Records of Bairds & Dalmellington Ltd, iron and coal proprietors and brick manufacturers, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Private ledgers 1932-1945
  • Colliery output and cost analysis files 1908-1947
  • Coalfield reports 1894-1952
  • Files relating to t Scottish District Valuation Board 1946-1948
  • Files relating to valuations and compensation claims 1947-1954
  • Miscellaneous files relating to the coal industry nationalisation 1946-1953

Administrative / Biographical History

William Baird & Co Ltd , coal and iron masters, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, founded in 1830, had coal and iron interests in the county of Ayrshire, Scotland, but the early 1920s saw a drop in demand for iron, which along with industrial action lead to the closure of the company's Ayrshire iron works in 1924 after 84 years of production. The company's interests in Ayrshire were now focused on coal production. During the general economic depression of the late 1920s  , the government encouraged firms to amalgamate and so Robert Angus (1882-1949), director of William Baird & Co Ltd, entered into negotiations with the Dalmellington Iron Co , Dalmellington, East Ayrshire, Scotland, the county's other main coal producer. In 1931  , the Bairds' Ayrshire coal interests were combined with those of the Dalmellington Iron Co to form Bairds & Dalmellington Ltd . The new company, 75 percent owned by William Baird & Co Ltd, controlled of 70 percent of the Ayrshire coalfields. Whereas the Dalmellington profits for 3 years preceding merger had seen a decline in the general climate of the depression, the Baird Ayrshire interests had shown a rise and this performance persisted in the new company. Gross profit as a percentage of nominal capital dipped to only 3.5 percent as a result of the combined depression and reorganisation but by 1938 it stood at 17.5 percent, was above 20 percent consistently throughout the 1939-1945 World War and reached 27.5 percent in the year before nationalisation. In 1947  , the company's coalmines were nationalised as part of the National Coal Board Scottish Division. The company was finally wound up in 1953  .

Source: A Slaven and S Checkland, , vol 1Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 ( Aberdeen , 1986  )


This material is arranged into series, which consist of numbers of items related by format and/or function. Within series, the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information

No access for legal, business or commercial purposes without the written permission of William Baird plc. Apply in the first instance to Glasgow University Archive Services.

Acquisition Information

Loan : William Baird & Co Ltd : London: 1982 : ACCN 0036

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

File level list available in searchroom and at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)2473) and London (NRA15635)

Alternative Form Available

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Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Any work based on the use of this material, which is intended for publication must be submitted to William Baird plc for approval prior to that publication and a copy of the final version lodged with them

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by William Baird & Co Ltd


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 UGD 164/1 Records of William Baird & Co Ltd

GB 234 CB4 Records of Bairds & Dalmellington Ltd (National Archives of Scotland)

GB 244 Acc 387 Lease books of Bairds & Dalmellington Ltd (Ayrshire Archives)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page


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Additional Information

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