The Blanefield Printing Company was located in Strathblane, a small
village in Stirlingshire, Scotland. The printing trade in Strathblane
began in 1790, and by the 1850s the calico printworks employed around
400 people including 50 children. Employees worked 10 to 11 hours a day,
6 days a week. The Blanefield works had both machine and block
printing. There was a dye house, a warehouse, a bleaching department and
a drying department. The printworks had its own store and employees
were expected to purchase all their groceries there. A man was posted at
the gate house to see if any employee went into the shop opposite the
factory, and if so they were fined. If times were hard at the
printworks, the employees would be paid in goods obtained from the
printworks store, thus tying them further to the company.
The Blanefield Printing Company 1880s
The Blanefield Printing Company was acquired by a syndicate of calico printers in 1898. The printworks was deemed unprofitable and promptly closed down. By 1910 the demolition of the works was practically complete and the population of Strathblane had fallen dramatically with a large number of houses left abandoned. No sign of the printing industry remains today.
by Mark Matlach
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