Bonnybridge Foundry

Illus: The Bonnybridge Foundry on the west side of Broomhill Road on an extract of the 1898 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

Sites & Monuments Record

Smith & WellstoodSMR 539NS 825 799


Ure & Co.1870 – 1873
George Ure & Co.1873 – 1890
Smith & Wellstood1890 –

1870:  A new foundry was erected opposite to the Columbian Stove Works by the partners in that works, then known as Ure and Co.  These were Ure, Smith and Wellstood.  It was mutually agreed that the Bonnybridge Foundry should be owned and run by George Ure and his family to produce sewing machines and general castings, while the Columbian Stove Works would continue to be owned by the partners of Ure and Co and would produce stoves and ranges.  Other items  pro­duced  by the new foundry included water tubes for boilers, tea drying  stoves and machinery for Messrs Davidson of Belfast.  The sewing machine contract was very large and by 1882 included the production of up to 6,000 bodies a week as well as japanning.

1873:  Smith and Wellstood bought the Columbian Stove Works and Ure was left with the Bonnybridge Foundry.  His firm now became known as George Ure and Co.  Mr Ure’s son, George, and his son-in-law, Allan Gillespie, together with James Mochrie and William Mitchell helped to run this new firm.

1883: Following boiler explosions at other local foundries, a Turnbull’s patent equilibrium safety valve was fitted to the work’s boiler.

1884:  The Singer Manufacturing Co. built a factory of their own at Kilbowie on the Clyde and moved production of sewing machines there.

1884, Dec:   Became a limited company with a capital of £60,000 divided into 3,000 shares of £20 each, of which 2995 were issued as paid up to the extent of £17 per share.  The purchase price of the works and stock was set at £51,000 with George Ure given 408 shares, George Reid Ure 1137 shares, John Reid Ure 775, Allan Gillespie 465, James Mochrie 105, William Mitchell 105.  Anne Steel, wife of the minister, obtained 5 shares. 

Illus: The Smith & Wellstood Fire Brigade in front of the Bonnybridge Foundry.


1885: George Ure handed the Bonnybridge Foundry over to his sons and son-in-law, who extended the range of production to cover the loss of the Singer order.   Piano frames, baths, grates and ornamental goods were made.  However, shortly thereafter another large customer, Davidson of Belfast, also built their own foundry.  Production at the Bonnybridge Foundry rapidly decreased and part of it stood empty for a while.

Illus: The Lane separated the buildings of the Columbian Stove Works on the left from those of the Bonnybridge Foundry on the right.


1890: Due to shortage of business George Ure and Co. amalgamated with Smith and Wellstood.   The families of Ure and Smith were inter-married and so the deci­sion was little more than a formality.  The name of Smith and Wellstood was adopted for the new company.

1879: Workforce 400.

G.B. Bailey, 2021