Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Aitken family

Remember the list of subscribers to the shares in James Aitken and Co. when it went public? You can't? Here they are again then:

James H. Aitken, Falkirk: Misses E. Aitken, Mary H. Aitken, Helen T. Aitken, Lily E. Aitken, Agnes Alice Aitken, and Mrs Elizabeth M. Aitken.

I think I might have discovered how they were related. Via that handy letter from Alex Young:

"I was brought up to beleive that the first owners of the Brewery Barr & Heugh. In fact James Hueugh Aitken was the name he was Christened with.

James and five sisters were brought up in the Gartcows Estate, Elsie was the last sister to live in the house she moved to a cottage in Killearn to let them set on with the building of the Falkirk Royal Infirmary, Off Gartcows Road is a street named Heugh St where members of the Brewery Staff were housed.

As far as I know Elsie and the Artist sister were spinsters another was married to a Crosthwaite and another to a Banker by the name of Dewhurst, her son worked for a spell in the brewery in the Brewers Room, I dont know whether he was a qualified brewer or not.

The other sister was married to Menzies the the retail and wholesale to bookshops and book stalls.

James Aitken had only one daughter, She married Commander Robertson ( the jam people) he was on the Caledonia the training ship at Rosyth."

My guess is that the five sisters were the 5 Miss Aitkens in the subscribers list. That is, James H. Aitken's sisters.

Fascinating the the workers lived in Heugh Road (that's its real name, not Heugh Street). It's still there today and looks rather nice, with its stone semis. Take a peek:

Fascinating stuff, eh?


Martyn Cornell said...

The girls married well - Robertson's Jam (by golly), John Menzies (still going strong as a distribution specialist) …

Can't decide if "Heugh" is a good name for a brewer or not. "What do you say if you've had too much Aithken's beer?" "Heugh!"

Ron Pattinson said...

Martyn, isn't this stuff weirdly fascinating? Though it does demonstrate the social standing of brewers. And the number of Scottish capitalists.

I've not quite finished with Aitken family.

Rob Sterowski said...

It’s only really in the period since WW2 that Scottish companies have been subsumed, bought out or displaced by UK or international concerns in the grocery market. Similar to brewing really. There are exceptions like Baxter's, still going strong. And the Scottish Co-op owned vast chunks of the market with its own bakeries, farms etc.

Rob Sterowski said...

Martin, I thought much the same thing recently when Tennent’s came out with their promotional glasses with an big red H for Hugh Tennent instead of the usual T. "A pint of Hugh" really doesn't sound very appetising.