Keir and Cawder, Brick Manufacturers, Bishopbriggs.

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Keir & Cawder, Bishopbriggs Works, Glasgow.

Alternative brickworks include:

  • Blackhill Works, Glasgow.
  • Holytown Works, Glasgow.
  • Summerston Works, Glasgow.
  • Cadder Works, Glasgow.

14/08/1934 – Kirkintilloch Herald – A new Brickwork – Preparations for the opening of a large new Brickwork have commenced at Bishopbriggs. A start has been made with the building of the chimney stalk and also a 24 chamber kiln, each chamber capable of holding 10,000 bricks. Machinery of the latest type suitable for dealing with a large output is also to be installed. A lease of the ground has been secured by Messers The Cadder Brick Co Ltd, 250 Alexandra parade, Glasgow from Messers Keir and Cawder Ltd, Bishopbriggs, the proprietors of the Cadder Estate. The new brickfield is situated on ground adjoining No 15 pit, a former colliery now closed and worked by Messrs Carron Coy, Falkirk. There is a large blaes bing at No 15 pit and also 2 other blaes bings at 2 old disused collieries nearby, which ensures a plentiful supply of material for many years. The opening of the brickfield will give work to a number of men in the district, who have suffered much unemployment since the closing down of the collieries in the vicinity.

1936 – 1937 – Keir and Cawder, Ltd. (composition bricks), 12 Waterloo street Glasgow C.2; Tel. No., Central.

29/09/1937 – Kirkintilloch Herald – New Brickfield – Messrs Keir and Cawder , Bishopbriggs have completed the establishment of a new brickfield at Blackhill, Cadder. The kilns and machinery are capable of an output of 12,000 bricks per day. Excavators have also been introduced by the firm for removing blaes from bings in the district. Operations for the making of bricks are to begin today.

16/10/1946 – Kirkintilloch Herald – Going Strong – Working a two shift system of eight hours, Messrs. Keir & Cawder, Ltd., are making 20,000 bricks er day at their Cadder Brickworks, Bishopbriggs.  One of the most modern brickworks in Scotland, the firm has discarded the old system of hand-loading the bricks from the machine into bogies and then wheeling them to the kilns for burning, by the introduction of an electrically controlled conveyor-belt.  The belt receives the bricks from the pressing machine and conveys them along the too of the kilns, depositing them down a shoot into the kilns, where the men and women engaged as “setters” build the bricks ready for burning.  Formerly coal was used to assist in firing kilns, so as to obtain the necessary heat, but, to meet the coal situation, the firm have introduced oil stead of coal.  Bricks ready for disposal, which were previously hand-loaded into bogies, are now loaded direct into the waiting vehicles by a travelling conveyor, which is moveable from kiln to kiln as they are ready for emptying.  Throughout he above methods much laborious hand work has been eliminated, and, in addition, a speedier output is maintained.

15/03/1952 – The British Clayworker – Scottish Brickworks Fire – The Summerston Brickworks of Keir and Cawder Ltd. of Glasgow were seriously damaged in a fire which occurred last month. The blaze is believed to have resulted from a spark, which fired the machine shop and then swept through the works.  Output was brought to a halt as a result of the blaze.  Keir and Cawder Ltd. are meeting demand by drawing on other brickworks in their group.

March 1957 – The British Clayworker – Keir & Cawder introduce 3-Hole Brick

Substantial sales are reported of the three hole perforated brick recently introduced by Keir & Cawder Ltd., of Glasgow.  It is a pressed brick, and the company claim that it is probably the first pressed perforated brick to be manufactured on a commercial scale in the United Kingdom.  The brick is 2 7/8 in. Popular in the North as the nominal 3 inch brick, and the perforations are approx. 7/8 in. diameter.  It is claimed to be of improved strength and insulation, and naturally of less weight.

Apart from improved performance by such bricks in the normal type of structure, the perforation system allows scope for further study of the application of pressed bricks to reinforce work.  By insertion of reinforcing steel rods through the perforations such bricks should provide scope for use in the construction of load bearing walls, for lintels and other structures where unperforated bricks cannot at present be adequately used.

The makers claim that these bricks give a saving in weight of more than 1/2 ton per 1,000 in finished brickwork.  Tests carried out in the company’s technical and research laboratories have shown crushing strength is higher than in normal solid clay bricks.  It gives improved bonding with mortar because of the key qualities of the perforations.

June 1957 –  The British Clayworker – Steel Strapped Bricks in Scotland

Scottish builders, contractors and consultants were introduced to mechanical handling of packaged bricks of a very successful demonstration staged at the Bishopbriggs works of Messrs Kent and Cawder. Ltd., and at Ballock where Blackburn, Dunbarton Ltd., demonstrated the receiving end and actual construction using packaged bricks and the necessary related techniques.
The methods used were those already demonstrated on packaged handling of building bricks, based on practical work on multi-storey construction. Scottish interest stems from the growing amount of multi-storey housing work now projected and in the connection, Group Captain R.C. Hockey. Director of Blackburn confirmed his company’s intention to use these methods on their coming Paisley contract.  Blackburn have been interested in the packaging and mechanical handling of bricks for some considerable time and out interest is now doubly keen: after building 30,000 bungalows, two-storey houses and three-and four-storey flats since the war, we are about to commence at Paisley the first 15 storey flats to be built in Scotland.  The basic construction of these flats is reinforced concrete, but the whole of the outer cladding will be brick and some one million bricks will be used in the six blocks of flats to be built under the contract.  The brickwork will be completed in eight weeks: 20,000 bricks will be laid each working day, even at top floor level.  120 ft. Above ground level.  All this would be impossible without a system such as this.
Another advantage he foresaw was the ability to take packaged bricks directly from the lorry to the upper floors in a congested construction area, saving ground level space for other materials.

He also anticipated elimination of the 10 per cent loss or wastage through breakage of bricks in under the present methods.  The fullest advantages would only develop through decreased cost of packaging at the brickworks, and that in turn demanded wider use of the packaged brick system.

At Bishopbriggs the company saw bricks coming from the kiln being packed by the Signode system, being loaded by a variety of the DSIR specially designed barrow units and the use of ramps, and other special gear.

At Balloch the reverse process was shown the unloading by barrow and elevation by mobile crane to the building level.  Col. K.G.H. Fryer of the DSIR, outlined the techniques used, and among the large number of interested principles were Group-Captain R.C. Hockley, Director of Blackburn; G. O. F. Kynaston of Keir and Cawder; Andrew Ritchie, brickworks manager, Keir and Cawder; and H. M. Llewelyn. of the Building Research Station, Thorntonhall.


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