Anchor Paper Mill

The Anchor Paper Works was set up in 1884 by John Luke junior on land immediately to the west of the Vale Paper Works.  With the family heavily engaged in several other paper works he was working on a tight budget and a notable feature of the Anchor Works was its utilisation of second-hand equipment, including the boiler which was obtained from Potter’s yard in Grahamston.  The mill made brown and biscuit papers using old “account books, ledgers, journals, letters, and every description of written and printed papers.”

Illus: 1896/97 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

On 17 August 1899 the oil store at the Anchor Paper Works was burned down.  The store was, of course, isolated from the main buildings and so the fire was confined to it.

In February 1910 it was the machine-room at the Anchor Paper Mills which caught fire.  The flames had burst through the roof before they were subdued by the burgh brigade.  Besides damage to machinery and buildings, a quantity of stock suffered from water.  The mills had a narrow escape from complete destruction (Edinburgh Evening News 21 February 1910, 8).  Then in May that year the manager, William Smith, resigned in order to take up a post in Canada.  In January 1911 it was decided to integrate the Anchor Paper Works with those of the Vale Paper Works and so John Luke junior sold it to the Vale Paper Company. 

The Anchor Paper Works managed to continue throughout the First World War.  However, the post-war period was a difficult one for manufacturers.  The Anchor Paper Works was closed indefinitely in December 1920.

Sites & Monuments Record

SMR 489(NS 8109 8332)

G.B. Bailey, 2022