Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company Limited, Townhill, Dunfermline, Fife

Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company Limited, Townhill, Dunfermline.


12/04/1902 – New brickworks at Townhill opened by Lochside Brick and Fireclay Works (Journal p4 col 7).

Below – 1905 – Advert Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company.

Below – 01/02/1905 – Dundee Courier – Dispute over a pipe. (07/03/1905 – the outcome).

2/11/1906 – Lochside Fife Lochside Coal & Clay Co – George Ritchie,  35,  Miner. Roof Fall.  The blaes in the openings of the old stoop and room workings is worked for the purpose of making bricks, and while the deceased was shovelling, an overhanging piece of the blaes fell and fatally crushed him. The part did not seem to be sufficiently timbered.

21/09/1907 – Dundee Courier – At a private meeting of Dunfermline Town Council yesterday it was intimated that Messrs H & D Ness, Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company had agreed to pay 1d per ton for the refuse at a bing at Muircockhall, which they intend using in the making of bricks. (According to this article the Lochside brickworks had previously offered 1/2d per ton which had been rejected – 20/09/1907)

1908 – Kenneth W Sanderson states the Lochside Coal & Fireclay Works took over the Appin Fireclay Works in 1908.

27/11/1909 – Dundee Courier – Lochside Coal & Fireclay Co Ltd, Lochside, Townhill near Dunfermline. Capital £40,000 in £1 shares of which 20,000 are preference and 20,000 are ordinary. A private company formed to adopt an agreement by Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company and to carry on the business of coalmasters etc. Subscribers:- Henry Ness Jun, Coalmaster, Townhill and David William Ness, brick manufacturer, Lilybank, Dunfermline.

Below – 20/09/1911  – Dundee Courier – Fire at Lochside brickworks.

1912 – 1913 – Lochside Coal & Fireclay Co Ltd, Townhill, Dunfermline.

03/02/1912 – Edinburgh Evening News – Wanted an experienced burner for pipe kilns. Apply stating experience and wages expected to Lochside Coal and Fire Clay Co Ltd, Townhill, Dunfermline.

29/10/1923 – The Scotsman – Fatal Pit Accident. Christopher Muir (65), residing at ‘Townhill Road, was fatally injured in the pit of Messrs The Lochside Coal and Fire clay Company Limited, at Townhill, on Saturday. Employed as an inspector, he had just finished his work for the day when proceeding along a roadway, he slipped and fell in front of a rake of loaded hutches, one of which was overturned and fell upon him.

Below – 24/09/1926 – Dundee Courier – Men charged in August with preventing miners from gaining access to the Lochside fireclay mine. Found guilty and sent to prison.

Below – 08/09/1926 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Lochside Fire and Coal Company pit re-opens (ongoing strike).

Below – Oct 1934 – Photo forwarded by George Hunter. Source Wheels around Dunfermline and West Fife by Alan Brotchie. Lorry being loaded with bricks from the Lochside brickworks.

Below – 03/06/1937 – Dundee Courier – Fatal accident at the Lochside fireclay mine.

1938 – Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company Limited, Townhill, Dunfermline; Mine name – Lochside No 1, 2 and 3; Situation – Dunfermline; Manger – A.D McLuckie; 71 employees below ground and 11 above ground.

Below – 1938 – Lochside Coal and Fireclay Works.

25/03/1938 – Dundee Courier – Extension to Fife brickworks. Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company, Ltd., were granted a warrant at Dunfermline Dean of Guild Court yesterday to extend their existing brick kilns at Lochside Brickwork, Townhill. It was stated by the burgh engineer, Mr D. H. Shaw, that the company were adding four kilns and altering their method of use of the existing kilns. The plans were passed subject to the approval of the town planning authority.

20/10/1938 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Another extension at Fife brickworks. Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company, Lochside Brickwork, Town hill, obtained a warrant at Dunfermline Dean of Guild Court today to erect four kilns and a chimney stalk at their works. Mir D. H. Shaw, burgh engineer, said there was a petition some time ago to erect additional kilns, and it was now proposed to erect four more. The chimney stalk would be 80 feet high. Submitting his annual report, Mr Shaw said the cost of work sanctioned by the court amounted to £153,973 compared with last years figure of £170,482 and £204,415 for the year 1935-36. The two previous years were exceptional because of the big jobs undertaken. Actually the total this year was well above the average for the last ten years. Of the total, £94,460 had been work for the town council.

Below – 1944 – 1967 – Lochside Coal and Fire Clay Works.

23/11/1944 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – A fine of £5 was imposed at Dunfermline Sheriff Court today on Peter Sim (21), colliery surface worker, 30 Baldridgeburn, Dunfermline, for leaving his employment with the Lochside Coal and Fire Clay Co., Townhill, on September 29 without the permission in writing of National Service Officer. The depute fiscal, Mr W. S. Heatlie, said the accused only worked one shift, and then applied for permission to leave on the grounds that he could not get up in time in the morning as he had no alarm clock. He had to start work at 6 a.m., and it meant getting a bus at 5.40. Permission to leave the employment was refused, but the accused left of his own accord. The accused, a married man, said he had been losing a lot of sleep on account of the child, and he could not get up in the morning.

02/03/1948 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – A workshop at Lochside Coal and Fire Clay Co, Townhill, Dunfermline was extensively damaged by fire.

10/12/1955 – Fife Free Press – British Railways lose protest. Fife firm granted additional licences … Mr John R. Ness, a director of the Lochside Coal and Fire Clay Co., Dunfermline, told the Authority that his firm produced 45,000bricks  daily and those had to be transported as quickly as possible from the yards. If this were not done, production was held up through lack of storage  …

Below – c. 1960s – 2 photographs taken by Bob Leiser from his bedroom window in Townhead Road.


Below – 02/03/1963 – Payslip for James Robertson.

28/11/1964 –  Dunfermline responds to “more bricks” appeal – feature on brickmaking – Wellwood Brick Co, Lochside Coal and Fireclay, Lassodie (p22). (Note – SBH – I appear to have forgotten to record the source of this – does anyone know?!)

1964 – Hepworth Iron Company ( HIC ) – A subsidiary company – The Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company Ltd, has acquired the whole of the issued shared capital of Loudon and Russell Ltd. of Newmains, Wishaw, Lanarkshire and also the fixed assets of the Cumbernauld Pipeworks from the Glenboig Union Fireclay Company Ltd.

Below – c. 1970 – The entrance to the Lochside Works off Townhill Road. (Many thanks to Drew Mitchell for forwarding the photograph).

1975  – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests the works closed around this time.

1977 – It is believed the chimneys were demolished around this time.


An undated product catalogue for Lochside Coal & Fireclay Co Ltd and Loudon & Russell Limited – Standard catalogue of clay drainage pipes and fittings.

Trademark – Hepseal jointed pipes. Sel sealing joint fitted at the factory eliminates cement/mortar and greatly speeds laying. The flexibility of joint safeguards the pipeline against ground subsidence.

“A pipe dream come true”

Hepseal – for sewers

Hepline – for road drainage

Hepduct – for conduit


Lochside Coal and Fireclay Company Limited seems to have been a subsidiary company of the Hepworth Iron Company which will explain why the Hepseal products etc referred to above are listed on a Lochside catalogue and on Hepworth literature  – Grace’s Guide

Below – Unknown date – Believed to be the Lochside Fireclay Works.

Below – Unkown date but after 1908  – Lochside Fireclay Works and Appin Brickworks advert.

Below – Many thanks to Cheryl Huta for forwarding the following copies of the Lochside Fireclay Works letterhead and postcard. The letterhead is dated c. 1910.


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