Greenfield Foundry Part 2 of 4


Continued from Part 1 earlier today

However, incoming cash at the Greenfield Foundry was not managed well. Owing to bad debts, on 21st April 1882, Taylor & Henderson’s partnership was dissolved via liquidation. Despite the foundry building on the successes of astonishing construction efforts in nearby Blantyre and Hamilton, Taylor and Henderson went their separate ways. An offer was made from Andrew Kesson and Duncan Campbell, successful founders in Glasgow already established at Carntyne. Their partnership ‘Kesson & Campbell” then bought over the assets of the dissolved company and in 1882, they renamed it simply, “The Greenfield Foundry”. Subscriber businessman, Samuel Potts, also funded the venture. The company put out an advert in the newspaper wishing all to know the foundry would be run under “Kesson & Campbell”. On 5th July 1882, job adverts appeared in the paper, including asking for office clerks, perhaps to deal with the untangling of orders. The liquidators of Taylor & Henderson pursued debt collection for some time, including £116 owed to them by Messers Merry & Cunningham at Auchinraith Colliery.

1882 dissolution Greenfield

To give an idea how much the adjacent area of Greenfield changed in the 10 years previous to this, in 1875, the valuation roll has 12 entries for the area. By 1885, just a decade later, it had 948 entries!

On 28th May 1887, unmarried brothers James Cook (17) and Thomas Cook (20) died in the Udston Colliery Disaster along with their father Richard (50). The men were all miners living at the Foundry Row in Greenfield Foundry and one can only image how Richard’s widow must have suffered following that day.

On Sunday 20th May 1888, the manager discovered that thieves have entered the foundry overnight and had attempted to steal money. However, they clearly underestimated that the foundry money was kept in a safe and bolted down by foundry castings. Attempts were made to open it with an iron bar. However, the safe was untouched and the thieves took items of little value instead.

In July 1891, Mr Kesson was fined for breaching the Factory Act for employing 3 boys before the regulated starting hour in the morning.

Seeking a quieter life, Mr Kesson was approaching retirement and wanted his share of the business before doing so. On Wednesday 30th March 1892 at 2pm the whole Greenfield Foundry and Foundry Square homes were put up for sale by public auction in Glasgow. The entire property and grounds were for sale and advertised as being in the heart of Lanarkshire’s coalfields. The advert stated, “There is ample room for extending the works and a railway siding into them. The foundry having a large trade.” The rental of the foundry was £133 per year. The foundry square homes were also up for sale, noted as being in good condition and all presently let out for moderate rents, which could be increased. The rental of the square was £128 12 shillings. The reserve price put on the whole lot was £2,500. The auction came and went, the foundry unsold, perhaps to the relief of the workers in the tied homes.

However, Mr Kesson clearly wanted his share of the business and the foundry remained for sale for a year until a further public auction on 12th April 1893 for the reduced upset price of £1,700. The grounds were noted as being 1 acre, 3 roods.

On Thursday 24th October 1894, Mr Andrew Speed who was employed at the foundry was walking home that evening to his home in Uddingston, after leaving work. He was taking the short cut using the railway line when he died suddenly, after being struck by a locomotive.

From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

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