Notes for Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead: Residence at the time of marriage: 24 Kellett Street, Weaste. Father's name Thomas Allen Muirhead.. His profession Iron Fitter Journeyman . John Leonard Jackson was presence at their marriage Also Sarah Mockridge. Notes from Hannie 1997: Most of the Muirhead's and Moffat's worked for Smith and Wellstood in Bonnybridge Scotland .Johnny Muirhead worked in the office. Thomas Muirhead worked there too. They had a division in Canada, Hamilton? where a lot of the Moffat's went too.?[CONDO3~1.FTW]
Residence at the time of marriage: 24 Kellett Street, Weaste. Father's name Thomas Allen Muirhead.. His profession Iron Fitter Journeyman . John Leonard Jackson was presence at their marriage Also Sarah Mockridge. Notes from Hannie 1997: Most of the Muirhead's and Moffat's worked for Smith and Wellstood in Bonnybridge Scotland .Johnny Muirhead worked in the office. Thomas Muirhead worked there too. They had a division in Canada, Hamilton? where a lot of the Moffat's went too.?
SMITH, WELLSTOOD AND URE & CO.
When he was only 16 years old Mr. James Smith left his home in Edinburgh to go to America. There he learned to work with iron,.and later sold stoves, ranges and hardware in Jackson, Mississippi. He returned to this country in 1854. He opened a shop in Glasgow to sell the American type enclosed cookers. The business flourished and in 1858 he was joined by his friend, Mr. Stephen Wellstood. That was the start of the partnership of Smith & Wellstood.
At first Mr. Sn-dth designed and assembled his own stoves but did not make the castings. His castings were made by various firms, but mainly by the Union Foundry at Lock 16, Camelon. That Foundry had two partners, Mr. George Ure and Mr. Crosthwaite. Mr. Ure had a thorough knowledge of the iron founding trade. Very early in his life he started his apprenticeship in Carron Iron Works. Afterwards he was employed in a foundry in Glasgow as a foreman, and from there he went to Camelon to go into partnership with Mr. Crosthwaite. There is little doubt that Mr. Smith was very impressed with Mr. Ure's ironfounding skills. He probably talked with him about establishing a foundry to manufacture Smith & Wellstood American stoves and ranges. The first move was to find a suitable site. The very place was where Mr. Robert Bennie had carried on a chemical dye works before he moved to more extensive works at Underwood. In 1855 the tenants and occupiers of those old works near the sout en o t -ie Bonnybridge Pen were Ro ert Miller & Co., scourers and dyers. When the firm of Ure & Co. bought the place at @Sunday, 1860, one writer described it as "a very respectable looking collection of rubbish". In the short space of six weeks Mr. James Russell, engineer, Glasgow, had built the foundry that
133 was to be called the Columbian Stove Works. In the 'Falkirk Herald' for 21st June, 1860 a report said, 'The first casting took place last Friday in the presence of gentlemen from Falkirk and surrounding district. At first the sole business carried on at the Columbian Stove Works at Bonnybridge was the manufacture of American stoves and ranges for Smith & Wellstood. On that opening day flags waved from the foundry buildings and from prominent places in the village. About 3pm the Camelon Brass Band played several tunes. The Band was there to show their great regard for Mr. Ure. In the evening the workmen, with a few of their friends, sat down in the Pattern Shop to a meal provided by their employers. The Valuation Roll for 1865-1866 shows that the partners of the firm of Ure & Co.'s Columbian Stove Works at Bonnybridge were Messrs. George Ure, James Smith and Stephen Wenstood. Smith & Wellstood had a warehouse at the Works. Ure & Co. made the stoves and they were sold by Smith & WeRstood at their premises in Union Street, Glasgow. That first foundry of Ure & Co. proved to be the lifeblood of Bonnybridge which grew to be a very busy industrial centre. The company gained a wide reputation for the excellent quality of its castings with the result that orders came in from many companies. The amount of work caused extensions to be made to the foundry.
By 1870 the general foundry business was such that it was agreed to separate the stove-making work from the sewing machine and other castings, so Mr. Ure built the Bonnybridge Foundry across the road from the Columbian Stove Works. By mutual agreement the firm of Sn-dth & WeRstood took over the Columbian Stove Works for the manufacture of their own goods while Mr. Ure and his family became the sole partners of the Bonnybridge Foundry, the concerns being afterwards wrought independently Smith & Wellstood bought the Columbian Stove Works from Ure & Co. in 1873. In that year the name of Ure & Co. became George Ure & Co. The partners in the firm were Mr. George Ure himself, Mr. George Reid Ure, his son, Mr. Alan Gillespie, his son-in-law, Mr. James Mochrie and Mr. Wiffiam Mitchell, who, as Foreman, had a small interest in the business. Mr. George Ure, the founder of the firm, retired in 1885. He died at his residence, 'Wheatlands', Bonnybridge, on Monday, 3rd January, 1910 at the age of 89. At the time of his death Mr. Ure was one of the oldest Justices of the Peace in Stirlingshire. For many years he was a Deputy- Lieutenant for Stirhngshire. When the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1889 set up a county council for each county, Mr. Ure became a member of the Eastern District Committee of Stirling County Council, and he was its Chairman until he retired from it in 1901. He rendered many other invaluable services to the community during his lifetime.
In 1882 Singer's Sewing Machine Co. and Messrs. Davidson of Belfast decided to build foundries to make their own castings. There was no room in Bonnybridge for the Singer's Company to expand so they bought a piece of ground near Kilbowie on the Clyde. Those changes greatly reduced the business of George Ure & Co. For a few years they did manage to keep up a good turnover by manufacturing piano frames which they supplied to many British and overseas piano makers, but by 1889 their business had dwindled. The outcome of this was the amalgamation in 1890 of George Ure & Co. and Smith & Wellstood Ltd. Smith & Wellstood had become a Lin-dted Company, in April, 1886. The other partner in the firm, Mr. Stephen Wellstood, died in January of that same year. For some of the foregoing information I am greatly indebted to Mr. John A. Ure, 47 Labert Road, Bonnybridge, who has written a book about the working lives of two of his great grandfathers, George Ure, whose firm, Ure & Co., started the first foundry in Bonnybridge, the Columbian Stove Works, and James Smith, who founded the firm of Smith & Wellstood.
The following year, 1891, the firm started a new undertaking. A gas works was started to supply gas for themselves, but in October of that year they began to supply gas to the Caledonian Railway Co. at their Canal Station, Bonnybridge. They afterwards supplied gas to houses in Bonnybridge. By 1900 there were some gas lamps in the streets of
Bonnybridge. Messrs. Smith & Wellstood Co. Ltd. continued to produce gas until 1924 when their gas works were sold to the Burgh of Denny and Dunipace. The full details of the transaction can be seen in Denny Town Council's Minutes which can be found in Central Region's Archives. Soon after Denny Council bought the gas works they were dismantled, leaving only the gas holders. The gas holders were dismantled in 1946 about the time when the gas industry was nationahsed.
In 1892 the Company started a brickworks of their own which continued to function until recent years. At the beginning of August, 1892 the Company added to their works a new fire engine of the latest type. In addition to the required fittings, 50 ft. of piping was provided and also two sizes of direction pipes with varying pressures. A new room was specially fitted up for the engine. It was reconstructed in Februazy, 1910. One man who was with Messrs. Smith & WeRstood Ltd.'s Fire Brigade in 1892 remained in service with them until his r-etiral in May, 1936. He was Mr. Wflham Dow, foreman blacksmith, who for 23 years of those 44 years of service was Captain of the Fire Brigade.
In 1864 a bell was installed at the foundry and it continued in use until 1890 when it was replaced by a steam whistle, or 'bozer' as it was familiarly known, but in August, 1910 the bell was in use again while repairs were being done at the foundry. It was said at the time that the old men of the district remembered the call.
In August, 1933 the firm extended its boundaries at a point next to Singer's Place. One of the old moulding shops was converted into an enamelling department. By June, 1934 the Company had demolished one whole section of the building on the canal side, thus cutting off a dangerous comer. In 1951 a mechanical foundry was opened on the site of the old Columbian Stove Works. In September, 1954 a new warehouse was built. Other changes took place early in 1963. A new plant was installed. By that time Messrs. Smith & Weflstood Co. Ltd. were not only supplying cooking appliances, including Esse and Courtier stoves, but also modem types of food service equipment, acoustic ceiling filing and metal fabricated sheets in conjunction with its member company, Gardiner & Guilland Ltd., Hither Green, London, the well known specialists in food service equipment. At the Annual General Meeting on 18th October, 1964 major changes and reorganisation in the Smith & WeUstood Group of Companies was announced. The parent company was to move to headquarters at Esse House, 405 Kensington Road, London, where a sales division was to become responsible for group sales in the United Kingdom. The new pren-dses were officially opened by Lord Robens, Chairman of the National Coal Board, on Wednesday, 8th February, 1964. The Company responsible for production was to be Sn-dth & WeBstood (Mfg.) Ltd. which was to operate the factories and foundries in Scotland. Gardiner & Guilland Ltd. were to operate the London factory at Hither Green.
In 1977 Messrs. Smith & Wellstood Ltd. was acquired by the Newman Industries Ltd. Group. There had been a decline in trade in the immediately preceding years due to the fact that domestic heating with coal was being replaced with electric and gas central heating, but the new Company, under Mr. David Gillon as Managing Director, soon gave new life to Smith & Wellstood Ltd. In 1979 the Company was exporting its products in large numbers to Europe and America. It was said that 30% of the products made in Bonnybridge went abroad. In November, 1979 the Company opened a museum and showroom at their Bonnybzidge Works in which are displayed a large selection of the stoves, cookers and cooking apparatus of the past and present. That part of the Works has been named 'The New Columbian Hall'. Having seen the museum, I find it most impressive. Amongst the interesting items in display in the museum is the basket which helped to save Mr. James Smith when he was shipwrecked in 1854. He had sailed in the United States Mail Steamer, 'Arctic'. On 27th September, 1854 the'Arctic'collided with the French steamer'Vesta'in fog
135 off the Newfoundland Banks. The ship remained afloat for two hours and then sank. Mr. Smith found himself swinuning for his life, but shortly afterwards he found a raft. It was small, however, and he could not have lasted long in it. Fortunately, he found a basket about 3 ft. long and 2 ft. wide which was lined with tin. He hoisted it aboard the raft and that was enough to keep him alive until he was rescued by the 'Cambria' outward bound from Greenock. There was a suggestion in November, 1979 of forming a society to be called 'The New Columbian Society'whose aim would be'to preserve the past, consider the present, and protect the future'.
There was another change in the management of Messrs. Sn-dth & Wellstood Co. Ltd. at the end of May, 1980. General Accident Life Association of Scotland, Melville Street Investments - part of the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank Development - joined together to buy back Messrs. Smith & Wellstood Co. Ltd. At that time a spokesman for the Company said, 'We're far happier to be based in Scotland, and owned by a Scottish Company, particularly when the general trend seems to be the other way There's been a history recently of English firms taking over Scottish concerns only to shut them down.". Esse solid fuel appliances were selling well in 1980 probably because of the energy crisis and a new demand for such goods. 40% of the Company's production was being exported, mostly to western Europe, but it was hoped to expand the market in Australia and America. By the middle of June, 1980 Messrs. Sn-dth & WeUstood were promoting an active sales policy and were pressing ahead with modemisation and expansion of plant. Seven months later that sales policy was proving a great success for the Company was enjoying the fruits of their foresight.
From the very beginning of the history of Snu'th & Wellstood the firm have taken a great interest in its workers. That is shown even today, for the firm have a profit-sharing scheme for its employees. The 230 workforce back the firm, and good relations exist between the firm and the Unions. In 1861 the first Annual Social was held in the Pattern Shop. It was also held there the following year. Speaking at that second Annual Social Mr. Sn-dth promised the workers that the Company would build a small hall for their use. That promise was kept for the third Annual Social in 1863 was held in the new hall which had recently been built. One of the Directors always spoke at those Socials and they usually had something interesting to say about Bonnybridge and its history. What Mr. George Ure said about the Bonnybridge Pend at the Social in 1871 is recorded in the chapter on Villages and the Surrounding Countryside.
When the hall was built in 1862 it was not only to serve as a place for social functions but also as a reading room and lecture room. That purpose was seen in the fact that as early as 1862 there was the Columbian Operatives Literary Association with a membership of about 50. At that time they had about 200 books in their reading room and by 1880 there were over 400. Series of lectures were held during the winter months on many subjects. In 1922 the Smith & WeRstood Club came into being. The Club opened huts and tennis courts in 1932 at the place where the Community Centre now stands in Bridge Street. In February, 1962 an agreement was reached between the District Council and Messrs. Smith & Wenstood Co. Ltd. for ownership of the tennis courts in Bridge Street. After their premises were taken over at Bridge Street the Smith & WeUstood Club continued to function and still does so today.
In the first months of 1981 the outer walls of the foundry of Messrs. Smith & WeRstood Ltd. on the left hand side of the road leading to High Bonnybridge were smoothed. On the wall facing the road a full size mural of foundry workers and moulding work was painted by three mural artists, Messrs. Paul Grime, James Mooney and David Wimnson. The wall facing the canal was painted by Mr. Ken White. The work is so lifelike that one can almost feel as if the men were coming out to meet you.
At 10:57 02/01/01 -0800, Shirley Brewer wrote: > >Hi List I have this 3rd battalion Alex Muirhead # 517-069.... > >they went to france 1917 and my grandfather came home 11 Oct 1918. I > >think that this was from Essex? I would like to know more about > >this.Thank you
During the First World War, there were some 70 infantry regiments in the > British Army, each made up of a number of battalions. Almost invariably, > their 3rd Battalion was a Reserve Battalion, based at home, and providing > reinforcements for the battalions in the front line. >
More About Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead: Burial 1: Unknown, Manufacturers/Labourer. Burial 2: Worked for FORD Motor Company.
More About Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead and Eva Annie Jackson: Marriage: 07 May 1921, Register Office Salford Salford.
Children of Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead and Eva Annie Jackson are: