Scottish Mining Villages

Castlecary & Banknock – Extract from Truck Report 1871

Mr. Stirling has some coal works at Bankknock under his management where he employs about 130 men. He pays them fortnightly and charges 10d. or 1s. on advances. He has no store, but there is a store in the neighbourhood belonging to his father and managed by his brother, at which some of his men deal, but they are not expected to go. There was a strike at these works while we were sitting at Glasgow for an advance of wages but the store, Mr. Stirling informed us, had nothing to do with this.

Mr. Stirling’s father has lime works at Castle Cary, where some 50 or 60 men are employed. They are paid every three months and “sometimes longer – sometimes every four months,.” They receive advances, on which poundage is charged – at what rate we could not distinctly ascertain. Mr. Stirling thinks “it is only 1s. in the pound,” but he could not be certain. The store is in his father’s name, and is managed by his brother. The length of pays (three or four months), combined with a system of poundage, is calculated to produce evils of its own.

Abstract of Evidence

John Stirling
My father owns the Castle Carey limeworks. I can tell you very little about them. My father pays his men quarterly, or sometimes longer. Sometimes every four mouths.. I believe they get advances just when they ask for them, .There is a store about a mile from the works kept in my father’s name. The men are not expected to take their advances there. I believe poundage is charged, I think 1s. in the pound. I have coalworks at Banknock under my own management. My father has 50 or 60 men. I have upwards of 130. I pay fortnightly and charge 10d. per £1 on advances. I have no store. A few of my men may go to my father’s store. I believe those would not be advance men. I cannot say. There is no understanding with us about going to the store. The person who manages the store is my brother. His salary varies from year to year. I cannot tell why. It has nothing to do with the amount which he sells. There is a strike, at my colliery now. It has nothing to do with the store.

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