Model Bakery in Falkirk High Street

for R. Mathieson and Sons

The large bakery for R Mathieson & Sons, bakers and purveyors, was completed in November 1916.   The site lay on the north side of the High Street next to Gordon Drummond’s chemist’s shop and backed onto the graveyard of Falkirk Parish Church. It was for the production of bread and kindred articles.

Illus: The frontage of Mathieson’s bakery – the two gables seen over it were the main bakery.
Illus: Rear view from the Graveyard.

The bread-baking department on the ground floor had three large Scotch ovens faced with white enamelled bricks relieved at intervals with a chequered pale blue band.  The first floor was occupied by the small-bread bakery and was supplied with two hot-pipe steam ovens, two proving presses and a 12ft long hot-plate.  Each of these bakeries had an independent wash-up house.  Over the front of the building facing the High Street were the confectionery and finishing departments.  The flour was stored on the third floor and was taken up in chutes to each department.  On this floor the barm room was also situated with a good-sized pond for tempering purposes.  Particular care was taken to provide all of the departments with abundant light and fresh air – a prevailing theme of the period.  Likewise, the comfort of the employees was attended to – three dressing rooms each with lavatory and bathroom and an electric lift.  The building was fireproof and the floors, beams and columns were of reinforced concrete.

Contractors – mason – J Maxwell & Sons; joiners – Ross & Hastings; slaters – Drummond & Crowe; plumber – George Campbell; reinforced concrete & plaster – David McNair; lath work – William Harley; glazier – D O’May; smith work – J Kidd; electrical – T Laurie & Co; causeway – F Flaherty; electric lift – R Taylor; oven builders – J Cruickshanks  & Sons.

G.B. Bailey, 2021