Scotcros Limited, 145 St Vincent Street, Glasgow

Graces Guide Information – Mini-conglomerate, of Glasgow; interests in packaging, wine, animal feedstuffs and engineering.

1960 Norcros launched a second associated public company, Scotcros, to handle Scottish businesses.

1961 Acquired Wilkie and Paul, makers of metal tins.

1962 Acquired Thomas Bishop, maker of commercial catering equipment and other engineering products.

1971 Acquired Unit Body Developments from RTZ Pillar and BPB Industries.

1972 Sold Bonnybridge Refractories to Hepworth Ceramic Holdings.

1972 Edward Bates and Sons bought the 30 per cent interest in the company held by Norcros.

1972 Scotcros sold Thomas Hinshelwood and Co to Beaver Group.

1973 Acquired J. Deans and Co. Sold Penman Garages of Dumfries to Dias and Co, Austin distributors of Carlisle; and the 4 inns and business of Campbell Inns to Ushers Brewery.

1975 Sold 6 cash and carry depots to Booker McConnell. Subsidiaries included Scotcros Food Ltd, J. Deans and Co, Scotcros Farm Supplies Ltd, Wilkie and Paul, Scotcros Engineering Ltd.

1976 Sold Thomas Bishop, marine equipment group to Fife Forge Co. Proceeds of recent sales invested in new plastic film calendering line for Wilkie and Paul.

1976 Acquired Metropolitan Canister Co, maker of metal food packaging whose factory was at Dartford.

1977 Walter Alexander was chairman.

1978 Acquired 80 percent of the Remy Group of France.

1983 receivers appointed as a result of a surprise loss.


09/12/1960 – The Scotsman – Scotcross Limited – Application has been made to the committee of the Glasgow Stock Exchange for permission to deal in and for quotation for all the issued preference and ordinary shares in the capital of the company.

Scotcros Limited was incorporated as a private company in Scotland on 8th March 1960 for the purpose of carrying on business as an industrial holding company and was converted into a public company on 8th December 1960. Under contract no 1 below, Messrs Spiers and Jeffrey subscribed in cash at par for 200,000 6½%, cumulative redeemable shares of £1 each and at 6s 0d per share for 1,599,998 ordinary shares of 5s each in capital of the company. The company has been formed to meet the need which is considered exists for a Scottish industrial holding company which will supply the means whereby the owners of private businesses in Scotland can be enabled to provide for death duties and to eliminate the threat of future surtax directions by the sale of their businesses in exchange or part exchange for locally marketable securities while continuing to be actively concerned in their management. The company’s policy will therefore be to serve this need and to preserve its Scottish character by looking to the acquisition of suitable businesses in Scotland and its environs …

Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company Limited – The following is a copy of a letter received by the directors of the company from Mr F. G. Griffiths, the chairman of Bonnybridge –

To the directors of Scotcros, 145 St Vincent Street, Glasgow


With reference to the advertisement which is being issued in connection with the application to the Glasgow Stock Exchange for permission to deal in and for quotation for the whole issued share capital of your company, I have the pleasure in giving you the following information in regards to The Bonnybridge Silica and Fireclay Company Limited (The Bonnybridge Company).

History and business – The Bonnybridge Company, which is a private limited company, was incorporated in Scotland on 17th January 1906 for the purpose of taking over the business of manufacturing fire bricks from the fire clay and ganister which had been carried on for more than 20 years previously by my grandfather Mr A. Griffiths, who had acquired in 1880 the lease of minerals in Drum Setate, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire. In 1936, the Bonnybridge Company acquired the business of the Calder Fireclay Company which held mineral leases at Chapelhall, Lanarkshire.

The Bonnybridge Company now operates three fireclay mines in the vicinity of its works at Bonnybridge and Chapelhall in which is carried on the manufacture of high-grade firebricks, high alumina refractories, cements, castables and mouldables for use in iron and steel works, foundries, boiler installations, cement and lime works, oil refineries, carbonisation plants and most industrial furnaces. These products are both sold in home and export markets and a laboratory and research staff ensure quality control and technical development.

Mines – Of the three fireclay mines operated by the Bonnybridge Company, one is situated on Drum Estate, Bonnybridge and on Torwood Estate near Larbert, Stirlingshire and these supply the Bonnybridge Works; the third is situated on Monkland and Torwood Estates and supplies the Chapelhall Works.  The surface of Drum Estate extending to approximately 210 acres and the minerals with the exception of the lower measures of coal are wholly owned by the Bonnybridge Company on feudal tenure and at Torwood the fireclay, silica rock and ganister in an area of 539 acres are held on lease until Martinmas 1971. At Chapelhall the Bonnybridge Company holds a lease of fireclay in the Monkland Estate in an area of 135 acres which runs until Whitsunday 1972. The Bonnybridge Company has contracted to purchase on feudal tenure seams of fireclay in part of the Lauchope Estate extending to 144 acres. In addition, the Bonnybridge Company holds a lease until Whitsunday 1979 of fireclay and other refractory minerals in Newhouse Estate in an area of 87.92 acres but no workings have as yet been opened up. Subject to renewal of the relevant leases and to the availability of supplies of imported raw materials for the manufacture of high alumina refractories the Bonnybridge Company, to the best of my knowledge and belief in the light of technical and professional advice which I have received, has within its control reserves of fireclay and ganister adequate to permit of the maintenance of at least the current rate of production of finished products for a period of at least 60 years and such reserves should be workable without incurring expenditure on major development in the immediate future. Except in the case of the Newhouse minerals where a preliminary permission only has been obtained, the Bonnybridge Company has all the planning permissions required for the winning, working and carrying away of the reserves. All the minerals provide breaks in favour of the Bonnybridge Company.

Land and buildings – The works at Bonnybridge and Chapelhall have both been erected on ground belonging to the Bonnybridge Company. The Bonnybridge Works are situated on part of Drum Estate and cover an area of seven acres and have been extended and modernised over the years with plant suitable for present day requirements. A further extension of the works is at present in hand with a view to meeting increased demand and to allow for the development of new products. The Chapelhall Works, which were erected after the acquisition of the Calder Fireclay Company and on ground held by the Bonnybridge Company on feudal tenure, are of a modern design and have undergone many improvements in recent years, including the conversion of the tunnel kiln from coal to oil firing. The Bonnybridge Company owns 10 dwelling houses which are occupied by senior executives and staff and 42 houses in tenement property in Bonnybridge which are occupied by a number of its workers and a few retired workers. The surface of Drum Estate includes 2 farms which are let on agricultural tenancies.

Management and employees – The directors are all full-time working directors and each of them has entered into a service contract with the Bonnybridge Company (see contracts no 4 to 8 below). I am aged 66 and have been a director of the Bonnybridge Company since 1919; Mr A. F. C. Forrester (aged 59) is the managing director and has been a director since 1933; Mr J. W. R. Paine (aged 63) is the sales director and has been a director since 1936; and my sons Geoffrey D. G. Griffiths (aged 34) and Donald G. Griffiths (aged 30) are respectively the works director and director and secretary. The Bonnybridge Company has approximately 350 employees many of whom have spent most of their working days in the service of the Bonnybridge Company. A staff superannuation scheme has been in operation since 1946.

Profits – The products manufactured by the Bonnybridge Company are supplied to a large extent to the steel industry. As a result of this close connection, the profitability of the Bonnybridge Company was adversely affected in 1958 and 1959 by the recession in that industry and at the present time is benefitting by its resurgence. In 1958 the Bonnybridge Company undertook a major reconstruction programme being one of the first companies in the United Kingdom to convert chamber kilns to side oil-fired burning. As a consequence of this programme the ability of the Bonnybridge Company to cut costs in 1958 was restricted but the position was rectified entirely in the course of 1959 and I anticipate that pro rata the profits for the 15 months to 31st March 1961 will exceed our previous best year.

Yours faithfully Fred G. Griffiths.


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