THE MANUFACTURE OF SHALE OIL AT ANNICK LODGE
We understand that there are at present fifty retorts in operation at Annicklodge Colliery in the manufacture of shale oil. The coal workings were abandoned some time ago by the Messrs Merry & Cunninghame, and the new industry is being carried on by Messrs John Baird & Co.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13th October 1877
There comes to us the tidings of another novelty discovered by Mr Linton, of Kilmaurs, the gentleman who made a sensation last winter among the geologists by his remarkable Nautilus. The Rev. David Landsborough describes it as a slab of shale from Annick Lodge, nearly three feet long, on which lies a fossil skeleton, 31 inches in length, and of a form so strange that the wise women in Kilmaurs declare it must be a monkey. We wait with some interest for the verdict which the wise men among our Western geologists will deliver on this strange monster.
Dundee Courier, 21st June 1881
At Annicklodge Oil Works (Messrs James Baird & Co.'s) a new stalk vent, 80 feet high, was blown down, and other damage wrought.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14th December 1883
...the directors appointed a committee of their number to fully investigate the whole subject, and it having been ascertained that the Beilby retorts were giving entire satisfaction at the works of the Annick Lodge Oil Company, the committee put themselves in communication with Mr Baird, to whom they are under great obligations for his courtesy and ready assistance. By arrangement, a quantity of Mid-Lothian shale (about 160 tons) was put through 32 retorts at Annick Lodge (being a week's work) and gave such satisfactory results.
Glasgow Herald, 16th December 1884
ANNICK LODGE OIL COMPANY LIMITED
This company has been formed for the purpose of acquiring the existing Oil Works, Pits, Workmen's Houses, and other buildings belonging to the Annick Lodge Oil Company, with the Goodwill of the Business, Mineral Leases, Stocks of Shale, &c., in hand, and of carrying out the Manufacture of Crude Oil and Sulphate of Ammonia. The yield per Ton of Shale in daily working for the last eighteen months has been 37 Gallons Crude Oil, 21 lb. Sulphate of Ammonia; a result with compares with the richest Shales in Scotland. The cost of working the Shale is under 4s., per ton.
Scotsman, 22nd January 1885
Success has attended the exertions of the promoters the new Oil Company in the landward part of the parish. The required capital has been subscribed, and the works of Messrs James Baird, & Co., have been bought in at valuation. It is the intention of the company to make considerable extension on the works, the output of oil purposed being two or three times and great it at present. In the same neighbourhood, Messrs Merry and Cuninghame have commenced boring operations with a view to working the ironstone. These works will each employ great many men, and will do something towards reviving trade in the district. There has not been much doing about Annicklodge for the last two or three years and the prospects now presented are hailed with satisfaction.
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13th February 1885
AT ANNICK LODGE OIL WORKS
ON TUESDAY, 7TH OCTOBER., AT 12.30 O'CLOCK. - SALE, BY AUCTION, OF THE HERITABLE AND MOVABLE MACHINERY AND PLANT: MATERIALS of BRANCH RAILWAY and SIDING, WORKMEN'S HOUSES, SCHOOL-HOUSE, WORK SHOPS, STORE, OFFICE, &c. JAMES LAIRD has received instructions to Sell as above, including –
- Horizontal and other Steam Engines, from 5in to 14in. Cylinders, with and without Pumping and Winding Gear
- Steam Boilers, Steam Pumps and Piping, Retorts, Condensers. Air and Gas Fans, Ammonia Tower,
- Waggon and other Weighing Machines,
- Engine Tender Tank, Lead-Lined Vitriol and other Cisterns, Railway, Waggon, Boiler, Cast-Iron and other Tanks;
- Materials of Branch Railway and Sidings, Workmen's Houses, Workshops, Store, School, Office, &c.
Particulars in Catalogues – forwarded Free. 19 Gordon Street, Glasgow, 1st October, 1890 Train from St Enoch's at 10.45 to Cunninghamhead Station, thence by Special Conveyance to Annick Lodge Siding.
Glasgow Herald, 3rd October 1890
The Parrot Shale, or Shale Coal was in former years the most important seam in northern Ayrshire from the point of view of the distillation of oil. It was wrought, and oil-works were erected for its treatment, between Stevenson and Kilwinning, at Fergushill (near Montgreenan), and in the neighbourhood of Doura and Annick Lodge. The Annick Lodge oil-works, the last in operation, was closed down about 15 years ago. Ammonium Sulphate was obtained as well as oil, but the latter was only from 14 to 20 galls. per ton, and had to be taken to a Lothian refinery. Even under these adverse conditions the enterprise was financially a success.
Memoirs of the Geological Survey in Scotland Vol XXIV Cannel Coals, Lignite and Mineral Oil in Scotland by W. Gibson 1922