Tannochside Brickworks, Bellshill, Uddingston, South Lanarkshire

Tannochside Brickworks, Uddingston, South Lanarkshire.

Canmore

Archibald Russell Ltd  – mining details

The information on Archibald Russell from research by Debrett is as follows: Archibald Russell “Old King Coal” the son of Archibald Russell and Jean nee Wright, was born 1830/1 at Govan. He resided at Wishaw House and Auchinraith House, Blantyre and died 11 April 1904 aged 74 at Auchinraith House and is buried at the Necropolis, Glasgow. The first Archibald married Jean Wright from Canada, later Isabella Watson and was a Coal Master and brickmaker living at Stanley House, Bridge of Allan, Logie. He appeared to live at a house that became known as Shawfield Park. His son carried on the coal mining business and is the one mentioned at the beginning. I believe Archibald 2 was also a farmer at Flemington Farm, Cambuslang. He married Mary Jackson and among their children was my Great Grandfather Patrick Brown Russell who lived at Wishaw House.

Archibald Russell Co-owned several coal mines in the Lanarkshire district and was also described as a Shipowner.

Archibald Russell Ltd, Mines included Dechmont, Cambuslang, Tannochside, Spittal and Whistleberry, Stirling etc

Centurion Brick (Tannochside) Limited, 329 Old Edinburgh Road, Uddingston.

06/12/1935 – Bellshill Speaker – New Brickwork. Development at Tannochside. A new brickwork is to be erected at Tannochside Colliery near Bellshill by Messrs Archibald Russell Ltd, coalmasters, one of the groups of companies controlled by Colville & Sons Ltd. Official intimation of the company’s plans was made on Tuesday by Messrs Russell Ltd at their head office in Glasgow.  A start is to be made almost at once and the erection of the works is expected to take some 3 – 4 months. When completed they will have a capacity of 150,000 bricks per week and all the labour will be recruited locally. The decision to erect at Tannochside was taken only after keen competition with the company’s Ross Colliery, Hamilton. Samples of the blaze from the bings at both collieries were sent to kilns in the district and comparative tests made.

30/09/1936 – The Scotsman – Tannochside Colliery to have a new washery …  Recent steps at Tannochside include modernisation of surface and underground plant, and the establishment of a brickworks which commenced production about two months ago (30/07/1936 ?)

25/02/1937 – The Scotsman – Extension to Bellshill Brickworks – A number of additional kilns are to be built at Tannochside brickworks, near Bellshill to meet the heavy demand for bricks, chiefly for housing purposes. Tannochside brickworks commenced production only at the beginning of August last year. Since then they have been working to full capacity with two shifts turning out about 40,000 bricks per day. It is planned to increase the output to 60,000 by the addition of extra kilns. The bricks are made from a material which was formerly considered waste – blaes from the colliery workings.

05/07/1937 – The Scotsman – Development at Tannochside – In an endeavour to meet the unprecedented demand for bricks, eight new kilns have just been put into operation at Tannochside Colliery Brickworks, near Bellshill. Production began at Tannochside in July last year, and since then the plant has been working at top pressure fulfilling urgent orders, which in recent months have far exceeded the output. To meet the situation the original battery of 16 kilns has been increased by 8 but even on the present output, orders on hand are sufficient to provide steady employment for at least a year. The bricks are made chiefly from blaes, formerly regarded as of no value.

12/08/1938 – Bellshill Speaker – While Joseph McCaskey, Old Edinburgh Road, Uddingston, was at work in the brickwork connected with Messrs Archibald Russell’s Colliery, Tannochside, Uddingston, on Sunday, he had his right leg crushed by a machine and was removed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

c.1940 – late 1960s – The 1985 publication ‘A survey of Scottish brickmarks’ suggests that Colvilles Ltd operated the works during this period.

Below – 1944 – 1967 – Tannochside Brickworks, Old Edinburgh Road, Tannochside.

11/06/1948 – Bellshill Speaker – District Council survey … While the only industries remaining are Tannochside Brickworks owned by Messrs Colville Ltd … (Note – SBH – According to the Scottish Industrial Archaeology Survey of 1985 it was around this year that Colvilles took over the works. They sold them late 1960’s ?).

Below – 24/02/1951 – The Sphere – An unknown man saved the driver of this lorry after it plunged through the parapet of Bothwell Bridge, Lanarkshire, into the river 40ft below.

After the unknown man, a lorry driver had gone over the side of the bridge at the end of a rope to rescue the injured driver from his water-filled cabin, he drove off without leaving any clue to his identity. The injured driver, Edward Larrin, of Hamilton, was taken to hospital with head injuries but was allowed to return home after treatment, although still suffering from shock. His lorry, bound for Tannochside Brick Works, Bellshill, skidded on the icy surface of the bridge and crashed through the iron parapet into the river. The bent pole seen leaning over the bridge was once a bus-stop indicator.

16/11/1951 – Motherwell Times – Workers want normal hours – At Messrs Colvilles Brickwork, Tannochside, on Monday, 25 per cent, of the workers came out on strike when asked to work staggered hours until seven in the evening instead of their usual five o’clock limit. The reason they offered for this strike was they wanted home to their wives and children at the usual time. Negotiations are taking place.

Below – 1956 – Tannochside Brickworks.

19/01/1957 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Lorry driver steals 2500 bricks worth £16 13s 9d, from Tannochside Brickworks.

08/06/1957 – Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser – Bellshill courts – Publican not guilty of reset. A 58-year-old Bel!shill publican, Joseph McCue, proprietor of the West End Bar, 100 Main Street, Bellshill, was found not guilty of a charge of resetting 2,500 bricks when he appeared on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Wednesday. Finding McCue not guilty. Sheriff Thomas Young, W.S., told him. “If you had been a man well experienced in business transactions, and not a man who has only been a year in the licensed trade after spending his life in the mines. I would have taken a more serious view of the case than I have done”. It was alleged that on 14th December. McCue, whose address was given as 3 Pentland Avenue. East Whitburn, had reset 2.500 bricks which were stolen from Colvilles Ltd., Tannochside Brickworks.

Below – 21/05/1994 – Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Centurion Scottish Brick, Centurion Works, Old Edinburgh Road, Tannochside, Uddingston.

07/04/1995 – Independent – Ibstock purchases Centurion Brick and Scottish Brick in 1995 (Note – SBH – The company then became the Ibstock Scottish Brick Ltd. Tannochside Factory, Old Edinburgh Road, Uddingston, Lanarkshire)

Ibstock, Britain’s third-largest brick manufacturer, confirmed yesterday that it had approached Tarmac with a view to buying its brick-making operations. It said it was too early to say whether a deal, estimated to be worth between £60m and £90m, would go ahead.

Ibstock, which bounced back into the black in the first half of 1994 after two years of heavy losses, said recently it planned to increase its brick-making capacity following the sale of its stake in Caima, a Portuguese forestry and pulp company.

Tarmac, which ranks fourth in the UK after Ibstock, Hanson and Redland, made about 300 million bricks last year, less than 10 per cent of the market. It is understood to have considered that share to be too small to be regarded as a core business.

The acquisition would almost double Ibstock’s market share of about 11 per cent, taking it ahead of Hanson and Redland, which both have just under a fifth each.

It has already increased its capacity by 50 million bricks this year with the purchase for £15m of Centurion Brick and Scottish Brick.

Following a recovery in demand from housebuilders, especially in the first half of last year, the industry is starting to rebuild capacity for the first time since the beginning of the building slump.

Brick sales rose by about 11 per cent last year and further increases are expected this year. Stock levels have fallen sharply, reaching the lowest levels for six years and more capacity is needed even if, as expected, the housing market remains relatively subdued.

Analysts questioned the wisdom of Ibstock swapping one highly cyclical business – pulp – for a focus on another.

Caima, in which Ibstock holds a 56 per cent stake worth just under £50m, suffered heavily in the recession and the closure of one of its plants cost Ibstock an exceptional £18m in 1992.

As with bricks, the industry had become oversupplied and prices for pulp fell from a high of $720 a tonne in 1989 to $350 at the bottom of the cycle.

Despite rises of about 8 per cent in brick prices last year, and more increases forecast for this year, prices remain well below the peak £190 per thousand makers were achieving in 1989.

Since then, however, capacity has fallen by a quarter, with the loss of more than 500 jobs, and last year brick plants were working at full capacity.

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