John Ure & Son
John Ure & Son, Crown Flour Mills, 68, Washington Street.—
Of recent years Glasgow has come to the front with characteristic rapidity and prominence in the flour-milling industry, and one of the most notable of the city’s establishments now engaged in this important productive branch is that controlled by Messrs. John Ure & Son under the name of the Crown Flour Mills. The business dates its history from 1817, when it was founded by Mr. John Ure. In 1847 Mr. Ure admitted his son, the present head of the firm, as a partner.
The flour-mills of this firm were erected in 1860, and are very extensive, being six floors in height, and covering alone an area of 1,200 square yards. Power is supplied from two large boilers to a compound engine of about 300 horse-power in the mill, and to a suitable engine in the grain stores. The weekly production of flour ranges between 2,000 and 3,000 sacks. The old burr millstones have been entirely superseded in the Crown Hour Mills by the newer and more effective roller system, and the mills possess at the present time thirty-four sets of rollers in operation, including fourteen sets corrugated, fourteen sets plain, and six sets porcelain. The porcelain rollers are quite smooth and are made in Switzerland, but the chilled iron rollers have been brought to such perfection that the porcelain apparatus is not now in such repute as formerly.
The firm’s finest flour and baking flour are in extensive demand, while their bran and other offals are largely used in and around Glasgow for cattle feeding, and for the —purpose the firm also send large quantities to England and Ireland. In the mills in Washington Street the force of employees numbers forty-five men, which is supplemented by a large clerical staff.
Messrs. John Ure & Son confine their milling operations entirely to the grinding of wheat, and engage also in an extensive import trade in Hungarian flour in which they are large merchants. By the adoption of the new roller process in their own operations, together with all the latest improvements incidental to that system, Messrs. Ure have been enabled more than hold their own against American competition ; and their success should stand as an encouragement to other British millers to display a similar spirit of progress and enterprise, and accomplish thereby a similarly satisfactory result. The facilities now possessed by the Crown Hour Mills for the effectual and expeditious conduct of both the industrial and commercial portions of the business engaged in are of the most complete character.
The offices have telephonic communication, through the Central Telephone Station, with all parts of the country ; and during the brief space of a visit to the mills for the purposes of this sketch a communication from Belfast for 100 sacks of flour was received and the order nearly got ready for shipment, another negotiation took place with Dublin, and an arrangement was concluded for the sale of 1,000 bags of cheaper grades of flour. These simple facts serve at once to indicate the continuously brisk and extensive character of the firm’s important trade, and also to illustrate the facility with which transactions are entered into and completed with customers in distant parts of the United Kingdom.
Notwithstanding the great capacity of the mills in Washington Street, Messrs. Ure have purchased ground at Bunhouse, upon the banks of the River Kelvin, and within a short distance of the exhibition buildings. Upon this site they are erecting another mill and stores, which will be much larger than the extensive establishment herein noticed. The trade of the house is one of constant growth and development, and its connections take effect in all quarters of the three kingdoms.
Mr. John Ure, the head of the firm, entered the Town Council of Glasgow in 1856, and has always taken a deep and beneficial interest in the affairs of the municipality. He was elected Lord Provost in 1881, and filled his three years of office in that distinguished post with credit to himself and to the dignity of the city. He still retains a considerable share of active interest in public matters, being deputy chairman of the Clyde Navigation Trust, and a member of several other trusts connected with the city, and he is also one of the Directors of the Clydesdale Bank.
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