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Lochrin paraffin works, Edinburgh

Former parish and county:
Parish of St. Cuthberts, County of Midlothian
Local authority:
City of Edinburgh
The Paraffin Light Company

lochrin lamp.jpg

A large warehouse and factory, close to the Union Canal, that was the sales and commercial hub of James Young's operations during the early days of the industy. It was the first and largest of ten "stations" of the Paraffin Light Company (or the Paraffin Light Company of Edinburgh); the title adopted for Young's sales operation. It was previously the site of Lochrin Distillery, and may have re-used the existing warehouse buildings. In addition to serving as a distribution depot for oils and candles, paraffin lamps were made, or at least assembled, on the site. Managers of the station included Thomas Rowatt, later in business as a lamp manufacturer in his own account.

In 1878, Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co. Ltd opened their Clissold St lamp works in Birmingham; a site presumably chosen to be close to the manufacturers of lamp components, and being able to draw on a skilled workforce. The Lochrin works were then closed.

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    Newspaper References


    At the City Police Court —Sheriff Hamilton on the bench Three sisters, named Catherine, Margaret, and Rachael Ferguson, were charged with theft, with the option for the two younger sisters of reset of theft. The indictment bore that on various occasions since the 1st of this month they stole from Young & Co.'s paraffin oil works, at Lochrin, 30 paraffin lamps, glass shades, a metal taper stand, and four paraffin candles. It appeared that the two elder sisters were employed the works, and as it was discovered that thefts were taking place, a watch was set, and the girls Margaret and Rachael were found attempting to dispose one the lamps. The value the articles was about £6. Catherine pleaded guilty to the theft, and the other two pleaded guilty of reset. The eldest sister was sent to prison for 60 days, and the case against the younger ones was continued.

    Edinburgh Evening News, 28th September 1874


    Fire at Lochrin.

    Between two and three o'clock this morning fire was discovered engine-house adjoining the paraffin works at Lochrin. The Fountainbridge fire-brigade was turned out, and the fire was subdued before much damage was done.

    Edinburgh Evening News, 14th January 1876


    Threatened Strike at Lochrin Paraffin Oil Works.

    The workmen employed at Lochrin Paraffin Oil Works, Home Street, Edinburgh, have received notice that they will be required to work 57 hours per week at the present rate of wages. At a meeting held to consider the notice, it has been resolved to resist the lengthening of the hours. The Edinburgh Trades Council have agreed to support the men by contributions from the fund being raise in defence of the 51 hours system.

    Edinburgh Evening News, 5th September 1878


    Premises (Extensive) at Lochrin, Home St., for many years occupied by Young's Paraffin Oil Co., suitable for Workshops and Stores, Apply at Factor's Office, Lochrin.

    The Scotsman, 4th February 1880.