- Morrison, James & Co.
- John Cochrane
- Cochrane Brothers Ltd 1912-1932
- Cochranes (Bo’ness) Ltd 1932-
Sites & Monuments Record
|Bo’ness||NT 0004 8178|
1861: Founded by James and William Morrison of Steele’s Foundry with John Cochrane, blacksmith. By 1878 Cochrane was described as an engineer. The firm grew to become marine engineers, brass founders and boilermakers.
1891: 45 tons of goods made per week, but the site had no room for expansion. Heavy builder’s castings were now a major part of the production.
1899: The firm’s output was at 80 tons per week and was growing. In August a new cupola supplied by Wilson & Nicolson of the Sunnyside Boiler Works in Coatbridge was tapped. It had a capacity of 8-10 tons per hour and housed patent valves installed by Blackadder Brothers. At the same time a hoist was put in by William Sharp & Sons of Camelon. The 10 hp steam engine was replaced by a gas one by Tangye, which was three times more powerful.
1904: John’s eldest son, John P Cochrane, had gone to South Africa where he had established a flourishing engineering firm. He returned to look after the family firm and the year after John Cochrane died. JP Cochrane remained with the firm until his death in 1970.
1912: The estate of James Morrison & Co was sold off and the auction notice gives a list of the equipment at the small foundry at this date. Rainwater goods appear prominently. Four of John Cochrane’s sons were involved in the running of the firm and formed a limited company under the name Cochrane Brothers Ltd. The brothers were John, Tom, Dan and James.
1914-1918: During the First World War the company employed almost 100 blacksmiths making horse-shoes on contract to the Government.
1920s-1930s: The firm expanded into joiner work for the building trade and was involved in constructing a number of cinemas and council estates (eg at Stenhouse in Edinburgh). They also built a stand at the Bo’ness Football ground, for which they never received payment. Recession brought an end to this kind of work in 1932 and the company had to be reconstructed as Cochranes (Bo’ness) Ltd.
There was a branch of the works at Grangemouth, headed by James Cochrane. This undertook repair work, but on James’ death was closed down just before the Second World War.
Dan had lost a hand in the First World War and took over management of the company’s transport fleet, building it up as a general carrier. At the height they had ten lorries. In 1948 it was taken into the nationalised British Road Services and Dan became area manager. He returned to Cochranes in 1960 and died in December 1973.
Tom was a time-served patternmaker and joiner. He died in 1959.
The firm undertook a lot of work for local foundries. Its relationship with ICI and BP in Grangemouth was particularly close. It turned its hand at all sorts of jobs, large or small, and specialised in welded prefabrication. They even made grain turners for local distilleries.
1973: William Cochrane took over management of the firm. He had been a partner for some time.
1975: Bought by P MacCallums & Sons Ltd and became part of the Lang and Fulton Group. Peter M Lang and Robin Fulton took over the running of the firm.
1978-80: New workshop and offices built.
1984: Base opened in the Grangemouth Docks.