Warnock, Walker & Co, 1890’s

Warnock & Walker – were also known as Warnock, Walker & Co (Contractors). 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. It is likely this event which saw opportunity for Strathaven man David Ritchie, who moved to Blantyre around that time to work alongside a family member.

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 and David going into business for himself.

David’s early interest in photography was responsible for this marvellous photo of the trio, which must have been taken in the 1890s. I had wondered if the damage to the photo, was actually sawdust in the working environment when the photo was taken?

Words from the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2020. Photo courtesy Mr Alex Bowie.

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Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Margo Clayton Lovely to find out about my ancestors. Thanks Paul.
Blantyre Project You’re welcome. That important photo collection of David’s certainly deserves some written history against it. I’ve made some good progress with some of the photos of unidentified places and people in Alex Bowie’s photos and will post in due course. What an interesting book in itself that would make.
Robin Warnock my family came from bruce terr. blantyre my surname is warnock but my family where in the pits years ago
JoAnne Warnock Thank you Paul for sharing all these amazing photos and stories. David Warnock was my great, great grandfather. Can you tell me if he is in this photo?
Blantyre Project Absolutely Joanne. This is Warnock, Walker & Ritchie. David is undoubtably one of the men at the side.A photo of the business owners.
JoAnne Warnock Blantyre Project I am so happy to hear that! Thank you so much! Looking forward to your book whenever it’s ready

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