Company founded in Edinburgh by William Bain in the old Lochrin Distillery in Edinburgh renaming it Lochrin Iron Works and began by producing iron fencing and gates for estates in Scotland.
Photo of the current site of the Lochrin Iron Works, Tollcross, Edinburgh
Lochrin Iron Works were lifted from Edinburgh and replanted in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, this location was chosen as it was right in the centre of the iron industry and not far from the harbours of the River Clyde.
William Fraser joined the company initially as Cashier / Bookkeeper but soon proved himself to be a strong man of the firm. Around the same time John Wilson left his job as draughtsman in the drawing office and began working directly for William P.C Bain designing new types of fencing and then the buildings which the Construction Department were making.
The National Grid scheme for the distribution of electricity throughout the United Kingdom was being planned, and the first to be constructed was the Central Scotland scheme. All the transmission line towers for this line were manufactured by William Bain & Co at Lochrin Iron Works in Coatbridge to the design of Milliken Brothers Limited. As far as it is known, this contract was the first of its kind to be carried out in this country.
William P.C Bain died at his home in Edinburgh on Tuesday 7th July 1936 in his 84th year. It is recorded in the Directors Minutes book, in typically spare Scottish style – “He had been the principal personality in the business during his whole life”. His only son, Graham Bain, was killed during active service in the Great War. Mr Bain was survived by his two daughters, Jean and Annie. Jean’s son, Graham T.Cargey later became a director of the company.
Less than 6 months after the Second World War started Lochrin Iron Works were almost completely engaged on Government contracts. The works were camouflaged and completely blacked out. The various departments worked in artificial light all day, which added considerably to the cost of running the Lochrin businesses. The Constructional Department bore the brunt of the war effort, since practically every type of work done there – hangars, buildings, bridges, section of tank landing craft – was essential to the successful prosecution of the conflict.
The “Strong” man of Bain’s, William Fraser died in September. His service to the company had extended over a period of 60 years, and he had seen the progress of the business from small beginnings to a big and successful undertaking. Since Mr Bain’s death in 1936, Mr Fraser had been chairman of the company.
Little is known about the company during this period although the company did change ownership several times within the Bain family. Towards the middle / end of this period the construction and concrete divisions were closed down as the company became focused on the manufacturing of their patented steel fencing products concentrating predominantly on palisade fencing. The company also had a very successful contract manufacturing sugar cane carriers and exporting these to the Caribbean.
Andrew Dick bought the company from Jim Greenhaugh.
William Bain and Co enters receivership.
Cecil Golightly purchased the company from the receivers. Ian Kerr who was General Manager prior to receivership becomes Managing Director with a 25% shareholding.
Company relocates to its current location in Cumbernauld.
William Bain Fencing Limited becomes Home Office accredited for the first time.
Company develops range of products for the mesh market, including Flat, Crimped and weaved panel products.