Milnquarter Ganister & Fire Clay Works, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire

1887 – John G Stein took on a 21-year lease for the fireclay at Milnquarter and opened the Milnquarter Fireclay Mine.

25/04/1888 – Work starts on the foundations for the brick stove.

c. 06/1888 –  John G Stein forms a partnership with Malcolm Cockburn to proceed with the building of the Milnquarter Brickworks.

c. 09/1888 – The first conical kiln is complete and bricks are fired. A total of 5 such kilns would be on site soon after.

19/12/1891  – Work starts on Stein’s house, Annislea, opposite the Milnquarter Works.

1894 – Electric lighting was fitted throughout the works and it is claimed this was the first brickworks in Scotland to be so fitted.

06/1895 – The first sales catalogue was published.

Below – 30/11/1895 – Clyde Bill of Entry and Shipping List – John G Stein and Co, Milquarter Ganister and Fire Clay Works. Trade marks ‘Stein’ and ‘J G S & Co’.

1896 – John G Stein became the sole partner at Milnquarter.

21/01/1899 – Falkirk Herald … Messrs Steins’ gannister and fire-clay works at Bonnybridge have been very busy during the past year, and the same firm has developed a large brickwork at Denny for the manufacture of building bricks …

1900 – The 5 inefficient conical kilns were pulled down and Mr Stein built his own variation of the Hoffman continuous kiln which proved to be a big saving on labour times.

19/05/1900 – Bellshill Speaker – Motherwell and Belshill Railway Bill … John G. Stein, sole partner of J.G Stein, brick manufacturers, Bonnybridge said the firm’s business was hampered on account of there being only one railway to Motherwell; the rate to Motherwell was shamefully high …

1905 – The company was incorporated as John G Stein and Co.

09/03/1912 – Falkirk Herald –  The firm of Messrs J. G Stein Co Ltd, Bonnybridge and Castlecary Fireclay Works and the Messrs Dougall and Co, Bonnyside Fireclay Works closed their works on Saturday last due to the restrictions and scarcity of coal. Up to 700 hands are affected by the stoppage.

27/08/1913 – Falkirk Herald – Court Action – The action was in the instance of Stewart and Shaw, stevedores, general terminus, Glasgow against John G Stein 7 Co Ltd, Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge. Pursuers sued for payment of £51 2s 6d. which they alleged was due to them for discharging a consignment of bricks and clay which and arrived from the defender’s works in trucks at Glasgow for shipment by the steamer Brya Head on 15 January last.  Stein argued that there should have been no additional charge over the normal agreement and payments whereby goods were loaded and unloaded.  The goods amounted to 1802 tons, 4cwts of bricks and 364 tons 5 cwts of clay which had been transported by railway trucks. The judge found for the defenders, John G Stein.

27/06/1913 – Kilsyth Chronicle – On Friday forenoon a most unfortunate accident took place in Messrs J. G. Stein & Co.’s brick works at High Bonnybridge, whereby Michael Connor (unmarried), clay miner, residing at Glencairn, High Bonnyhndge, was seriously injured. Connor had been at work at the face in Milnquarter Mine, when a large piece of ganister, weighing well over a ton, which had been displaced by a shot a short time previously, came suddenly away from the roof, and struck Connor on the back, pinning him to the ground. The accident was immediately noticed, and steps were taken to clear away the debris and the unfortunate man removed to the surface. This work was expeditiously carried out, under the direction of the underground manager, and on arrival at the top, Mr Pearson attended to the injuries and superintended the removal of the injured man in the Bonnybridge ambulance waggon to Falkirk Infirmary. Connor was in a precarious condition, and there was little hope of recovery.

19/11/1914 – Sheffield Independent – Silica brick moulders and setters, two each wanted. Apply John G Stein and Co Ltd, Bonnybridge, Scotland.

13/09/1916 – Falkirk Herald – James Innes, miners’ drawer, Waverley Place, High Bonnybridge, was charged with having, on 1st September, in the underground working of Drum Mine, High Bonnybridge, occupied by Bonnybridge Silica and Fire Clay Company, Ltd., assaulted Peter Johnstone, miners’ drawer, Wester Lochgreen, Bonnybridge, and struck him to the face and cut his lip. Accused tendered a plea of not guilty, and proof was fixed for Thursday, 21st September.

Below – 27/02/1926 – Falkirk Herald – J.G.Steins workers gathering.





06/06/1928 – Falkirk Herald  – Milnquarter Fire Clay Mine, Bonnybridge belonging to Messrs J. G Stein & Coy, brick manufacturers.  Following a heavy fall of clay and ganister from the mine roof, William Wells, clay miner died of his injuries.

Below – 23/02/1929  – Falkirk Herald – John G Stein annual social outing.

Below – 04/04/1931 – Falkirk Herald – Employee’s reunion  – Annual gathering of employee’s of Messrs John G Stein & Co – Col Stein and the trade outlook.








Below – 03/01/1935 – The Scotsman – Fatal accident at Milnquarter Brickworks.

02/04/1941 – Falkirk Herald – Denny man caught in milling machinery – A distressing fatality occurred at Milnquarter Brickworks, High Bonnybridge, on Monday, the victim being Thomas Mclnroy, who resided at 37 Broad Street, Denny. It appears that while acting in the capacity of mill attendant at the brickworks, Mclnroy was caught in the rollers of the milling machinery and was severely crushed about the lower part of the body. He was removed to Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary, where later in the day he succumbed to his injuries.

14/06/1947 – Falkirk Herald – Blacksmith required for firebrick works, accustomed to sharpening miners’ tools; house available. Apply to John G. Stein & Co.. Ltd., Milnquarter Works, High Bonnybridge.

03/09/1955 – Falkirk Herald – Mr Thomas, Annieslea, High Bonnybridge has been promoted from the sales department at Castlecary Brickwork, Allandale, owned by Messrs John G. Stein & Co., Ltd., to be works manager at their Milnquarter Works, High Bonnybridge.

Late 1960’s – The Milnquarter Works were closed.

July 1970 – Clay Worker Magazine –  For sale.  – 69 Used 4 Wheel Steel Brick Drier Bogies.

Overall sizes of these
(4′ 4″ long x 3′ wide x 4′ 11″ high)
29 of them have 55 compartments
9 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ and
40 have 18 compartments at
1′ 3 1/2″ x 7″

GR-Stein Refractories Limited, Bonnybridge, Scotland

02/1980 – Milnquarter Works were closed.

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