Sunnyside Foundry

Sunnyside Iron Co.

Forth & Clyde & Sunnyside Iron Co.

Illus: 1947 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

Sites & Monuments Record

Sunnyside FoundrySMR 1060NS 876 807


1895: In February the Sunnyside Iron Co was registered as a new joint stock company with a capital of £25,000 in 5,000 shares of £5 each.  The principal partners were RM Wilson, coalmaster of Helensburgh, David Dickson, Slamannan, and James Brown of Arbuthnot, Camelon.  Brown and Dickson to manage the firm.  The site covered 10 acres, but the initial buildings only occupied two of these.

 “Building operations began in the end of May, and they made such rapid progress at first that it was expected the works would have been ready for the purposes of ironfounding in the beginning of September but owing to the joiners’ strike it was not till the second week in October that the firm had their first cast.  The cupola, which can be made, if required, to melt from 40 to 50 tons per day, is built up to suit the firm’s present requirements, and is situated close to the railway siding on the one side, so that pig iron and coke are taken to it with as little handling as possible.  It also communicates with the moulding shop on the other side, into which the molten metal runs after passing through the cupola.  The moulding shops are exceedingly well lighted with roof-lights, and when full can give working room for about 80 men.  At the other end of the moulding shops from the cupola is the passing and dressing shops, where the castings are examined and taken to the warehouses or fitting shops, which adjoin, care being taken as in the case of the position of the cupola, to have as little wheeling of the material as possible.  The fitting shop is fitted out with all the plant for doing a large range trade, and at present is filled with a large staff of box-fitters fitting the moulding boxes, which at present, of course, occupy the bulk of the cost.  The warehouses are large and commodious, and the railway siding has been carried right inside them, and loading banks erected for the loading of finished goods.  In one warehouse are to be seen already the firm’s castings of rainwater pipes, there being some 12 or 14 men engaged in making these.  The pattern shop occupies the top storey of a large two-storey building, where a large staff of patternmakers are engaged.  Our representative was shown some of the firm’s designs in railings, mantel and tile registers, ranges and stoves, some of which were exceedingly neat, and will, we are sure, command a ready sale.  The engine and boiler are of the newest type, and capable of doing four or five times the amount of work they have at present to do.  The engine was built by Messrs Gibb & Hogg, Airdrie, and the boiler by Messrs Penman & Co, Glasgow.  The blower is a No. 5 Roots blower.  The hoist was erected by Messrs Wm Sharp & Sons, Camelon, and the machinery was constructed by Messrs Blackadder Bros, Falkirk.  The contractors were: – brick builder Messrs J & P McLachlan, Stenhousemuir…  All the sand required for the building of the works, and for present moulding requirements, was got from site of the works.”

1898: Merged with the Forth & Clyde Works.  Additions made at Sunnyside and work transferred.  Initially they concentrated production on rain-water goods.  Blacking mill built at Sunnyside by James Cumming of Denny, proprietor.

1900-1911:  Additions in this period included several warehouses, moulding shops, dressing shops, offices and gatehouse, stable, pattern shop and store, enamelling shop, and a Berlin Black shop.

1904: The large blacking mill to the north, owned by William Cumming & Co Ltd, was bought by the North British Railway in order to put a branch line in, and new buildings were erected elsewhere.

1922:  Alexander Brown died.

1925:  Capital increased by £40,000 divided into 800 shares distributed pro rata amongst shareholders.  A new furnace house was built in 1927.

1929: Incorporated into Allied Ironfounders Ltd.  William Rankine of Glasgow became a director (died 1948).

1930: Joint Managing Directors James & John Brown.

1936: Limited Company.

1949:  James Brown died.

1954:  Robert L Hunter appointed a director, the following year John Brown retired and William Hogg Smith became a director, but was soon replaced by Reginald A Therman.  In 1955 it was decided to erect a new vitreous enamel shop at an estimated cost of £14,500,and to extend the men’s spray baths and erect new ones for the women workers, £1,750.

1962: Alexander Dickson Brown, son of the founder of Sunnyside Foundry was appointed managing director after R L Hunter.  PF Waddell, works manager.  By this time the daily cast was 26 tons.  The works occupied 15.5 acres, of which approximately 7acres were covered.  The enamelling shop had six muffles (wet process) and an enamel manufacturing plant.  Plant for sheet steel enamelling had been installed.

1963: Closed, most of the personnel moving to Larbert Foundry.

Now playing fields.


  • 1897: 20
  • 1952: 250-300

G.B. Bailey, 2021