- 1881 AGM – East Fulton works were in full operation, the new works at Walkinshaw should be operation by next February. A dividend of 5% was declared
- 1882 AGM - The refinery was now complete and processing all crude oil produced, trade was still depressed due to American imports. Improvements were being made to the brickworks. A 5% dividend was declared
- 1883 AGM - A loss was made due to labour unrest and the falling price of lubricating oil. Abercorn and Douglas ironstone mines had been leased. It was agreed to issue preference shares to increase the capital to £180,000
- 1884 EGM - The meeting approved an increase in capital, workings NE of Walkinshaw would be extended and opportunities were being investigated for securing shale reserves in the east of the country.
- 1884 AGM - A profit was made but no dividend declared on ordinary shares . Shale working at Walkinshaw pit had been extended, and a site for mines and an oilworks in the east were discussed.
- 1885 AGM - A significant loss was reported due to the poor state of the market. Only shale from Walkinshaw was now being mined and this was of a low yield. Efforts to establish a base in the east of Scotland had been suspended.
- 1886 AGM - Great losses were being incurred as a consequence of low oil prices, There was only very limited production in the refinery and every effort was being taken to reduce costs
- 1887 AGM - The refinery was no longer in production, but awaiting an upturn in the market. There was debate about whether the company should be wound-up.
- 1888 AGM – The refinery continued to be maintained, the court case with Merry & Cunninghame continued.
- 1889 AGM - The Court case with Merry & Cunninghame had been resolved finding mainly in favour of the oil company. The only income was from brick production and farming.
- 1890 EGM – It was agreed to liquidate the company and amalgamate with the Hermand Oil Company
1881 Annual General Meeting
The first annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company was held in Glasgow yesterday afternoon—Mr J. Wilson, Hillhead House, in the chair. The report, read by Mr. Liddell, Secretary, stated that, after providing for certain charges, the balance at the credit profit and loss account was £3708 0s 3d, out of which the Directors recommend that a dividend of 4s per share should be paid 30th December next, free of Tax. This dividend will be equal to fully 5 per cent, per annum on the amounts paid in at the respective dates of call, and will absorb £2212 8s., leaving £1485 12s 3d carried forward.
The works at East Fulton have been in full operation since this Company entered into possession of them, and the Directors have arranged for an extended lease of the minerals there. Considerable progress has been made with the opening of the shale minerals at the new works at Walkinshaw, as well with the construction of the manufactories. After full consideration the Directors resolved to erect the manufactories upon the property of the Duke of Abercorn, with whom they have arranged a satisfactory lease of the ground for the works. Although much remains to done before the new works and the pits connected with them can be in full and efficient working order, the Directors are pleased to report that a beginning has been made the manufacture of oil, and they are in hopes that the whole works will be in full operation January first. On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by ex-Treasurer Hamilton, the report was adopted.
The motion of Mr Low, seconded by Mr. Anderson, was unanimously agreed to vote a sum of £500 to the Directors. Mr Murdoch thought the profit set down as having been made was a large one considering that they had not started the real work of the Company yet, and asked how it was derived. Perhaps that was asking questions which the shareholders had better not know. The Chairman replied that particulars could be got any shareholdcr calling at the office. However, Mr Murdoch might take it for granted that whatever the Board stated profits had been earned bona fide. The Board was doing nothing but what was straight and fair. The works at Fulton had been in steady operation since they took them in and they had no difficulty in disposing of the products from month to month. There were other sources of income which it was not judicious to say anything about. Mr Murdoch expressed himself as thoroughly satisfied, and after a vote of thanks to the Chairman the meeting separated.
The Dundee Advertiser, 15th December 1881
1882 Annual General Meeting
The second annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company (Limited) was held yesterday in the Religious Institution Rooms, Glasgow – Mr. John Wilson, Hillhead House, the chairman of the company, presiding. Mr LIDDELL, the secretary of the company, read the annual report, which has already been published.
The CHAIRMAN, in moving the adoption of the report, said it contained really and practically the outcome of last year's operation in so far as the company was confirmed. It was necessary however, to call the attention of the shareholders to the fact that their works during the past twelve months had been practically of a constructing nature; at least during the first six months of the year the operations of the company, so far as producing for the market was concerned, were of very small amount, and it was only since the month of April that the refinery at the works had been in full operation. Ever since the refinery had been started, and the retorts fully utilised, the works had been going very satisfactorily indeed. There had been no hitch of any kind whatever. The production of shale and coal was equal to the requirements of the company, and the refinery plant, although not quite equal at first to the production of the retorts so far as the quantity of oil was concerned, was not, he was happy to say, in the position of being to overtake all their work and something more.
As the shareholders were aware, during the past season the price of the products from shale, such as oil and scale, was very low; indeed last summer might be termed the crucial period for the Scotch oil companies, who had however been able to hold their own against the influx of American petroleum. So far as appearances went at the present moment they were in favour of the oil trade. The price of burning oil was fairly good just now. They had seen a great deal better prices, and perhaps if they lived long they might anticipate to see much better prices still. The price of scale, which was a large element in the company's revenue, had been considerably increased, the increase since midsummer being equal to about 40 percent. He might state for satisfaction of the shareholders that the directors had contracted for part of this year's production at the advanced rate, and they saw no reason to be in a hurry to place the balance of the production, as the prospects of the American trade were looking better , and were likely to be even better after New Year. These contracts were generally made in the spring of the year, and extended over six or twelve months, and the bulk of the company's material was contracted up to the month of March next. Then as to the company's mineral field, everything had been satisfactory. There had been no accident, and the men had been working quietly and steadily.
The Chairman then detailed at some length the negotiations with the company and Messrs. Merry & Cunninghame for the working of certain pits. As to the company's brickwork, during last summer, and indeed up till the frost set in, it had been in full operation. The directors had found that the process of drying in operation when the work was taken over was of a very antiquated description, and the fuel consumed in heating was very considerable. The directors thought it wise, under the supervision of their manager, Mr. Neilson, to erect a large new stove in which they could utilize the waste steam, and he was glad to say it had been a very considerable success. The directors were considering the propriety of erecting kilns for burning brick with the waste gases from the oil retorts, and this would be a further saving. During the past year they had had a considerable amount of experimenting upon the coal measures which the company owned. The coal was generally suited for raising steam, but for that purpose dross was preferred, and it was cheaper. These experiments had been very satisfactory, inasmuch as the outcome commercially for the coal would nearly give them double of what they could get from it if used for the purposes of raising steam. They were not eat at the end of the experiment. He concluded by moving that the meeting receive and approve the report, and authorise these the directors to declare a dividend in terms of the report at the rate of fully 5 per cent per annum..
Mr JAMES SCOTT, Wishaw, seconded, and the motion was unanimously agreed to.
The CHAIRMAN afterwards proposed that Mr Walter Ness, Mining Engineer, be elected a director of the company in room of Mr. Russell, resigned. Mr JAMES BECKETT seconded, and this motion was also adopted.The CHAIRMAN further moved that Mr Maclellan be reappointed a director of the company. Mr JAMES LOW then proposed that the sum of 500 guineas be voted to the directors for their services during the past year, and that this sum be continued until otherwise changes. Mr. DAVID CRAIG seconded this motion, which like the others, was agreed unanimously. A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the proceedings.
The Glasgow Herald, 14th December 1882
1883 Annual General Meeting
The third annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company were held yesterday in the Religious Institution Rooms, Mr. John Wilson, the chairman of the company presiding. The SECRETARY read the notice calling the meeting and the report by the directors was held as read.
The CHAIRMAN, in moving the adoption of the report, said the directors were very sorry that their meeting with the shareholder took place in somewhat unsatisfactorily circumstance – the result of a balance which showed no profit. As they were aware, they had written off nothing for depreciation, because the sum at credit of profit and loss was not sufficient for the purpose. The losses on the year's business arose from causes over which the directors had no control. One of the principle of these was the increased cost of raising the minerals, Another was the fact that workmen during the year now under consideration were very difficult to tdeal with, and no class of workman more so than miners. The shareholders were doubtless aware of the difficulty in handling a large body of operatives engaged in mining operations. These two items – the difficulty in getting the men to work agreeably and that arising from the natural interruption in the minerals underground – raised the cost of their material very greatly.
At East Fulton (the works situated near Johnstone) the retorts were only two-thirds in operation during the last ten months of the financial year, this making a considerable reduction in the amount of crude oil made at these works, arising from the causes he had just referred to. At the Walkinshaw works, from the same causes, a third of the entire productive power was standing for some time, until arrangements wer made to buy some outside shale in order to put them in full operation. All this meant not only loss arising from the high cost of working their minerals, but loss in manufacturing through the works being only partially going. Another item which materially affected the company was that of clothing, in the form of barrels in which to send out the oil. The differences between last year and the previous year for barrels, on account of extra price, was no less than £3,409. For that outlay the company got practically nothing, as with every barrel of oil that went out the purchaser received the barrel without charge. Another item that went to swell the balance on the wrong side of the difference in the price of lubricating oils.
As the shareholders were aware, all heavy oils during the past year were very much reduced in price. The quantity of this and other intermediate oils manufactured by the company during the year was about 3000 tons, and it was not overstating the difference in price between that and this and the proceeding year to say that the reduction had been 20s per ton, which in round figures was about £3000. The difference in sulphate of ammonia was not a great matter, because this was only at the tail end of the year that the prices fell away from about £20 a ton down to about £13 a tone, and at the present moment this commodity was still very low in price. Against this, however, there was to be set the increase in the value of paraffin scale and burning oil, and this undoubtedly went a considerable way to reduce the loss on the products which had fallen in value.
The shareholders, however, must bear in mind that, whereas the effect produced by the fall in lubricating oil had been over the whole of the financial year, the effect of the increase in the value of burning oil had not been so. The financial year began on 1st October, and at that date the larges portion of the burning oil for season up to March had been sold. That was to say, the period they were considering at present was from October 1882, till the end of September 1883, while during the summer months of July, August, and September, the contracts for the winter were generally made, and at that time the prices of burning oil were ruling very low. The higher range of prices was in operation only during this season, and they were now sharing in the benefits. They had a number of oil contracts for scale which ran over the first six months of the financial year. When any comparison was made between the Walkinshaw Company and other Scotch oil companies it should be borne in mind that the financial year of other oil companies began on 1st April of 1st May, while their financial year began 31st October. While therefore, the other oil companies would have the benefit of the year's advance in price, the Walkinshaw Company were only now beginning to reap the benefit for the current year and when they came to the end of October next the results of their operations would be very different, and show a material improvement on the balance-sheet now before the shareholders.
The board had given the greatest consideration to the company's affairs. They had spared neither time nor trouble in fully acquainting themselves with its entire position and they were of the opinion that its prospects were much improved. The output of their mineral field had considerably increased, and instead of having to buy shale from outsiders they were now in a position to more than satisfy the requirements of the works, and were adding to the stock at the hill. Of course, he need not point out that the larger output of the company from their own pits tended to lessen the cost of production. During last year the gross output of coal, shale, and ironstone from pits was only £120,000. The gross output during the four weeks ending 28th November was £14,000, or equal to 182,000 tons per annum. This was being gradually increased and they expected the total production from the company's two works to reach 240,000 tons before the closure of the financial year, and this was exactly double the amount of output last year.
The Chairman further explained the nature of the arrangement made with Messrs Merry & Cunninghame for taking over the ironstone pits on the estate of Douglas and Abercorn. They did so, he said, in order to be able to control the labour element in the district, and because the houses in which their workmen resided belonged to Messrs Merry & Cunninghame. The price arranged with Messrs Merry & Cunninghame was £15,250; and as the payment was spread over a period of three years, interest had been added, bringing the total amount to £16,500. The company were also erecting additional houses for the accommodation of their workmen, which they believed would be more for the interest of the company than their workmen should require to travel three or four miles to Linwood or Paisley.
With regard to the question of raising additional capital, as set forth in the report, the directors were not desirous to call up more money than they could possibly avoid; but he was sure that the shareholders would agree with him that they ought as a board to be called upon to incur personal responsibility on behalf of the company. In these circumstances they had thought it prudent to raise additional money to cover the further expansion of the company's operation.
The original capital of the company was £120,000, but the scheme had been very much enlarged, and the benefit of the extension would ultimately come back to the shareholders. Some of the shareholder might think that the working of the ironstone would not be a profitable thing for the company, but the directors considered seeing they were going to get entire control of the labour market, and that Messrs Merry & Cunninghame undertook, so log as their furnaces were in operation at Carnbroe, to take the entire production of No.3 pit in the Douglas estate from which the largest supply of ironstone came, that they were justified in coming to the arrangement. The oncost and charge of management would be going on whether they had the ironstone of not. The ironstone surrounded their coal and shale, they had possession of the railways till they joined the Caledonian line, and the directors thought it was in the interest of the shareholders to come to the arrangement which had been made. He could only say that, so far as he could forecast in the future and speaking not only for himself, but for his colleagues at the board, they had now got over the difficulties of the past year; and that if they continued to go on as present they would be in a position to meet the shareholders with a better state of affairs. The Chairman concluded by moving adoption of the report. Mr. McLELLAN seconded.
Mr SUTHERLAND – Considering the serious fall in the shares of the company, I would like to ask if any of the directors have been disposing of their shares?
The CHAIRMAN – I can only answer for myself. I may say subject to correction b the secretary, that I am the largest shareholder in the company, and I have neither bought or sold a single share.
Mr SUTHERLAND – That is so far satisfactory, but I would like to put another question. Have any members of the firm of P & W. McLellan, who were vendors of the old Abercorn Oil Company, which was absorbed at the formation of this company?
The CHAIRMAN – I do not carry the register of the company, and I really cannot answer such a question. Mr SUTHERLAND – I am credibly informed such was the case.
Mr M'LELLAN – I can only say I have never sold a share in the company – that I still what I held at the beginning. If any of my partners bought shares, and when they say them down below £7 or £6 went and sold them I am not responsible.
Mr. SUTHERLAND – Was it the case that they did so?
Mr M'LELLAN – I believe that they did – that they went and sold some of their shares.
Mr SUTHERLAND – They were the vendors of the Abercorn Company?
Mr M'LELLAN – None of my partners except Mr. Blair
Mr. SUTHERLAND – Well one is sufficient Mr M'LELLAN – One is right, I tell you candidly what they did.
No other remarks being offered, the CHAIRMAN put the motion to the meeting, and it was unanimously adopted. On the motion of Councillor HAMILTON, seconded by Mr SIMPSON, Mr John Wilson (the chairman) and Mr Scott, Wishaw, were afterwards re-elected directors of the company; and on the motion of Mr JOHN MITCHELL, seconded by Mr SUTHERLAND, Mr Muir was reappointed auditor.
An extraordinary meeting was afterwards held for the purposes of considering the propriety of raising additional capital. The CHAIRMAN, without remark, submitted the following resolutions :
- 1. That the capital of the company be increased to £180,000 By the creation of 6000 new shares at £10 each
- 2. That the new shares be called Preference shares and that the holders thereof be entitled to be paid out the profit each year, a preferential dividend for such year at the rate of six per cent on the account for the time being paid up on such shares, with right to preference rateably with holders of Ordinary A shares in the profit of each year set aside for dividend, where the same exceeds six percent on the whole capital of the company
- 3. That the said new shares be offered at par to the now registered holders of the Ordinary A shares at the rate of one share for each two shares held, and in the evernt of any shares remaining unapplied for by members, the directors shall be entitled to allocate the same to other applicant on each terms as they may think fit
- 4. That the said new share shall not confer any right of… (illegible)
Mr LOW in seconding the motion for adoption of the resolutions, said the shareholders might think themselves fortunate in having men of such business capacity on the directorate. They all knew that there were times of reverse in business and it should not surprise that the Walkinshaw Company should have met with something of that sort. He was quite sure, however, that if the directors continued to callinto play their energy and activity, they would very soon bring round the Walkinshaw Company to a profitable position. The resolutions were unanimously adopted and the meeting separated.
The Glasgow Herald, 20th December 1883
1884 Extraordinary General Meeting
WALKINSHAW OIL COMPANY (LIMITED); An extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company. (Limited) was held yesterday in the Religious Institution Rooms, Glasgow, for the purpose of confirming the special resolutions adopted at the meeting on the I9th ult. Mr. John Wilson, chairman of the comany presided, and there was a good attendance of Shareholders.
The CHAIRMAN read the resolutions to the meeting. They were as follows:
- That the capital of the company be increased to £180,000 by the creation of 6000 new shares of £10 each.
- That the new shares be called Preference Shares, and that the holders thereof be entitled to be paid out of the profit of each year a preferential dividend for such year at the rate of 6 per cent on the amount for the time being paid up on such shares, with right to participate rateably with holders of Ordinary A Shares in the profit of each year set aside for dividend, when the same exceeds 6 per cent on the whole capital of the company.
- That the said new shares shall be offered at par to the now registered holders of the Ordinary A Shares at the rate of one share for each two -hares held; and in the event of any shares remaining un- applied for by members, the directors shall be entitled to allot the same to other applicants of such terms as they may think fit.
- That the said new shares shall not confer any right of voting at any general meeting of the company nor shall they qualify any person to be a director of the company.
- That, in the event of the company being wound up, the holders of the said Preference Shares shall be entitled to have the surplus assets of the company applied, in the first place in repaying to them the amount paid up on the Preference Shares held by them respectively, but that the residue of such surplus assets shall belong to and be divided among the other members of the company.
In moving the resolutions, the CHAIRMAN said - The board recommended this scheme, the resolutions now read, to the cordial support of the shareholders. The object to which the new capital is to be applied is set forth so fully in the report issued with the accounts for the last financial year that it is not needful to restate it now. The work of opening up the minerals in the estate of Walkinshaw is being proceeded with, and the directors hope to have an output from the shale minerals at the lower level in that estate in about six months hence. As soon as they can see it advisable, they will also begin to the work of sinking a pit to the shale at the higher level to the north- east of the estate, and when reached, open out a working- in this bed of shale, which is said to be the best field of shale in the district.
The shareholders may be aware that this is by far the most extensive field of shale which the company has, and is absolutely untouched as yet. It may be interesting to know that steady progress is being made in the increase of output from the pits presently in operation. During last financial year, ending 3d October, 1883, the average output of shale, coal, and ironstone (raw) was, per four weeks, 10,000 tons. The outputs for the first three periods of four weeks of the current financial year are as follow: -Four weeks ending 31st October, 13100 tons: four weeks ending 28th November, 13,560 tons; four weeks ending 26th December, 10,020 tons. No doubt the large increase during the last four weeks mentioned is in some measure due to the holidays being at hand; but apart from that there is a very large increase, which the directors hope and believe will continue.
The attention of the directors has been frequently called by some shareholders to the question of acquiring a field of shale in the east part of the country in some of the districts which are in favour among oil authorities, and they may mention that overtures have been made to them by parties interested in such fields, but as yet they have not seen it to be in the interest of the company to deal with any of then overtures. The shareholders may be sure, however, that the board will do their best to protect the property of the company, and if an opportunity of a favourable character is found to extend the company's operations in this direction, the company possesses at present refining plant at Walkinshaw works arranged in such a manner that an extension to deal with double the present quantity of crude oil can be made at a comparatively small cost. In addition to this, they possess at their present works an abundance of fuel, for which an extra consumption would thus be found; and, lastly, the position of the works in relation to the railways and shipping ports places the company in a favourable way both for receiving supplies of crude oil from a distance and sending the finished products to the market. The directors think that, in their own interests, the shareholders should take up this preference stock, and as an indication of their own opinion with regard to it they are prepared to take up a fourth of the entire issue, if that should be necessary. (Applause.) Mr JAMES HAMILTON seconded.
Mr DAVID CRAIG said there was a vague rumour in circulation that the increased production of shale simply meant increased cost. He should like to ask the chairman whether he could give the meeting a comparative statement of the cost this year and last.
The CHAIRMAN, in reply said he could not give the comparison, but he might state that the larger the production from the pits there was a corresponding decrease in the cost of production. (Applause) In one of the pits, according to the last return, the reduction was nearly equal to 10d a ton: from the highest cost of last year. (Applause.) They would therefore see that the larger the output from the pits the smaller was the cost to the company, and if things went on as they were he hoped the result from that source alone would have a very material effect in the next financial statement to the shareholders, (Applause.) The resolutions were then confirmed by the meeting, and a vote of thanks having been at: corded the chairman for presiding, the proceedings terminated.
The Glasgow Herald, 8th January 1884
1884 Annual General Meeting
The report of the WALKINSHAW OIL COMPANY (LIMITED) is as follows:- The directors submit herewith a statement of the company's accounts for year ending for 1st October 1884 for the approval of the shareholders. The balance of the profit including the sum brought forward from last year, is £5075 15s. 3d., and the directors recommend that the sum should be disposed of in the following manner: To depreciation account £3500; to account of expenses of formation of company £300, to payment of dividend on preference shares on 6th January next at a rate of 6% less income tax £299 17s 2d - £4059 17s 2d; carrying forward to the next year £975 16s 1d - £5973 15s 3d (figures indistinct).
The directors regret that it is not in their power to recommend a dividend on the ordinary shares. They were hopeful when the report was issued that they would have been able to present a better report for the year just closed. The cost of mining, although less than last year has been higher that the directors counted upon, and in addition to this the company sustained severe losses in bad debts during the year, which have been provided out of revenue. Considerable progress has been made in opening out the Walkinshaw Mineral Field, and the directors hope to base a full output there from within, the next few months . The minerals at the lower level have not as yet been found in the quantity expected, but the directors are glad to state that it has been found possible to work shale at a higher level without at present sinking a new pit, as was originally proposed. So far as developed, the mineral at this higher level has been found fully equal to what was anticipated and superior to anything yet opened out by the company in the district. It will be in the recollection of shareholders that at the extraordinary general meeting held on 7th January last reference was made to the question of acquiring a field of shale in the east part of the country. The directors have taken action in this matter, and although they are not yet in a position to report to the shareholders upon it, they are hopeful they may be able to do so by the day of the meeting at which this report shall be considered.
The directors have decided that a field of east country shale should be taken and this will require more capital. In order to provide railways, pits, & C., for 200 tons per day, and to erect retorts and plant to distil that quantity and provide tanks to carry the oil to Walkinshaw, a sum of £15,000 would probably be required. The present authorised capital would be sufficient in the meantime for a new scheme such as has been indicated, and also to meet the existing engagements of the company, if the un-issued portion of the preference shares was taken up. The directors would urge those shareholders who have not yet taken up their quota of the Preference shares (viz; on preference share for every two ordinary shares held) in their own interest to come forward and do so. It is necessary that the company's obligations to the Bank of Scotland and Messrs. Merry & Cunninghame should be provided for, and the directors are persuaded that it is desirable that a large admixture of oil, distilled from east country shale, should be used in the refinery.
The directors who retire at this time are Mr. Beckett and Mr Hamilton. Both gentlemen are eligible for re-election and are will to act again if appointed. Mr Muir, the auditor, also retires. The directors recommend that he should be appointed.
The Glasgow Herald, 4th December 1884
1885 Annual General Meeting
WALKINSHAW OIL COMPANY , (LIMITED). ANNUAL MEETING. The 6th annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company (Limited) was held yesterday in the Religious Institution Rooms, Glasgow. Mr John Wilson, chairman of the company, presided. The report, which has already been published, was held s read.
The CHAIRMAN, in moving its adoption, said:- The first thing calling for remark is the unfortunate circumstance that the balance is on the wrong side of the account to the extent of £2893 0s 6d, without anything being provided for depreciation. This balance comes out after absorbing £976 18s 1d carried forward from previous year, so that, in point of fact, the loss for the year is £3839 18st 7d. The explanation in the report with regard tot the lower average prices realised for the various n products accounts for a large sum, but to this needs to be added the reduction in values of stock of minerals, oils, &c., at 30th September, 1885, as compared with the values at lst October, 1884. This amounts to £1622 12s 4d, which, added to the sum mentioned in the report, makes the total difference between last year's values and those of this year £16,437 3s 11d.
With regard to the mineral leases at Walkinshaw, to which reference is made in the report, the directors are satisfied they have adopted the right course in giving them up. The shale in the north-east part of the mineral basin, from which nearly the whole of this year's supply has been taken, and which is indeed the only available source of supply now at Walkinshaw, has not yielded so much oil per ton, particularly the portion of it coming from the area in the Walkinshaw estate, to which reference was made at the meeting of last year. The average yield over all the year is fully six gallons per ton less than in the previous year. The directors had careful experiments made to satisfy themselves that it was in the shale where the fault lay and not in the retorts. If the quantity of oil represented by this reduced yield is valued at 3d per gallon it amounts to £1869 1s 10d. But, even if the shale had yielded equal to previous year it would be unprofitable to work it with markets as they now are. For some time yet the directors have no alternative but to continue the partial working of the shale at Walkinshaw, because there is a large fixed rent to cover for Walkinshaw estate up till Whitsunday next and the company has only the means at present of carrying a limited quantity of crude oil from a distance, and the directors do not consider it advisable to curtail the quantity in the refinery any further than they have done already.
At last annual meeting it was reported that the directors wore engaged in making the necessary trials of Whitehill shale. While occupied with these, approaches were made to them regarding the shale in an adjoining property on the south. The terms of the lease, however, were found so objectionable that they could not be entertained, Later on a proposal as made to them by another company in the same neighbourhood, and much correspondence- extending from March to August- took place without any result. In the meantime, markets becoming more and more depressed, the directors resolved to delay committing the company to any engagement in an east country field for the present, but should favourable circumstances arise to attain this end they will not fail to bring the matter before the shareholders. The directors are endeavouring to procure supplies from outside makers, where it is possible to do so, at a price that will enable the refining to be carried on with a slight margin of profit. In conclusion, I have to say that the directors have given a great deal of anxious thought and a great deal of time to the business of the company, and have been assisted by the various officers of the company with equal anxiety and care; and the shareholders may rest assured that everything possible is being done to economise and make the most of the resources presently at the disposal of the directors. I beg formally to move the meeting receive and approve the report and balance-sheet for the year to 30th September, 1885,"
Mr JAMES HAMILTON, in seconding, said that had they got the same prices during the year as they did during the previous year they would have had £16,437 to the good, as against a loss of £2,893. That would certainly have paid a handsome dividend. It was a very natural question to ask what was the cause of this backward turn of affairs. At last balance they had to complain of the low prices they were getting for their products, as compared with former years. They had to complain of the same thing during the past year, but to a far greater extent. They would notice from the re- port that the directors made application for a reduction in the terms on which they held their mineral leases. The parties concerned declined to make any reduction. They were getting the same as they did when the product were just double the price they were just now. Of course those parties would naturally say that a bargain was a bargain. So it was; but the parties might find they were killing the goose that laid the golden eggs if they did not give some relief.
A SHAREHOLDER asked the chairman how far the company had succeeded in their experiments with oil as a fuel.
The CHAIRMAN replied that, as they would see in ; the Herald of that day, the company had been supplying one of Messrs Laird's steamers, the Fern, with oil to be used for fuel. It was low-classed oil, but it answered very well for the purpose to which it was being applied, in so far as the experiment had gone, The company themselves had also adopted oil in raising steam in their own locomotives, which were driven with nothing but the residual products from lubricating oil. They thought oil would be a saving to the steamboats all round if it could be had in anything like the quantities to supply their wants. As for any profit in to the company there was none. They had a very large stock of that low-classed oil lying past, and they were very glad to get it away at a very reasonable rate. They would certainly endeavour to get as much for it as they possibly could, but at the same time they were very anxious to see it moved off. In reply to another question, as to whether they were able to buy crude oil and refine it at a profit, the Chairman said they were not buying any crude oil now unless they could refine it at if a profit. The report was then adopted.
The CHAIRMAN moved that Messrs MacLellan and Ness be reappointed directors of the company. Mr WADDELL seconded, and this was agreed to. The CHAIRMAN moved that Mr John Craig be appointed in room of Mr Scott, resigned, This was seconded by Mr M'GAVIN, and also agreed to Mr Muir having been re-elected auditor of the company. The meeting terminated.
The Glasgow Herald, 17th December 1885
1886 Annual General Meeting
WALKINSHAW OIL COMPANY. The annual general meeting of the Walkinshaw Oil Company was held yesterday afternoon in the Religious Institution Rooms, Glasgow – Mr John Wilson, Hillhead, presiding. The report, already published, was taken as read
The CHAIRMAN, in moving its adoption, said that the report dealt only with the difficulty which had arisen between Merry & Cunninghame and the company with reference to the plant on the mineral subjects held on sub-lease from them. At this stage it was not advisable that the subject of controversy should be discussed in a public meeting, and any additional information which might be desired and could be given would be obtained by calling at the offices of the company.
It would be observed that a very large sum was now at the debit of the profit and loss, chiefly through closing the plant accounts connected with the mineral subjects referred to. It might be advisable late on to readjust the capital account of the company so as to dispose of this loss, but meantime the board did not submit any proposal of this kind until the adjustment of accounts with Messrs Merry & Cunninghame were completed. The manufacturing works were still in operation to a very limited extent, it being impossible to obtain crude without paying prices that involved a loss in refining. The board would endeavour to bring about a different state of matters at the earliest moment in their power, It might be stated that the staff had been had been reduced to the further possible point and the salaries and wages as well, and no expense was being incurred that could possibly be avoided. The feeling in relation to the prices to be obtained for oil products was more hopeful, and in regard to the lubricating and intermediate oils an advance on the lowest price had been established. The board hoped an improvement might take place soon in the other products and that the company might be able to secure supplies of raw material in one form or another by which the manufactory might be carried on to profit. Mr MACLELLAN seconded, and the report was adopted.
On the motion of Mr JAMES HAMILTON, seconded by Mr GEORGE YOUNG, Mr. Wilson and Mr James Beckett were reappointed directors. Mr James Muir C.A. was reappointed auditor.
The Glasgow Herald, 23rd December 1886
1887 Annual General Meeting
WALKINSHAW OIL COMPANY. The annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company (Limited) was held yesterday in the Religious Institution Rooms – Mr. Wilson of Hillhead House in the chair
The CHAIRMAN, in moving the adoption of the report, said it was a matter of much regret to the directors that Messrs Merry & Cunninghame still continued in the policy towards the concern which they began over a year and a half ago. The hearing of the case before the First Division might probably take place in January. The refinery is quite at a standstill. If crude oil could be obtained at a price that would enable refining to be done at any margin of profit, the works were adapted for being used as economically as any in the trade. But crude oil could not now be head at a price that would be remunerative, and the existing circumstances of the company were such that a new crude scheme could not be entered upon even if such a thing were considered desirable. The prices of oil products had improved considerably within the past few weeks and if the shareholders put the directors in funds to enter upon a new crude oil work, they would immediately look about with a view to getting such a thing. But in the meantime, so far as the directors saw, there was nothing to be done but wait the result of proceeding with Messrs Merry & Cunninghame. So far as they had gone in there the company had been successful, and they hoped – the facts were so plain and intelligible to everyone – that the Inner House would sustain the decision of the Lord Ordinary.
Mr. FRAME seconded the motion for the adoption of the report. In reply to shareholders, the CHAIRMAN stated that they were just keeping their works in trim, so that if prices were to increase they could start work without difficulty. There was practically no expense in doing that. The shareholders might depend that the directors would leave nothing undone that would in any way turn the works to profit.
A SHAREHOLDER – Are the directors still of the opinion that it is advisable to wing up the company?
The CHAIRMAN- Not unless they were getting a purchaser for the works
A SHAREHOLDER – The best thing we could do would be to put the hammer to the works and have done with them. It would have been better had the company been wound up two or three years ago
The CHAIRMAN said it would not be better to wind up the company until they were clear of the action with Messrs Merry & Cunninghame. In the event of anything of that kind being done the directors would call the shareholders together and consult them.
Mr LIDDELL contended that it would be unwise to wind up the company at present. The proper course of action would be to wait a month of two. The litigation in which they were involved would have ended by that time, and they would have seen whether or not there was anything in the present move in the oil market.
The CHAIRMAN remarked that to go and break up the works just now would not put a penny in their pockets. The report was adopted, and Messrs Hamilton and M'Lellan were reappointed directors.
The Glasgow Herald 22nd December 1887
1888 Annual General Meeting
THE WALKINSHAW OIL COMPANY. - The eighth annual general meeting of the members of the Walkinshaw Oil Company ( Limited) was held yesterday in the Religions Institution Rooms; 177 Buchanan Street , Glasgow—Mr John Wilson, Hillhead, presiding .
In moving the adoption of the annual report, which has already been published, the CHAIRMAN mentioned that the directors were keeping up the works intact, and Mr Neilson, the manager, had undertaken the supervision of everything that was going on until matters were arranged with the lessees of the minerals from whom they had a sub-lease, and they hoped this would shortly be carried through. In their present circumstances it would be undesirable, that he should say anything regarding the unsettled matters between Messrs Merry & Cunninghame and the Company. Mr M'GAVIN seconded, and the report was adopted. Mr Wilson and Mr Beckett, the retiring directors, and Mr Muir, the auditor, were re-elected.
The Scotsman, 20th December 1888
1889 Annual General Meeting
WALKINGSHAW OIL COMPANY, LILITED. The annual meeting of the shareholders of the Walkinshaw Oil Company, Limited, was held in the Religious Institution Rooms, 177 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, yesterday- Mr John Wilson, M.P., in the chair. The report, which had already been published, having been held as read,
The CHAIRMAN moved its adoption. He said the company had been doing a little more in the way of brickmaking, in order to endeavour to meet current expenses and to keep the place as a sort of going concern. They were also maintaining surveillance over the works. The litigation which had been going on with Messrs. Merry & Cunninghame for the last two years in the Court of Session had now been happily and satisfactorily settled, the contention of the company having been in a great measure correct. The result of the settlement was that they received £7295 in full of all claims, and gave up all the plant connected with the mineral subjects. The company had made a slight alteration on their line in order to run the trucks right into the brickfield, and the Caledonian company had agreed to perform that work. The restoration of East Fulton had now been completed, and the whole affair taken off the company's hands. Of course it could hardly be expected that there would be any profit arising from the operations of the company, the only thing they had to depend on being the farms. On these they had obtained a slight reduction of rent, and they were now able to clear themselves. Mr BECKETT seconded the motion.
In answer to a shareholder, The CHAIRMAN explained that they were getting profit of 2s or 3s per thousand on the bricks, and that the output was about 12,000 per day. It was possible that a better price might yet be obtained. The report was then adopted. Messrs James Hamilton and Thomas M'L. Liddell were elected directors, and Mr Muir was re-elected auditor. This was all the public business.
The Glasgow Herald 12th December 1889
1890 Extraordinary General Meeting
At a meeting of the shareholders of Walkinshaw Oil Company, Limited, held yesterday in the Religious Institution Rooms, Glasgow - Mr James Hamilton presiding in the absence of Mr John Wilson, M.P., chairman of the company. The resolution passed at the meeting held on the 11th inst., agreeing to amalgamate the company with the Hermand Company, and that a liquidator be appointed and authorised to consent to the registration of a new company to be named "The Hermand Oil Company, Limited," were unanimously adopted.
The Aberdeen Journal 28th February 1890