Warnock & Walker


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Typical early 20th Century Sawmill (not Blantyre)

Warnock & Walker – were also known as Warnock, Walker & Co (Contratcors).

This was a former late 19th Century joinery business at High Blantyre formed in 1877. In July 1877, they were advertising for workers in their mill. According to Naismith’s Directory of 1879, it comprised of two formidable skilled tradesmen, namely Mr David Warnock and Mr William Walker Ritchie (Mr Ritchie used his middle name of Walker for business). \

Slater’s Directory of 1882 states the business duo owned the steam saw mills in Blantyre that year, as well as Greenfield Brick and Tile Works at Burnbank. They often worked together with other independent joiners where buildings called upon woodworking skills more than they could provide alone. Mr Warnock retired in the early 1890’s selling his property in Blantyre and Strathaven, leaving Mr Walker to run the business. However, all was not well.

On 24th April 1901, in the Scotsman an advert appeared stating the bankruptcy hearing was to be held on 1st May 1901 for Warnock and Walker, joiners of High Blantyre and David Ritchie, a joiner of Main Street High Blantyre and also William Ritchie (otherwise known in business as William Walker Ritchie). This partnership looks to have been dissolved as the creditors of the men met in Glasgow on that date to discuss what was owed to them.

The Scotsmen later reported on 29th May 1901 what had been discussed, stating, “Hamilton Bankruptcy Court – William Walker or Warnock and Walker Joiners was yesterday examined for bankruptcy. He said he had started business with Mr. Warnock in 1884 (Naismiths Directory proves it was earlier that what was told to the court!). Warnock retired and received payment from time to time to account of his interest until 1896 when he received the balance of £800 in full of his claims. His firm carried on an extensive contracting business and acquired heritable property in Strathaven and High Blantyre of the value of £9,880, which was bonded to the extent of £7,200 and the reversionary interest had been assigned to creditors. He was not hopeful of anything being realised therefrom. There were contract balances amounting to £5,000 being assigned in security of claims of creditors. The only available assets for unsecured creditors consisted of stock in trade and book debts amounting to £600, which would not be fully realised. His unsecured liabilities amounted to £6,743. His inability to meet those claims had been primarily due to delay and difficulty in obtaining the outstanding contract balances and to liabilities in connection to the late firm J.T Ferguson & Co, timber merchanhts of Glasgow. He granted numerous accommodation bills along with Mr Ferguson and on his sequestration he was called on to make payment of £4,000.”

The firm appears to have been dissolved following this event in 1901, something coinciding with Mr Warnock’s move away from Blantyre.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

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