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.

23/11/1892 – Falkirk Herald – North British Railway – Lands required for new railways etc – Certain lands in the parish Falkirk, in the county of Stirling, situated on the south side of, and adjoining the Company’s Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, between the Greenhill Public School and the Milnquarter BrickWorks,

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

07/03/1894 – Falkirk Herald – Falkirk Sheriff Court. Wednesday. (Before Sheriff-Substitute Scott-Moncrieff.) Assaults. Francis Tain, labourer. Milnquarter Cottages was charged with having, on 21st February, at no 2 Brick-kiln, Milnquarter Brickworks, assaulted Thomas Potts, labourer, Milnquarter, by throwing a ganister brick at him, and striking him therewith on the forehead. Accused pleaded guilty, and was fined 20s or seven days’ imprisonment.

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. Trademarks ‘Stein’ and ‘J G S & Co’.

Below – 1896 – Milquarter Ganister and Fire Clay Works.

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 …

18/12/1901 – Falkirk Herald – Duncan McAinsh, labourer, Milnquarter Cottages, Bonnybridge was fined 10s or seven days for creating a disturbance at Milnquarter Brickworks.

05/04/1902 – Falkirk Herald – James Ferguson, moulder, Bonnybridge, was fined £2, or ten days, for having at Bonnybridge assaulted Jane Moffat brickworker, Bonnybridge, by striking her a blow on the face and blackening one of her eyes. He had been previously convicted. James Campbell, labourer, Waverley Place, Bonnybridge, was fined 20s or ten days, for having, at Milnquarter Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge, assaulted David McKay, labourer, Bonnybridge, by striking him two blows on the head with his fists.

08/03/1904 – Edinburgh Evening News – The record was closed and issues ordered in an action by Joseph Evans & Sons, hydraulic and general engineers, Culwell Works, Wolverhampton, against J. G. Stein & Co., Ganister and Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge, for £1000 damages in respect of alleged slander. The pursuers say that in May last the defenders accepted an estimate for a patent sinking pump, which was duly delivered. Because of the non-delivery of the pump within ten days, however, the defenders, it alleged, wrote several letters and telegrams to the pursuers, accusing them of receiving the order under false pretences, and implying that they were an unreliable firm. When called upon to apologise, and pay a sum to charity in view of these false allegations, the defenders refused. The defenders deny slander, plead privilege, and say that the statements complained of were in reply to unfounded statements by the pursuers regarding the conditions under which the contract was entered.

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.

11/03/1912 – The Scotsman – Denny. A number have been added to the list of unemployed during the past few days, bringing the total up to about 880, the principal contributants being Messrs J. G. Stein & Co, Bonnybridge and Castlecary Brickworks, 600 men and Messrs Dougall & Co Ltd, Bonnybridge Fire Brick Works, 200 …

Below – 1913 – Milnquarter Ganister and Fire Clay Works.

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 had 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.

19/09/1914 – Falkirk Herald – Of 450 men employed, by Messrs John G. Stein and Co., Ltd., at their Milnquarter and Castlecary works, over 150 have joined the colours, including two sons of Mr Stein.

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

02/02/1916 – Falkirk Herald – Theft of coal – A girl named Margaret Brown, described as a brickworker, residing at Milnquarter Cottages, High Bonnybridge pled guilty having, on 17th January, at Milnquarter Brickworks, occupied by J. G. Stein and Co., Ltd., stolen 84lbs of coal. Accused, who said she thought there was no harm in taking the coal out of the clay, was fined 5s.

Theft of coal. Evidence was led in the Falkirk Sheriff Juvenile Court on Tuesday a case against Catherine Quin (15), brickworker, residing with Joseph Gaffney, clay miner, Milnquarter Cottages, High Bonnybridge, who was charged with having, on 17th January, at Milnquarter Brickworks, stolen 30lbs of coal. The accused was found guilty, and fined 2s 6d, which was paid the bar.

20/01/1918 – Sunday Post – Sheriff-Substitute Moffat heard proof in an action at the instance of John G. Stein & Co., Ltd., brick manufacturers, Bonnybridge, against Miss Sarah Lennox, brick worker, Milnquarter Cottages, Bonnybridge. The pursuer averred that the defender was a weekly tenant of theirs and only entitled to occupy the house while she was in pursuer’s employment and that although she was duly warned to remove from the house, it being required for the occupation of workman in their employment, she had refused to so. The pursuers, therefore, asked the Court for a warrant to eject the defender. The Sheriff held that the pursuers had; failed to prove that the home was required for another worker, and refused to grant decree ejection as craved, and awarded the defender expenses.

02/01/1920 – Kirkintilloch Gazette – Castlecary. Strike Ordered. The Scottish Mine Workers Union at their meeting on Friday ordered an immediate strike of the workers employed in Messrs J. G. Stein & Company’s Bonnybridge Fireclay Works. A dispute had arisen at the works, which the local officials had failed to settle. A deputation from the Union was appointed to interview the firm who refused to meet them and stated they preferred to deal directly with the workers.

30/09/1921 – Kilsyth Chronicle – A lengthy article about the opening of a canteen at Castlecary by Messrs J. G. Stein and Co. It had accommodation for about 400. In his speech, Mr J. G. Stein states … All he (Mr Stein) wanted to make out was that it was most obvious to all that with less production we could have less to eat, wear, drink, or lay past. The only way to have plenty was to produce plenty. That did not explain how they were slack at Castlecary and elsewhere, because they had plenty of bricks. Even if could carry them about, he could not exchange them. The cause of unemployment was that the goods produced in this country are too dear for the world’s markets. The miners’ leaders thought we should do better all the time and they said quite plainly they could get any price they liked for coal. They had all had abundant proof that that was not the case. The world’s markets are a thing we had no control over; we must take the world’s price, whether it be coals, or bricks, or steel. If the cost of these commodities in this country exceeded the sum the other countries were willing or able to pay, then we could not sell to them. There was no hope of early improvement in trade, he was sorry to say it. His employees must have begun to see how things were going themselves. It would be to their interest be very economical and save every penny because they were to have a hard winter not only as a nation but as individuals. At Bonnybridge the next day they would be suspending the making of bricks because they had no more room. At Castlecary they had still some room but even if they had unlimited financial resources, it would be unwise to continue until next year and then sell these bricks at loss. When the tide took a turn there would be a tendency to collapse. The steel trade had had a very bad year, and even if the owners were willing, they might not be financially able to go on. He thought he had said enough to show his hearers the seriousness of the position. Coming to something more cheerful, he had a look round the kilns, and he was pleased to say he never saw better bricks. The workers would agree he spared nothing either plant, buildings, or the best machinery and kilns, and he kept nagging at them the best he could (laughter)  and he was willing to admit that for some reason or other they were making steady progress and making better bricks than ever. He believed they were in the front rank. He wished his workers to have something of what used to be called pride of craft. He would like to instil into their minds the desire to make the best of whatever was put into their hands. Then they would someday in the dim and distant future be able to get a preference in price as well as in work …

11/06/1924 – Falkirk Herald – Richard Mackie, clay miner, residing at Waverley Place, High Bonnybridge, appeared before Sheriff Robertson at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday on a charge of having, on 16th May, in Milnquarter Brickworks, High Bonnybridge, occupied John G. Stein & Co., stolen 89 fireclay bricks. Asked if he adhered to his former plea of not guilty, the accused stated that he had permission to take bricks before the date of the alleged theft, and he thought that general permission covered everything. Mr W. K. Gair, Procurator-Fiscal said that if the accused had gone and asked for the bricks he would have got them. At least he would have got defective bricks which had been rejected. Accused had gone near midnight to the works, and taken away the bricks in two barrow load. He had used the bricks so far in his employers’ interest because he put them into his garden, and from his own idea, improved his house, which was the property of the employers. The Sheriff (to accused) -Do you admit you went about midnight? Accused -Yes; but I understood they were white bricks. After some further discussion, the Sheriff construed the accused’s statements to represent a plea of guilty and asked the accused if he had permission to take the bricks, why he went midnight. Mackie replied that he had been working, and that, was the only time he could go. The Sheriff -There seems to be something to be said for you. It seems a special kind of case, but you must understand that your employers do not approve of the men going at midnight and removing barrow loads of bricks. I dare say that had you gone and asked them you would have got as many wanted. Perhaps the fact that you have been prosecuted will be a lesson to you. In respect of the circumstances, I will not impose any penalty, but in future, you must ask permission before you take bricks away. If anybody else comes up, I am afraid I will have to take it as an ordinary theft and impose a penalty.

Below – 27/02/1926 – Falkirk Herald – As more briefly reported in our issue of Saturday last, the seventh annual reunion of the directors, staff, and workers of the brick-manufacturing firm of Messrs J. G. Stein. Ltd., Bonnybridge, Castlecary, Denny, and Larbert, took place with marked success in the Public Hall, Bonnybridge, on Friday evening. An assembly of 550 ladies and gentlemen were entertained by the firm to a supper, concert, and dance … the Chairman reminded his hearers that last year had been a very trying year, not only for those in their own industry but for a great many other industries, especially the heavy ones like coal, iron, steel, shipbuilding and engineering on which they depended very largely for the refractory part of their business. Last year at Denny they had been fairly well employed, and while they were left with a fairly good stock at the end of the year, their prospects were quite good. He hoped they would be able to keep the works there going the whole of this year. (Applause.) With regard to firebricks, they had not been fully employed, but they had, nevertheless, got a fairly good share of the work going. In fact, he thought that they had been better employed than most of their competitors. If they would excuse his saying so, he thought they deserved it, because their aim always was to create and maintain a very high standard in every respect. (Applause.) The prospects for this year, speaking generally for the country, and particularly for themselves, seemed to be somewhat brighter. There was not very much actual difference in the demand for refractories in Scotland yet although last week or so there had been reports of quite a number of orders for boats being placed with the Clyde. That would certainly help them in Bonnybridge. In England and Wales, the demand was distinctly better. This was due to the large number of subsidiary trades in England which used up steel. In Scotland, they had very little else but shipbuilding and structural work. These remarks, he went on, were subject to no great industrial trouble developing, such they had had threats of every week from platforms all over the country. Even those very threats drove away a large amount of trade. This fact was shown very clearly just after the subsidy the coal trade was given, and for two months afterwards, their coal exports fell drastically. That was due to foreign buyers having protected themselves against the chance of strike obtaining supplies elsewhere. The mere threat of strike adversely affected all industries, because all were more or less leaning on each other. Proceeding, the Chairman said that some Trade Union leaders held that the cause of so much unemployment, in this country was the failure of Capitalism. If Capitalism was an evil, then it seemed to him to be a very necessary one because they could not carry on any industry without capital, whether the particular industry was carried on by individuals, or by co-operative societies, of which they had a worthy example in Bonnybridge. He himself had been a member of the Bonnybridge Co-operative Society for a quarter of a century; indeed, as long as he had lived in the village of Bonnybridge. The Bonnybridge Society had a first-class record, did good work, and made good beef-steak pies. He was altogether in favour of co-operation, not only as it applied to Bonnybridge, but of co-operation generally, even to the extent of co-operation between workers and employers. Those Communists, whom we called Bolshevists, who lived in that “blessed” land of Russia, were, remarkably enough, always hankering after more capital. While they ran down this country, its interests, its people, and its Trade Union for their being far too tame – although sometimes thought they were far too wild – they were very anxious to get our capital into Russia. Eighty per cent, of the Russian population, lived on the land, produced their own food, and did not have very many luxuries. Russia, therefore, had not the same clamant need for capital as a highly industrialised and civilised land such as ours. The depression in the heavy trades in this country was due to the high prices asked. As they probably knew, a great many of our trades were carried on without any profit, and some even at a heavy loss. The cooperative societies got their capital from their individual members; local authorities and Governments by rating and loans. He was, as he had always said, strongly in favour of cooperative societies, but he was equally strongly against any work being done by local authorities or the Government that could possibly be done by private enterprise. Whatever might be said for nationalisation, in theory, it absolutely broke down in practice. They could not as a nation afford to take the risk of their main vital industry – coal – being nationalised, when they had so many concrete examples of State management failures before them. He ventured to say that the Coal Commission would not recommend nationalisation, and one reason he had for saying that was that the miners had the outset found themselves bound to admit that, no matter what nationalisation might do for them in the future, it certainly could not meet the crisis which would arise in May. If nationalisation was not the remedy for the persistent unrest, which was an unfortunate feature of these times, what was to be done? Theirs was an acute industrial trouble, and it was their duty as individuals, and it was the duty of their Government, to endeavour to diagnose the cause thereof, and the possible effect of the cure. It could not be denied that the primary cause of the slackness in iron, steel, coal, shipbuilding, and engineering was the fact that they were being undersold by their continental competitors. Wages in this country were about 50 per cent, higher than in France, Germany, Belgium, or Holland. Our handicap was an unfair one. He was not advocating a reduction of wages, but he thought it was the duty of the working men of this country – trade unionists and non-unionists – to tell those loudspeakers who went about the platforms and even mounted orange boxes and tubs, to shout about “the failure of Capitalism,’’ that they should devote their energies and capacities to the problem of raising the standard of living in those countries he had mentioned, and with which we were competing, and so enable manufacturers in this country to compete without their present handicap. If they were once relieved of it, trade of every kind in this country would soon be overflowing. It was well-known that for quality and reliability, our productions excelled everything produced anywhere else in this world. The comparatively low wages on the Continent and the longer hours worked there, had produced one notable result – in France, there were no unemployed. Indeed, there were approximately threequarters of a million foreigners in France, who had gone there to fill the vacancies due to the great demands for her productions, which were much cheaper than ours. A large number of men – chiefly engineers – had gone from this country and got jobs in France. Few Britishers had remained in France in those circumstances, however, because they did not like having to work on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. There was evident also on the Continent a greater willingness to get work done quickly and therefore, more cheaply, by co-operation between masters and men. In French shipbuilding there were only some six trade unions concerned; in this country, there were at least 30; he thought the number was 35. In this country, a lot of squabbling took place, not between employers and individual workers, but between those trade unions, which frequently caused a delay in the construction of ships and engines. He was glad to see that there was a tendency now to improve this state of affairs. By a majority of four to one, the shipbuilding trade unions had agreed to co-operate with employers with a view to reducing costs without reducing wages. Lack of cooperation meant a lack of the friendly feeling which their presence there that evening and their smiling faces showed existed in the business in which they themselves were concerned. (Applause.) At present there were far too, many men in this country making their livelihood creating and fomenting discontent. He had to confess that he cherished ambition to make all his workers “works proud.” He wanted them to feel that they were citizens of no mean city when they were employed by him. He thought they did realise that the past had done something to make their conditions of employment safe and comfortable circumstances permitted. (Applause.) Not only so, but he had the ambition to make their wives who lived in houses belonging to him and those associated with him “houseproud.” He knew that they were already very much so but he wanted to see that feeling intensified. In the works he wanted their jobs to be as interesting as possible, and any suggestion put forward by any worker would have an adequate reward. (Applause.) Concluding, the Chairman said that since they met a year ago they had completed twelve houses which were in course of erection at Allandale. Twenty years ago the then medical officer of health for the county had said that the company’s houses at Allandale at that time were the best workmen’s houses in Stirlingshire. He (the speaker) thought that this latest addition much excelled the others in some respects that having in view the improvements which had taken place in other parts Stirlingshire, they still held that very high honour. (Applause.) They would proceed with the erection of more houses as soon they had the assurance from the powers that be that they would participate in the building subsidy. (Applause.) …

20/04/1927 – Falkirk Herald – At the Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday, before Hon. Sheriff-Substitute J. Harper Orr, Wm. Campbell Lucas, blacksmith, Milnquarter Cottages, High Bonnybridge, was charged with having, along with another man who was dealt with by the Court last week, conducted himself in a disorderly manner and committed a breach of the peace in the blacksmith’s shop at Milnquarter Brickworks, High Bonnybridge, on April 5. Accused pleaded guilty, and Mr Will. Stevenson, solicitor, Falkirk, on his behalf, said a dispute arose between the accused and the other man regarding some metal nuts and bolts. The other man made a disrespectful remark about the accused’s wife, and they then fought with each other. Lucas, who was the older of the two, got a black eye and his artificial teeth broken. There was no question but what accused got provocation. The Sheriff remarked that this was an unfortunate squabble, and imposed a fine of 10s.

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

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

Dinner over and the tables cleared, Colonel Stein rose to address the employees, from whom he received a hearty ovation. In his opening words of welcome, he expressed his regret that it had not been possible to have the employees of the Manuel Works present, as the accommodation the hall was already taxed to its utmost. They, however, had a successful social evening of their own in Polmont a week ago. Continuing, the Chairman said:—We are passing through a very depressing time, and while we have been very successful in the past in providing regular work to steadily increasing numbers, we have had to slightly curtail our output during the last six months. Notwithstanding this, we have as many employees as we had last year but since then we have started our new works at Manuel, and but for the depression, our numbers would have been much greater in consequence. I would like to say a few words first on the general situation. We are all naturally much concerned about the serious and persistent unemployment, and it is important to try, if possible, to have a clear idea of the cause. I was once told by a distinguished research worker that a problem well defined is half solved. There are important factors such as the state of affairs in Russia, India and China, and the world depression in trade, but I believe our main problem is that we must get our costs of production reduced. We have failed in this country to adjust our costs to world costs, and we are getting a much smaller share of the export trade in consequence. I have mentioned this before, but “ facts are chiels that winna ding,” and I think this fact becomes more and more apparent as we struggle painfully along. We are handicapped with high wages in many of the sheltered trades. By this, I mean those trades competing for export. The municipal street cleaner gets a higher wage than the skilled engineer. I think, however, there are two principal ways by which we can reduce costs, leaving aside an extension of piecework, for which there appears room, especially in the building trade. First, expenditure of more capital on improved plant and equipment to get greater production per head; second, reduction in rates of wages. The first way, in my opinion, is the desirable method, but apart from lack of confidence in the future, in this country, we are using up our capital in excessive taxation, and it is not available for new equipment and new construction. The provision of new equipment in itself provides considerable employment. For example, we have been spending capital for two years building new works at Manuel, and roughly speaking, gave employment directly or indirectly to 350 men during those two years, and now when complete we are giving regular employment to others. This sort of thing should be done more in all trades, and all the time, and it would be done, I am sure if conditions permitted. Failing reduction in costs on these lines, I think nothing can prevent a fall in wages, although the solution may come partly one way and partly the other. I believe the ultimate interests of both capital and labour run more on parallel lines than is generally believed, and a proper realisation of economic laws would help us to recover more quickly from the present depression. I turn now to our own affairs. I am glad to report there has been an increased attendance at evening classes our employees last winter. Under the scheme whereby we give a bonus to those who complete the course and gain certificates, 18 of our employees earned bonuses totalling £41 4s last winter. The same scale bonus will be given to employees at Manuel in future. I hope there will be a still greater increase in the attendance at evening classes. I need hardly emphasise the importance of good education, and for those who wish to get on in life, it is quite essential that they should make every effort to improve their education. If we are to maintain a higher standard of living than our competitors we must make the fullest use of the brains as well as the brawn! We had a series of technical lectures at Castlecary Works during the winter. There were nine lectures altogether covering chemistry, physics, and clay technology. The average attendance was 35, and I consider this highly satisfactory. These lectures were given by members of our staff, Messrs Hyslop, Biggs and Malcolm, and I believe they are willing to continue in the same way next winter if they find there is a demand from the employees for them. The idea originated with these gentlemen themselves, and I am sure we are much indebted to them for the trouble they have taken, I have been very pleased to note the improvement in the gardens at Castlecary. This is no doubt the result of the garden competition instituted by Miss Annie Stein two years ago. Other various social activities are going along well. The Scouts, under Scoutmaster Muir, are going strong and had a very successful camp at Arran last year. The Sunday School, under Mr Crawford, continues its good work, and we now have a successful juvenile choir under Mr Benson. The Recreation Club is more popular than ever. The Bowling Club have also had a successful season and the winner of the green championship (bowl presented by Mrs John G. Stein) was Mr Robert Clelland. The works football shield was won this year by the stove department. Since our last social meeting the two most important events for us were the starting of our new works at Manuel eleven months ago, and the opening of our new Research Laboratory eight months ago. The new works are turning out excellent bricks, and we are finding steadily increasing demand for them. We are doing our very best to capture markets overseas previously held by foreign competitors. The new research laboratory will help us to keep abreast of the times, and we have an excellent staff there, under Mr Hyslop. The heavy industries of this country have been the most badly hit by the depression, and this affects the demand for firebricks and silica bricks in which we are most interested. We have, however, had a good share of the business that is available. I would like very much to have been able to tell those who are on short time, or were suspended, that there were signs of the tide turning, but I really cannot do so. We have an excellent team spirit throughout our whole organisation, and I am sure that, especially in these times, you will do your very best that we deserve to get more business. I have confidence in the future of this country. I think we have been too slow to appreciate the greater competition we have now to face for a share of the world trade, but we have excellent workmen and I have every confidence that we will sooner or later face the hard facts, and that we will then see a return to prosperity. At the close of his address. Colonel Stein had to wait for the prolonged applause to subside before he could announce the commencement of the concert. The programme was sustained by a party from Messrs Paterson’s musical agency, Glasgow, and it is safe to say that it equalled, if it did not excel, the high standard attained on previous occasions. In his opening number, “The Stockrider’s Song” (W. A. James) Mr Frank Gordon, bass-baritone, caught the mood of this Australian bush song to perfection and fully merited the applause he received from the appreciative audience. Later, in “The Trumpeter” (Airlie Dix), and again in that popular old Cornish folk song “The Floral Dance,” Mr Gordon had full scope for his interpretative powers and established himself in favour from the beginning. In her first solo, “Hungarian Dance” (Drdla) Miss Margaret Smart, violinist, exhibited fine tonal quality and a dexterous bow hand, while in her later numbers, “Two Russian Solk Songs” arranged by Kreisler, and the Weber-Burmester “Waltz,” her technique was admirable, and occasionally when the music demanded, she gave glimpses of clever left-hand work also and proved herself a young artiste of much acceptance and considerable promise. Miss Nettie Sclanders is a young soprano with a fresh unspoiled voice and a useful range. In “The Waltz Song” (Edward German) Miss Sclanders showed clear diction and a sweetness of tone that was in harmony with her charming stage presence. In her later songs, “Ave Maria,” and Eric Coates’ “Bird Songs at Eventide,” this young singer earned whole-hearted applause from her hearers. The “magic” of Mr Claud Williams was at times as mystifying as it was clever, his running patter being a source of continuous merriment, and completing a programme that was thoroughly enjoyed by all present. Miss Barbara Laing at the piano, accompanied the soloists with commendable skill and sympathy. At the conclusion of the concert, Dr Young proposed a vote of thanks to the committee and artistes. He said there had always been two outstanding features connected with the firm of Messrs John G. Stein & Company. The one was the power of organisation, and the other was efficiency. With regard to the former, he asked the employees to accord to the committee who had organised so successful a function, their heartiest thanks. (Applause.) The second outstanding feature was efficiency. They had heard Colonel Stein talking about unemployment and cost of production, and he would like to suggest to Colonel Stein that he should secure the services of Mr Claud Williams, and then he could make bricks out of nothing! (Laughter.)  Mr John McConnachie, on behalf of the employees, returned sincere thanks for the generosity of the firm. They were very much indebted, he said, to Colonel Stein for the address he had given them, and also for his resume of the firm’s activities during the past year, which they must consider very satisfactory despite the depression which was so prevalent all over the world. They all hoped and trusted that it would soon pass away and that the firm of John G. Stein & Company would continue to hold the position it had held for many years; that is “second to none.” (Loud applause.) He also asked the audience to accord Mrs John G. Stein a special vote of thanks and to ask their worthy chairman to convey to his respected mother their kindest regards, and the hope that she may long be spared to come amongst them. Mr Norman Stein, although he, unfortunately, could not be with them this evening, was nevertheless an important factor in the firm’s progress, and it gives him pleasure to join his name with those of Colonel Allan and Mrs John G. Stein, He asked them to accord to their employers a very hearty vote of thanks for the excellent way in which they had been entertained tonight. (Prolonged applause.) The call, having received a response, and having been duly acknowledged by Colonel Stein, the first half of the programme came to end. The hall was then cleared for dancing which was carried through to the sprightly music of Mr David Mitchell’s Carron Orchestra, the members of which are to be complimented on their rhythmic melodies and the readiness of their response to encores. The onerous duties of M.C. were jointly and ably fulfilled by Messrs W. Miller, P. Duff and A. Cooper …

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.

13/05/1942 – Falkirk Herald – Bolt in machinery. High Bonnybridge girl’s malicious act. Martha Reid, Milnquarter. Cottages, High Bonnybridge, was charged before Sheriff Hendry at the Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday with having, on 20th March, in the brickwork stove at Milnquarter Works occupied by John G. Stein & Coy., Ltd., maliciously thrown into a brick-making machine, which was in motion, a steel bolt whereby the machine was damaged. Mr Andrew Bradley, solicitor, Falkirk, tendered a plea of guilty on behalf of the accused, whom, he said, was now working in England. Mr A, G. Anderson, Procurator-Fiscal, said the accused at the time was employed at this works, and for some reason, best known to herself she threw a bolt among the machinery, which was brought to a stop. There was no doubt that the act was deliberately done. She asked a workman for a bolt, but he did not know what she wanted it for. The accused was 20 years of age. Mr Bradley said the explanation which had been given him was that the work was extremely heavy, and apparently, the idea of throwing a bolt into the machinery was to allow for a break-off in the heavy work. She had written to the effect that was extremely sorry for having committed the offence, and that at the time she did not realise how serious the matter was. She was earning 46s per week. She paid 25s for board and 3s for travelling expenses. A fine of £3 was imposed, with the option of ten days’ imprisonment.

Below – 1944 – 1967 – Milnquarter Ganister and Fire Clay Works.

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

04/02/1950 – Falkirk Herald – A few youths and young men are required as surface workers and underground workers. Good wages and good conditions. Apply between 1 and 3 pm to John G. Stein & Co Ltd, High Bonnybridge.

03/09/1955 – Falkirk Herald – Mr Thomas Fletcher, 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 Work. 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

1980 – Milnquarter Works were closed. Source – Firebricks the truth at last. Author unknown.

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