Stenlake Publishing - Kilmarnock’s old Industries

Kilmarnocks old Industries

Author : Frank Beattie
ISBN : 9781840339673
Cover : paperback
Price : £11.95

This Ayrshire town grew from a large village centred on coal and agriculture to a major industrial centre in the 19th and 20th centuries. Companies established in Kilmarnock included BMK carpets, Saxone shoes, Barclay railway locomotives, Glenfield and Kennedy water valves, and Johnnie Walker whisky. Johnnie’s boots were made for walking, and his whisky and the other products listed were exported in vast numbers and quantities worldwide. It’s hard to believe now. The industry has mostly gone, and the town is eerily forlorn and enduring civic intervention. Dean Quarry is now part of a ‘country park’ within the town (what we used to call a park), Craig’s pottery works is houses, and the Massey Harris tractor works shed 1,500 jobs when it closed in 1980. Thomas S Cunningham’s nylon factory made Nike stockings long before an American shoe company nicked the name, but Kilmarnock had its own shoe factory and lots of engineering works. It&rsquo's not all doom and gloom (mostly it is, let’s face it) as Glacier Metal, a wartime relocation to Riccarton, have not melted away and, operating as Hahl, still produces ball bearings. Except for a few other survivors, this book is mainly a litany of Kilmarnock No More in the days when it was awash with jobs and before almost everyone worked for the council.

48 pages; 76 illustrations

Kilmarnocks old Industries

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