Office Block & Bank

for Allied Ironfounders and Bank of Scotland, 175 Grahams Rd.

Designed and built in 1937 the extensive suite of offices for Allied Ironfounders Ltd was completed early in 1938.  It stood on the south side of the entrance gateway into the Falkirk Iron Works and replaced several offices scattered throughout the huge complex.  As well the offices it included the Grahamston branch of the Bank of Scotland.  The bank opened on 8 January and the offices a month later.

Illus: Falkirk Iron Works offices in 2021.

The building is of two storeys with a frontage of 140ft.  The lower part of the façade was finished in polished green Swedish granite and the upper part of synthetic stone.  The main office entrance was located in the centre of the building and had a hefty black granite surround with massive engaged ribbed marble columns flanking the doorway (cf Doak’s dance hall).  The bank entrance, at the north end of the façade, had a smaller version of the black granite surround, without the marble.

Other than the additional doorway for the bank the frontage is symmetrical and is dominated by the large number of vertical rectangular windows – two rows of six to either side of the advanced central bay.  These were fitted with Haywards’ steel casement windows to maximise the light.  The central section has a parapet wall of inset rectangular blocks and the low-pitched slated roof is hipped at either end.

The bank was furnished in polished mahogany with bronzed grills and screens.  A night safe was provided.  The floor space of the offices covered 15,000 square feet and consisted of a general office, a secretary’s office, enquires and mails department, an office and works’ telephone exchange, a letter filing and reference room, a pay office, a railway clerks’ office, a heating chamber, an inquiry hall, an entrance hall, a waiting hall, a cleaners’ store, a timekeeper’s office, a typists’ room, a costing department, and estimating and literature department, a principal typist’s room, management offices, four private rooms for the personal use of directors, a secretarial department, an order department, a large ventilated strong room, and male and female lavatory accommodation.  The walls were a biscuit shade of paint throughout. 

Contractors – Brick work – J J & P MacLachlan Ltd; Joiner work – Alexander Laing; Slater work – James K Millar Ltd; Plumber work – G Robertson & Co (Falkirk) Ltd; Plaster work – James K Millar Ltd; Glazier work – Daniel O May Ltd; Asphalt work – Val de Travers Asphalte Paving Co Ltd; Granite work – John Third and Sons, Aberdeen; Tile and Terrazzo work – Galbraith & Winton Ltd; Steelwork – Brownlie & Murray Ltd; Steel windows – Haywards Ltd, London; Heating and Ventilating work – J Combe & Sons Ltd; Strong Room Equipment – Hobbs, Hart & Co Ltd, London; Build-up Roofing – F McNeill & Co Ltd; Painter work – F Mitchell & Sons, Grangemouth.  Electrical Installation was by Allied Ironfounders themselves. 

Falkirk Ironworks Office (175 Grahams Rd)   SMR 1916       NS 8828 8114

G.B. Bailey, 2021