Inverkeithing Fire Clay and Brick Co, Inverkeithing, Fife

John Shepherd Street, Born 8/12/1859, son of Richard Street, brick manufacturer, Dunfermline, and Euphemia West, grandson of William Streets and Anna Shepherd, married 02/02/1800 Glasgow.  John S Street resident Dunfermline 1871-1891.

Inverkeithing Brick Works later renamed The Inverkeithing Fire Clay Works and The Fire Clay and Brick Co, Inverkeithing.

1825 – William Stephens in his ‘The story of Inverkeithing and Rosyth” states that James McVicar was working the Inverkeithing fireclay prior to 1825.

1837 – James McVicar – Firebrick Maker, Inverkeithing. (Note – SBH – It is likely but not certain that the references below to Mr McVicars brick works may well be the early occupier of the Inverkeithing Fire Clay and Brick Co site – can anyone clarify?)

12/08/1843 – Leeds Intelligencer – Scotch sequestrations – J McVicar, Inverkeithing, brick manufacturer.

Below – 15/11/1843 – The Scotsman – The sequestrated Estate of James McVicar, brick manufacturer in Inverkeithing.

May 1844 – Invoice from the Inverkeithing Brick Works occupied by Fraser and Sanderson.

05/09/1844 – Fife Herald – Inverkeithing  – Accident – some days ago while some labourers were engaged in a clay quarry near this town, belonging to Messrs Fraser and Sanderson’s Brickwork, a portion of the quarry gave way and buried under it a man of the name McCallum. When the clay was removed and the man taken out it was found that both his legs were broken, but we are happy to learn he is in a fair way of recovery. He has a family but they are all grown up.

09/12/1846 – Aberdeen Press and Journal – ……..   Tender for fire bricks. The tenders for supplying 75,000 bricks for the harbour works were next opened. The Aberdeen Brick and Tile Company offered to supply 1/2 of the quantity required at 36s per 1000. Messrs A & W Nicol’s tender was also for 1/2 of the quantity at the same price. Both of these tenders were accepted. There was also on the table an offers by Messrs Fraser and Sanderson, Invekeithing to supply any fire bricks that might be needed for the harbour at the rate of 63s per 1000. Mr Abernethy stated that fire bricks would be very useful in some portions of the works on account of their durability. Permission was granted for him to get as many as might be required.

25/09/1851 – Fife Herald – Dunfermline Horticultural Show – …..Among the articles forwarded to the exhibition we might have noticed the large aud varied collection of vases, requisite to the ornament of the flower-garden, forwarded by the Messrs Fraser and Sanderson, Inverkeithing. ….

Below – 1854 – Inverkeithing Fire Brick Works.

1859 – Kenneth W Sanderson states Fraser and Sanderson operated the works from 1844 to 1859, when Frazer became the sole owner.

29/12/1866 – Dunfermline Saturday Press – Deaths – At Bombay on 20th ult, of typhoid fever, Mr David Moodie of the Bank of India, second son of Mr Peter Moodie, brick works, Inverkeithing in the 26th year of his age. Deeply regretted by all who knew him.

1867 – William Fraser, Inverkeithing Fire Clay Works – Peter Moodie Manager (page 662)

1877 –  Kenneth W Sanderson states  John Ross took over the works and renamed the works the Inverkeithing Fireclay and Brick Company.

Below – 16/05/1877 – Glasgow Herald –  Inverkeithing Fire Clay Works as has been carried on by the late Mr Fraser.

01/11/1877 – Falkirk Herald – an article on trade in Inverkeithing….. The other industries of the town also passed recently through period of probation, but they are now in a fair way of regaining and extendiing their previous prestige. The fire-brick and tile works, and the rope and salt works are one and all in active operation……

06/11/1880 – Dunfermline Saturday Press – Drain pipes, all sizes at the Inverkeithing Brick Works.

Below – 1882 – Advert for Fire Clay and Brick Co, Inverkeithing.

Below  – 17/08/1882 – Dundee Evening Telegraph  –  Abandonment of a Montrose schooner – Board of Trade enquiry. While on a voyage from Inverkeithing to London with a cargo of firebricks and fireclay the ‘Tyne’ took on water and was abandoned by the crew off Whitby, Yorkshire.

Below – 1886 – Inverkeithing Fire Clay and Brick Co.

1886 – The Inverkeithing Fire Clay and Brick Co (gas retorts, bakers oven retorts, fire bricks, sewage pipes etc) Inverkeithing N.B.

10/11/1888 – Dunfermline Saturday Press – Fire Clay Works for sale – Upset price reduced -To be Sold by Public Roup, within St Margaret’s Hall, Dunfermline, on Tuesday, 20th November 1888, at Two o’clock Afternoon.The Inverkeithing Fire-Clay Works, as occupied by the Inverkeithing Fire-Clay and Brick Company, and commodious Cottage adjoining, known as St Mary’s.  The Works are on the Great North Road.  The Dunfermline and Queensferry and Inverkeithing and Burnt-Island Sections of the North British Railway pass within a few yards, and there is a Lye into the Works, which also connects them with Inverkeithing Harbour.  Fire-clay abounds in the neighbourhood.  The Works and their connections occupy about Two Acres.  There is a serviceable Engine of 12 H.P., and other fixtures, included in the Sale. Reduced Upset Price, £700 ; Feu-duty, £2, 15s.  For further particulars, apply to John Ross, Solicitor, Dunfermline.

Below – 03/03/1892 – Buchan Observer – Dispute over transport coast of bricks to Peterhead.

Below – 1893 – Advert for Fire Clay and Brick Co, Inverkeithing.

1894 –  Kenneth W Sanderson states that the Street Brothers took over the works from John Ross and that they closed soon after.

06/04/1895 – The Scotsman – Fire clay works and cottage for sale.  To be sold by public roup within St Margarets Hall, Dunfermline on Tuesday 09/04/1895 at 2 o’clock. The Inverkeithing Fire Clay Works as occupied by the Inverkeithing Fire Clay and Brick Company and commodious cottage adjoining known as St Marys. The works are on the the Great North Road. The Dunfermline and Queensferry and Inverkeithing and Burntisland sections of the North British Railway pass within a few yards and there is a lye into the works which connects them with Inverkeithing Harbour. Fire clay abounds in the neighbourhood. The works and their connections occupy about 2 acres. There is a serviceable engine of 12 hp and other fixtures included in the sale. Feu duty is £2 4s 9d. To ensure a sale the property is to be exposed at the low upset price of £1000.

Below – 1895 –  Inverkeithing Fire Brick Works. – Disused. (Surveyed in 1894 – 1895 and published in 1896)

19/08/1901 – Dundee Evening Telegraph –  New Works at Inverkeithing – Very extensive additions both in the way of building and the laying down of new plant has just been made to the Inverkeithing Works of Messrs Street Brothers Ltd, extensions which will give employment to a large number of hands. The firm had its origins in 1837, their fire bricks work being at Kingseat Hill and at the site now occupied by the house of Mr Ness. The father of the brothers Street was the first to make stock bricks in Scotland, at that time this class of brick commanding a much higher price than ordinary bricks.

The Townhill Brickworks was then opened and on the clay giving out there the Appin Brickworks on the Townhill Railway was started. 3 years ago the firm was formed into a Limited Liability Company incorporating with it Cruicks Terra Cotta Works, Inverkeithing. At these latter works the company have carried on the manufacture of teapots, vases and terracotta ware but owing to the extension of the brick laying business of the Company under the superintendence of Mr James Street, new buildings and new brick making plant have been added to the Inverkeithing Works which are situated at the South side of Inverkeithing Bay, nearly opposite St Davids shipping port for Fordel Coal and a short distance from the hamlet of Jamestown and the old salt pans at Inverkeithing.

The new building is 4 storeys in height, while the new brick making plant is capable of turning out 2o,000 bricks a day and gives employment to some 150 men. The clay is taken from Inverkeithing Bay by means of a barge and crane and on the shore a 3 ton crane has been erected which lefts the clay to the upper stores of the building. The clay then passes through various processes, gradually finding its way to the patent duplex brick making and brick pressing machine. A new kiln on the Hoffman principle has been erected with 14 chambers each capable of containing 16,000 bricks. The Company have also a whin stone quarry at Inverkeithing in which they have introduced a stone breaking machine. The clay in Inverkeithing Bay has the reputation of being of very good quality for brick making. The new works are to be formally set in operation today.

27/03/1903 – Linlithgowshire Gazette –  An article about the new Forth naval base and the purchase of land in the area for additional railways…….the North British Railway Company have sidings connecting the Inverkeithing Brickworks and two of the quarries with the railway……(Note – SBH – Further enquiry regarding which brickworks are being referred to)

06/06/1906 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Fife Trade depression. Serious outlook –  For some considerable time dulness has been experienced in connection with the brickmaking industry in the district of Dunfermline. The Appin Fireclay Works of Messrs Street Brothers were on Monday shut down, although it was  known for some time that this step was not unlikely. The brickworks at Inverkeithing carried on by the same firm have also been closed. About 100 men, it is stated, will be affected. The same dulness is being experienced at the Lochhead Brickworks, at which a number of men were recently paid off.

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