David Leask's Maddiston Pages

Muiravonside Parish, the way it was.

Smith For Service


View over the Haugh


Smiths first garage was corrugated steel sheeting structure, built over the entrance to the "Haugh" and was only big enough to hold one lorry but it was later expanded to hold two, it’s hard to believe that the whole Smith empire started here when in 1931 James and Alexander persuaded their father to enter coal haulage and purchased a second hand lorry. Father and sons worked the lorry continuously, in shifts, until they were able to purchase another two used vehicles. Soon a contract was won with a foundry in Falkirk to deliver gas cookers to Aberdeen and back loads of fish were obtained from the local markets for delivery to Glasgow, and James Smith (Jnr) was soon considering the possibility of trunk services.









It was in 1946 that Smith began constructing their headquarters at Manualrigg, having just taken over two other haulage companies, Smith of Avonbridge and Keir of Camelon, and adding another eight vehicles to their fleet. The opening of the British Aluminium Company’s new rolling mills at Falkirk gave the company a great boost when they successfully tendered for the contract for the haulage of processed aluminium on a large scale, involving deliveries all over the country, several new and used vehicles were added to the fleet at this time.

By 1953 there was accommodation for 28 vehicles with a repair shop, traffic office, loading bays and storage space, the whole covering 15,000 square feet, and an adjoining two and a half-acre site had been acquired for further expansion. In the same year the company purchase the coach building firm of Campbell Bros. Whitburn, here they had a sawmill, woodworking machinery, a sheet metal department and paint shops which could build eight complete vehicle bodies per week and there they began building vehicle bodies to their own design. So much traffic was going to England in 1954 that it was decided to establish a branch depot in Lancashire, and premises were acquired adjoining an hotel at Bryn, near Wigan, this depot had room for 12 vehicles. Similar facilities were soon purchased in London, much of the goods handled were still for the British Aluminium Company, but a large volume of general traffic, return loads were collected from all parts of the South Coast for delivery to the Midlands and Scotland.






In June 1954, the business was converted to a limited liability company and was registered as J. & A. Smith of Maddiston Ltd, with a capital of 40,000 pounds. In October of the same year the old Welfare building was purchased and converted into an administration block with a large boardroom, waiting room, general office, wages department, typists’ pool room, managers office and telephone exchange. The office staff amounted to 18 at this time with an additional 10 employed in the traffic office, which was retained within the garage building, it was around this time that the maintenance shops were built, which allowed for complete servicing and overhaul of the vehicles at Maddiston. The fleet was comprised mainly of Leyland and A.E.C multi wheelers with some Albions, Bedfords and Thames, which were used for light traffic, both local and long-distance. Nightly trunk services were operated to the South, with general goods from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Falkirk. These were augmented by daily services to London and the Midlands and there was a regular run with contract vehicles from the Bauxite works at Fort William and Kinlochleven. Another substantial customer was the Alloa Glass Work Co. Ltd., whose work was taken over after the liquidation of London Scottish Transport. Smith’s acquired the London Scottish depot at Alloa with 30 to 40 of their vehicles.







In the late 1950's the haulage and warehousing sides of the business were seperated, Smiths could offer storage facilities, a 1million cubic feet facility at Camelon, where a redundant factory  was converted in 1955. A special building was built here for the storage of Aluminium which had to be stored at a mimimum temperature of 32 degrees. There was also  1million cubic feet of storage at Paisley, 500,000 cubic feet at Port Glasgow, 200,000 cubic feet at Greenock and 300,000 cubic feet at Glasgow plus another 10,000 cubic feet out in the open, open storage was also available at most of the warehouses and depots.










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