David Hamilton

David Hamilton, Annfield Bottling Stores, 35—41, Annfield Street.—

    The very extensive and important business carried on in Glasgow to-day under the above title was inaugurated upon a modest scale by Mr. James Dickson, in Struthers Street, in 1835. Subsequently, owing to the enterprise having prospered perhaps even to a larger extent than was anticipated, a move was made to Graham Square, and here, in 1868, Mr. Dickson was succeeded by Mr. David Hamilton. The new proprietor devoted all his energies and abilities to the further development of the business, and in 1873 he acquired the fine site of his present establishment. Here Mr. Hamilton erected the extensive modern buildings now occupied, and had them designed specially for the business, and planned in anticipation of a steadily growing trade. Mr. Hamilton died very suddenly in 1887, and the business was then taken over by Mr. John Mair, a life-long friend of the deceased principal, and Mr. Andrew Dougall, who had been manager for Mr. Hamilton for the long period of eighteen years.

    These two gentlemen now control the affairs of the concern in partnership, retaining the former title of David Hamilton. Mr. Mair was brought up to the licensed trade so to speak, having been connected with it for the past thirty-six years, during twenty-two of which he acted with great success as manager in Glasgow for the famous Bass Crest Brewery, Alloa, from whom he has just received a gold watch and chain as a mark of his faithful services. Mr. Mair is moreover an enthusiastic Yeoman, having joined the Queen’s Own Glasgow Yeomanry as far back as 1862 ; and since that date he has never missed a season’s drill. He is now Quartermaster of the C Troop, a post of honour which he has creditably filled for several years. Mr. Andrew Dougall has had very extended practical experience in the manufacture of aerated waters, and may be said to take the practical, as Mr. Mair takes the commercial, management of the business.

    The firm are very large makers of aerated waters, their undertakings in this respect being among the largest in Scotland, while their goods are famous throughout the land. They are the manufacturers of the celebrated “Auld Scotch” ginger beer and ginger hop, both of which are widely and deservedly renowned.

    The premises in Annfield Street are very extensive and admirably adapted to the uses of the business. On the ground flat there is a spacious laboratory used by Mr. Dougall and an assistant chemist for the preparation of the various syrups required in the aerated water industry. Next to this is the sugar store, containing a large stock of the finest quality of specially prepared sugar. Farther on is the aerated water factory, equipped with all the latest machinery, and giving employment to a large number of men. This place is a model of cleanliness, good order, and perfect condition ; and adjacent to it are the stores. These stores are particularly capacious, it being a point with this firm to be always able, by holding large stocks, to cope with great and exceptional demands for goods, such as arise at cattle shows, exhibitions, &c., where they are invariably purveyors. Next after the water stores is the large cellar for bottling English beer and stout, supplied extensively throughout Glasgow and surrounding district. They bottle over fifteen hundred hogsheads of English beer and about six hundred hogsheads London and Dublin stout per annum. There are several cellars for storing and maturing the beer and stout, containing on an average from ten to twelve thousand dozen in bottle and bin. The bottling staff is very numerous and efficient, and all the washing and other machinery used is of the best description. The cork and bottle stores are each very large, and the firm hold a stock of over a thousand gross of bottles. A large trade is done in whisky, wines, &c.

    The fine stables are of the most roomy and commodious character, containing twenty-two fine horses, all of the well-known Clydesdale breed. Attached to the stables are the granary and hay stores, with steam machinery for bruising oats and cutting hay. Of the latter article the firm use one ton per week in the stables. The whole establishment, which is built in the form of a hollow square, is of the most complete character in all its arrangements, and presents a thoroughly representative picture of one of the greatest of west Scottish bottling and aerated water industries.

    A trade of great and increasing magnitude is controlled, and the present capable proprietors are creditably resolved that no effort of theirs shall be spared to fully sustain the old-time prestige and high repute of the house. The trade carried on is valuably connected, and lies mostly in and around Glasgow, where fourteen vans daily go out on a circuit of about fifteen miles, while the others supply orders from the city, the west country and the Highlands. A considerable export in bottled ales has been developed, and is rapidly gaining ground in all the colonies, where excellent and improving commercial relations have been opened up and maintained. It is also worthy of note that this firm has been entrusted with the supply of Bass’ beer in bottle at the Glasgow Exhibition, and in conjunction with another firm for the supply of the aerated waters, amongst which is the famous ginger hop, which is registered by them, thus securing to them the sole right of manufacturing this beverage.

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