Clinker manufacture operational: ?1918-?1958. GISCO began advertising Portland cement among its products in January 1916.
Approximate total clinker production: ?
The plant had a history similar to Coltness, initially making Colloseus activated slag cement, and then making clinker from the slag with rotary kiln(s), to make a PBFC product. The evidence for this consists of tangential references in the local press. Evidently the kiln plant was more or less installed in 1914, when the German commissioning team were all interned due to the outbreak of the war, and final start-up was delayed until they were released four years later. The buildings shown on the map could conceivably have contained rotary kilns and these may have been similar to Coltness A2. The plant installed the first British electrostatic precipitator in 1928. The adjacent iron works shut down in 1930, but as with Coltness, granulated slag could have been brought in from other sites in later years. The 1938 and 1957 OS maps suggest that there was a very substantial slag heap ("bing") on the western part of the site, where the Wishaw General Hospital now stands, and that this was gradually quarried away during the life of the plant. The plant continued as part of the Caledonian consortium (with Coltness and Gartsherrie) to sell its cement. Clinker was certainly being made as late as 1953, but the final year of clinker production remains obscure at present. The site was subsequently acquired by Blue Circle and continued until 1974 making Portland and PBFC using clinker brought from various sources, including Whitehaven and Widnes.
Please contact me with any relevant information or corrections.
Sources: Jackson, pp 280, 303: newspaper article Motherwell Times 8 Apr 1949, p 7
© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 07/08/2011: last edit 26/10/2016.
Too little is known of the plant to derive a convincing capacity history.Picture: ©English Heritage - NMR Aerofilms Collection. Britain from Above reference number SPW020311.
Britain from Above features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of aerial photographs. You can download images, share memories, and add information. By the end of the project in 2014, 95,000 images taken between 1919 and 1953 will be available online.
This was taken on 4/2/1928 and shows the plant from the south, with the GISCO iron works in the foreground. Although even less distinct, this in HD shows what could be kilns through the openings in the cladding of the kiln house. In the top-left is the slag "bing" quarried away by the plant.
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