Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Gartcosh Iron and Steel Co

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Gartcosh Iron and Steel Co were a producer of steel

1863 the Gartcosh Fireclay Works was established. They produced a variety of ornamental products as well as utilitarian products such as cattle and horse troughs. They ceased operations in the 1950s when supplies of fireclay were exhausted.

1865 William Gray in partnership with Archibald and James Gray decided to take advantage of the railway and he started an Ironworks. The works were originally called Woodneuk Iron Works as it was probably built on the Woodneuk estate.

The firm traded as Grays and Watson. The Grays were in partnership with William Watson.

1866 the works had 10 puddling furnaces, two heating furnaces and a rolling mill. The firm got into difficulties and, in sequestration, was offered for sale at £4,500 in November 1866. There were no takers.

1867 Re-offered for sale; bought by E. and W. Smith from Glasgow for £4,250. The Smith brothers intended to exploit a new process for making steel from pig iron that had been invented by Robert Miller. The Smith brothers formed the Gartcosh Iron & Steel Co.

1871 the company went into sequestration

1872 The business was taken over by Smith and McLean who were merchants, manufacturers, galvanizers, steel and iron plate and sheet rollers. They owned Clyde Galvanizing Works at Mavisbank and Port Glasgow, the Iron and steel works at Milnwood and Gartcosh Rolling Mills and Iron and Steel Works.

In the early 1870s, warrants were issued for the arrest of a number of workers, at Gartcosh, for desertion of service. It appeared they had gone on strike because the owners had stopped the beer cart from delivering the usual supplies to the men. They had instead sent two barrels of sour milk!

1890 Glenboig Union Fireclay Co took over operation of the Gartcosh Works (perhaps the fire-brick works?)

By 1930 Colvilles had acquired the majority of ordinary shares in Smith and McLean.

By 1953 Colvilles had acquired the whole share capital.

1963 In conjunction with their strip mill at Ravenscraig, Colvilles set up a cold reduction steel mill which went into production in January 1963.

1967 They became part of British Steel

By 1986 British Steel had closed the Gartcosh Steelworks.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Monklands online