The Starlaw and the Uphall Works, owned by Messrs. Meldrum & Co., are worked as one concern. At Starlaw, the crude oil is extracted, and thence sent to Uphall to be refined. The firm employ between 200 and 300 hands.
STATE OF TRADE
The beginning of the winter augurs badly for the working classes here, the whole workers at Starlaw Shale and Oil Works having been paid off, except five men who are engaged putting in stoops into the workings, to keep it safe. The oil works are totally at a stand-still.
Falkirk Herald, 27th January 1873
Evidence of the Uphall Mineral Oil Company, Paraffin Oil Manufacturers, Boghall Works, Linlithgowshire. Our works are situated on a small burn, a tributary of the Almond. Employ 220 hands. Rateable value of the works, £277. The bed of the stream has not silted up. Our works are not affected by floods. The condition of the stream has not changed within out knowledge. It is not polluted by works above or by mines. Obtain supply of water from our own pits, and consume about 4,000,000 gallons yearly. Use yearly 27,500 tons of bituminous shale, 120 tons of sulphuric acid, and produce 960,000 gallons of crude paraffin, and 150 tons of sulphate of ammonia. Do not produce any liquid refuse. Consume yearly about 27,000 tons of solid refuse which is stored in heaps our premises. Use steam, 120 nominal horse-power. Consume yearly 13,000 tons of coal, the ashes from which are used to repair roads. The excrements of our workpeople are used for manure. We have no suggestions to offer as to the best means of avoiding pollution in future, or as to the conservancy of rivers and streams.
Report on the pollution of Scotch rivers to the Rivers Pollution Commissioners, as reported in The Falkirk Herald, 28th August 1873