918 war when the supply of Austrian magnesite was cut off, the brickworks turned to burning Greek and Manchurian raw magnesite. It was known as the Eglinton Magnesite Brick Company in 1928. Source Kenneth W Sanderson.

19/03/1930 – Dundee Courier – Valuation Appeal Court, Edinburgh … Appeals which were persisted in by the Inland Revenue and which were allowed by the court were those relating to … Eglinton Magnesite Brick Company Limited, Coatbridge.

02/05/1931 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – For sale, a large quantity of brick packing cases suitable for firewood. Eglington Magnesite Brick Co Ltd, Coatbridge.

Below – 03/08/1940 – The Scotsman – Eglinton Magnesite Brick Company Limited, Dundyvan Brickworks, Coatbridge in voluntary liquidation.

1942 – 1943 – Eglinton Magnesite Brick Co Ltd. Brick and Tile Maker, Dundyvan.

Plastic clay was a raw material that was used as a bonding material in the silica-brick trade. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC 7443. It is recorded that in the 1870s the Eglinton Silica Brick Company Limited, 43 Renfield Street, Glasgow used plastic clays to bond silica-bricks made from flints either imported from the Thames area or northern France and that the bricks were bonded with highly plastic clay from South Wales. The resulting bricks were used in steelworks. There is no evidence that plastic clay from this locality was worked, though it was collected during exploration for natural resources.

 

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