Maddiston Brickworks, Muiravonside, Stirlingshire.

Maddiston Brickworks, Muiravonside, Stirlingshire.


1886 – Maxwell, Chalmers and Peden, Maddiston Brickworks.

Below – 05/06/1888 – Edinburgh Gazette – Maddiston Brick and Quarry Company dissolved – Hugh Peden, Pater Maxwell and James Chalmers.

1888 Maddiston brick and tile works dissolved
Below – 12/12/1891 – Falkirk Herald –  Ex Maddiston Brickworks blacksmith taken to court after he left the company but refused to move from the tied cottage.
17/03/1892 – Edinburgh Evening News – Brickmaker wanted – Also smart girl, about 16. A contract may be made with a steady man. Maddiston Brickworks, Polmont Station.
1893 – Hugh Peden, Maddiston.
01/06/1895 – Falkirk Herald – Smart girl wanted to carry bricks off moulding table. Maddiston Brickworks.
Below – 1896 – Maddiston Brickworks.
29/07/1896 – Falkirk Herald – Disastrous boiler explosion at Maddiston. Two men killed and one severely injured – Great destruction of property –  Yesterday forenoon about half-past nine a most disastrous and lamentable accident occurred at the brickwork at Maddiston wrought by Mr Hugh Peden and owned by Mr Livingstone-Learmonth of Parkhall. The accident resulted in the death of two men and the injury of a third. Peden has a quarry with a brickwork contiguous, situated a little off the main road Polmont Station and Maddiston. From the top part of the quarry, the clay used the making of the bricks is taken, whilst the under part is used for the quarrying of stones. The quarry and the brickwork are connected by a bogey railway. From what information can be gleaned it appears that the engineman at the brickworks had, as usual, been at his place at half-past five in the morning to get steam to be readiness for the men starting, work at seven o’clock. The whole of the hands employed at the brickwork, numbering about sixteen, and including several women, started work at the usual time, and all went well until nine o’clock. At that time they stopped work for breakfast, the time allowed being half-an-hour. As the men were in the act of returning to their work the boiler of the engine used for driving the clay mills exploded with a loud report. The boiler house was completely demolished, and the shell of the boiler, weighing some eight tons, was carried through the roof of the building. The boiler, it said, rose to a height of about forty feet in the air, and was carried distance of fifty-six yards, and over a burn in the neighbourhood. Part of the water tube was thrown about forty yards, while the furnace part of the tube was thrown on to the mineral railway about thirty yards away. Some of the workers, who witnessed the explosion, describing it say that “the air seemed full of bricks and broken parts of the boiler.” The engine was practically destroyed, and the pan-mill was rendered useless. Mr Peden, who was on his way to the work, and was just opposite his office door when the explosion occurred, took refuge in the office for a moment until the debris had settled. Immediately thereafter he, in company with a large band of willing workers whom the report caused by the explosion had drawn to the scene of the occurrence, proceeded to ascertain what damage had been caused. The spectacle presented to them was one of much devastation and desolation. The boiler-house lay a smoking heap of ruins, whilst the parts of the machinery, the material displaced by the force of the explosion and other debris, lay scattered about in all directions. A search was at once made for the purpose of ascertaining if any of the workmen about the place had been injured, and after a short search the mangled body of a young man named John Irving Thomson Forsyth, sixteen years of age, son of Archibald Forsyth, newsagent, Brightons, and who had been engaged as a pony driver at the works, was found lying in the direction of the main portion of the shell of the boiler. Forsyth, it is said, was, at the time of the explosion, in the act of driving a bogey to take clay from the quarry to the pan mill, and it is conjectured that the shell of the boiler which lay some forty yards beyond the mineral railway, had been hurled directly upon him, as his body and the dead and terribly mangled body of the horse he had been driving lay right in the track taken by the boiler. Both bodies were fearfully mangled. Further round, on the other side of the shell of the boiler, another body was found, that of a young man named Alex. Johnston, Jun., eighteen years of age, a labourer, employed at the brickwork, and son of Alexander Johnston, Snr, labourer, Cairniemount, Maddiston. Johnston, when found, was alive, but unconscious and moaning heavily. He was lying under a large piece of flagstone about 3 1/2 feet by 2 feet. This of stone, whilst almost covering him, was not pressing upon him, it being supported by some bricks and other debris lying round about. It is, therefore, supposed that Johnston must have been struck on the back of the head by some of the debris flying about. Drs Laurie and Wyse, to whom information of the occurrence had been sent, were soon in attendance and rendered what aid was possible, Dr Laurie having on arrival made an examination of Johnston’s injuries saw that his condition was a hopeless one, and the unfortunate man died within half-an-hour. The nature of the injuries received by the two deceased men were stated by the medical gentleman present to be, the case of Johnston, fracture of the base of the skull, and in that of Forsyth, bones broken all over the body. In addition to the two men fatally injured, another man named John Gillespie, 25 years of age, mill-man, residing at Manuelrigg Cottages, was rather severely injured by having been struck by some of the falling debris, but the doctors, after an examination, were of opinion that other than a severe shock the injuries sustained were not of a serious nature. Immediately on the occurrence taking place, Mr Peden caused a telephone message to be despatched to the police authorities at Falkirk. Superintendent Gordon at once drove out to the spot and was cordially assisted in his inquiries into the matter by Peden, to whom the sad occurrence had caused much concern, and who seemed desirous of having the fullest inquiry made into the circumstances attending the explosions. No explanation has as yet been found for the explosion of the boiler, as from the surroundings it would appear that there had been plenty of water in the boiler at the time it exploded. It is further stated that Mr Peden about 8 o’clock personally examined the water glass the boiler and found that at that time there was sufficient water in the boiler and that the engineman says that he made a similar inspection ten minutes before leaving for breakfast at nine o’clock with a similar result. It has also been stated that at the time of the explosion the pressure on the boiler was 40 lbs. to the square inch. In the meantime, we are informed that Superintendent Gordon has given orders that the boilers and other parts of the machinery are to remain untouched until experts have had an opportunity of examining the condition of the different portions. The report caused by the explosion was heard for a considerable distance around and caused much consternation amongst the inhabitants until the cause of it had become more generally known. It is stated by some that the air was black with flying debris and that portions machinery, pieces of brick, and other material surrounding the works fell like a shower on the roofs of some of the houses. It is even, stated that the doors in several of the houses in the village of Rumford, about a mile from the scene of the occurrence, were shaken by the force of the explosion. As was to be expected, the sound of the explosion, as also the rumours which got abroad had the effect of drawing a large number of people to the scene of the occurrence, and amongst them, and indeed throughout the district, the unfortunate occurrence formed the all-absorbing topic of conversation. In the message sent to the police authorities at Falkirk, it was stated that a large crowd had assembled at the spot, and in consequence of this Superintendent Gordon took out with him a couple of constables to assist the local police officer if necessary. On observing however that an orderly demeanour was observed by those who visited the place, and that the keen interest in the occurrence was somewhat subsided the superintendent did not think it necessary to leave more than the one man. Although the results of the explosion were very serious, it is in a sense fortunate that the explosion occurred when it did – at the breakfast hour. Had it happened whilst the workers were engaged at their work, the result have been even more and the loss of life greater.
05/01/1897 – Dundee Advertiser – Article refers to 2 men dying as a result of a boiler explosion at Madiston (Maddiston) Brickworks on 28/07/1896.
27/01/1897 – Glasgow Herald – To let on lease, for such period as may be agreed on, Maddiston, Freestone Quarry and Brickworks, in the Parish of Muiravonside, as lately occupied by the Maddiston Brick and Quarry Company who are not to be offerers. The works are on the Blackbraes Branch of the North British Railway. The quarry is in full working order, but capable of much greater development and it yields a very fine quality of freestone for building purposes which has been in great demand in the locality. The brickworks will be reconstructed by the proprietor on modern principles, with all necessary machinery, &c., or it may be arranged that the tenant rent them himself.  The tirring of the quarry contains first-class material for common building bricks, and a portion of it is fireclay of good quality.  For particulars and conditions of let, apply to John & W. K. Gair & Gibson, Writers, Falkirk.  Offers to be lodged with them not later than 22nd July. (Still for sale 25/06/1897 – Glasgow Herald).
Below – 04/12/1897 – Falkirk Herald – Sale of Maddiston Quarry and Brickwork.
18/12/1897 – Glasgow Herald – New public company registered in Edinburgh last week – Maddiston Brick and Quarry Company Limited to acquire a lease of Maddiston Quarry and of the site of the brickworks lately occupied by the Maddiston Brick and Quarry Company, the capital being £5000 in £1 shares.
04/10/1899 – Falkirk Herald – Wanted contractor for emptying Newcastle and continuous kilns. None but first-class steady men need apply. Total abstainer preferred. Apply Maddiston Brick and Quarry Co Ltd, Polmont Station.
17/01/1901 – Falkirk Herald – Death of Mr Hugh Peden, coalmaster … Born fifty-one years ago at Stane Castle, near Irvine, Mr Peden came at an early age to this district, and on leaving school entered the office of the Redding Colliery Company, where he was engaged for over twenty years. After leaving there, he joined the Maddiston Brick and Quarry Company, of which he eventually became the sole partner, and carried on the brickwork and quarry at Maddiston until a few years ago. In business, however, he always inclined towards the coal trade, and about seven years ago he became a partner of the Eastrigg Coal Company, Westfield, in which company he was at the time of his death. He was also connected with several other public companies and was a director of the Airdrie Steel Foundry Company, Limited …
Below – 17/06/1905 – The Scotsman – Maddiston Freestone Quarry and Brickworks to let.
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