Gas Lighting



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Gas Lighting

Although gas was introduced into Lennoxmill works around 1828-29, it was not until 1852 that it was introduced to Lennoxtown. This gas to the village, was supplied by the Lennoxtown Gas Light Company, which was established in 1852. Its original promoters were James Bishop, Gordon Wilson, Robert Clark and Rev William Wood. The first manager Matthew Blair, was succeeded by James Inglis, then a new manager, Mr. William J Erskine  took up duties on June 6th 1917.

The company operated as gas producers and distributors, and eventually became known as 'Campsie Gas Company'. They introduced penny-in-the-slot meters in households in 1906.

Prior to this the main forms of lighting had been tallow candles in which 'train oil' was burned. Wax candles were rarely used, being reserved for special occasions.

In 1921, shortages of gas, plant breakdown, insufficient stock of spare parts for repairs, all caused delays and inconvenience to the public who complained publicly and bitterly on  November 23rd.

In 1926, Kirkintilloch Town Council assumed responsibility to supply Lennoxtown with gas. Lamp pillars were erected along the streets, greatly improving conditions in the dark winter months. 

The Gas Works were sited in Greenhead Road, and the manager lived in a house built inside the works. In the 40's and 50's the manager was Mr. Anderson. 

An interesting report in the Kirkintilloch Herald, states that in April 1919, "the globes and fittings of the street lamps have been removed for the season. "


From 1934 onwards when the cables of the Clyde Valley Electricity Company reached the village, gas was gradually replaced by electricity. The street lighting by electricity dates from 1945-1950.

Although not introduced until 1934, electricity had been the subject of a great deal of discussion as far back as 1922.

At a meeting of the Campsie Parish Council in November 1922, a circular was read stating that Campsie was to be included in the West of Scotland Electricity District, and any objections to the inclusion needed to be lodged by December 30th 1922.

A member of the committee, Mr. McKane, said encouraging the electricity suppliers would be a good idea because it would mean an end to the old Campsie Gas Company, and he was in favour of anything which would give more light than they were presently getting in Campsie.

By May 1933 the company agreed to lay electric cable for lights at Lennoxtown.

Although there was electricity in the village, the houses in Slatefield still had gas heating and lighting in the 1950's! Even the closes in Slatefield has gas lighting. This was still  the case, when in 1952, some of the tenants moved to new housing in Holyknowe Road.

Coal Supply

The villagers were largely dependent on coal as a source of heat, and supplies appear to have been mined locally, although sources dried up from time to time and new sources had to be found.  In May 1921, the inhabitants were anticipating an ample distribution of coal to keep their fires burning. The outcrop seams being worked were yielding good returns, and a number of miners had secured permission from the Laird of Woodhead to tap an old mine from an air shaft near Cluchcore, Lennox Castle. Relays of miners were engaged in bringing forth the 'black diamonds', and a condition of the agreement is that there must be no profiteering on the part of those engaged in the work. The coal will therefore be sold at a reasonable price. Mr. Kincaid Lennox, who gave the miners permission to re-open the mine, was considered to be once again showing his practical interest in the inhabitants in a time of need. 


On July 2nd 1919 the work of prospecting for fire clay on South Birbiston Hill, which has been in operation for some time, was suspended. The work was carried out to the order of Messrs J. & J. Askdale, Glasgow. Boring operations took place at two  points on the hill, 40 yards apart, to a depth of about 8 fathoms. Seams of fire clay measuring 5' 8" were located.


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