Records of Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd, iron and steel tube manufacturers, Corby, Northamptonshire, England

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Administrative / Biographical History

Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd , iron and steel tube manufacturers, Corby, Northamptonshire, England was created in 1903  by the amalgamation of two of the largest iron and steel manufacturers in Britain, A & J Stewart & Menzies Ltd , Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, and Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd , Birmingham, England.

A & J Stewart & Menzies Ltd originated from the company A & J Stewart . In 1862  Andrew Stewart, along with his brother, James, established the firm of A & J Stewart , manufacturers of buttwelded and lapwelded tubes. Andrew Stewart had been employed by Eadies of Dalmarnock, South Lanarkshire, Scotland as a sales representative. Eadies specialised in the manufacture of lapwelded and loose flange tubes. However, Stewart recognised that there was a market for gas pipe but when Eadies refused to acknowledge Stewart's proposals, Stewart set up on his own. Stewart and his brother established a small works at St Enochs, Glasgow, Scotland. They met with rapid success and in 1867  moved to Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, where they could expand. Here they build the Clyde Tube Works. In 1882  the company was incorporated with limited liability as A & J Stewart Ltd . In 1889  , Andrew Stewart saw his sons set up their own business in Glasgow as tube manufacturers under the name of Stewart Brothers . A & J Stewart Ltd recognised the need to safeguard their business and adopted the policy to control some of the raw material required for the manufacture of tubes. In accordance with this policy they merged A & J Stewart Ltd , Stewart Brothers , and the Clydesdale Iron & Steel Co in 1890  . The Clydesdale Iron & Steel Co , established in 1870  , were suppliers of strips and plates for tube manufacture. The new company name was A & J Stewart & Clydesdale Ltd .

In 1898  , the company acquired the business of James Menzies & Co and was renamed, A & J Stewart & Menzies Ltd . James Menzies had also previously worked for Eadies of Dalmarnock but in 1875  had set up on his own manufacturing tubes at the Phoenix Works, Rutherglen, Glasgow. 1899  saw further expansion with the construction of new works at Airdrie, North Lanarkshire. In 1901  Andrew Stewart died and his son John Graham Stewart succeeded him as chairman of the company. 1903  saw the merger with Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd .

Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd had been established at about the same time as Andrew Stewart had set up on his own business. Over the 40 years of its existence, Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd had established itself as one of the largest iron and steel tube manufacturers in England. The Clydeside Tube Co Ltd established in 1898  and manufactures of weldless tubes was also brought into the merger by Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd . It had been acquired by Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd in 1900  .

From its creation in 1903  , Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd set about establishing its position and extending its interests. In Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd 1908  entered a new area by acquiring the controlling interest in Robert Addie & Sons(Collieries) Ltd , although they later sold out in 1924  . In 1912  they acquired the business of the British Welding Co Ltd , Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, manufacturers of hydraulic welded tubes. 1914  saw the establishment of new works at Tollcross, Glasgow, for the manufacture of seamless tubes. In 1918  , Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd acquired the controlling interest in North Lincolnshire Iron Co Ltd , although they disposed of this interest in 1931  . In 1920  the company acquired the firm of Alfred Hickman , steel manufacturers, Bilston, Midlothian, Scotland, together with its subsidiaries; Lloyds Ironstone Co Ltd and Ernest N Wright Ltd .

In 1925  , John Stewart died and was replaced by R M Wilson. However, a year later Wilson resigned and A C MacDiarmid took over as company chairman. 1926  also saw the company gain a controlling interest in the Victaulic Co Ltd , producers of victaulic joints and Johnson couplings for water and other pipelines. In 1928  , Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd acquired the Pothero Steel Tube Co Ltd , Wednesbury, West Midlands, England, manufacturers of hot rolled and cold drawn weldless tubes. 1929  saw the acquisition of the Birmingham steelworks of John Russell & Co , and its subsidiary James Russell & Sons Ltd . In 1930  , Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd entered an agreement with Tube Investments Ltd , Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, which controlled a large number of tube making firms in the Midlands, England. The idea behind this agreement was to facilitate the exchange of information and technology. As a result of this agreement Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd acquired a one half interest in the Bromford Tube Co Ltd of Erdington, Birmingham, England and in Howell & Co Ltd of Sheffield, England. Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd surrendered their interest in Howell & Co Ltd in 1938  , and in 1945  acquired the other half interest in the Bromford Tube Co Ltd . In 1932, th ecompany acquired Scottish Tube Co Ltd that was also established in that year.

In 1932, the company moved to Corby, Northampton shire, England. By this time, production of basic steel from steel tubes and strips was limited and so to obtain cheap basic Bressemer steel the company relocated to the ore fields of Corby. By 1953, the company was the main producers of steel tubes in Scotland producing 250,000 tons of tubing, the bulk of which were used at the Corby site. At this time, the firm still had 8 of its original works in Scotland: the British Clyde & Calder works, Coatbridge; Imperial Works, Airdrie; Tollcross Works, Glasgow; Phoenix Works, Rutherglen; and Clydesdale Works, Bellshill. In 1958, the company's main office was still in Oswald Street, Glasgow

Stewarts & Lloyds was dissolved in 1997.

Charles C Smith, Notes on the History and Development of Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd(1954)

Arrangement

The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Acquisition Information

Transfer : Glasgow University Library: May 1986

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom.

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)3721) and London (NRA36009, 35554 and 41421)

Alternative Form Available

Copies probable as they are all printed items

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

This collection was given to Glasgow University Library by the relative of a former company secretary

Accruals

None expected

Related Material

GB 1496 Corporate, financial, sales, staff, legal, and property records, and miscellaneous papers 1810-1980 (HMC records of British business and industry 1760-1914 metal processing) (British Steel East Midlands Regional Records Centre)

GB 1850 Abstract of plant repairs, and plant books 1867-1906 (Summerlee Heritage Centre)

Bibliography

No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 21 August 2002

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