Historic mining firm calls time

MORE than 100 years of mining engineering in the Motherwell area came to an end on Hogmanay as Bucyrus GB Ltd closed its Eurocentral office with the loss of 30 jobs.

Recently bought over by Caterpillar, American mining equipment manufacturer Bucyrus was the latest in a long line of companies to own the firm which was originally formed in Motherwell in 1899 as a partnership between Alexander Anderson, Thomas Boyes and Daniel Burns Anderson.

Incorporated as a limited company in 1904 under the name of Anderson Boyes and Co Ltd, it became the foremost supplier of coal-cutters to the United Kingdom and Europe with manufacturing peaking in the 1970s when the company employed 2,500 people in Motherwell and shearers were being sold all over the world.

The demise of the coal industry in Britain the 1980s had a corresponding effect for Andersons which started its slow decline.

After being in South African and Amnerican hands it was then sold on to a German company and became part of DBT GB Ltd with only the design team of about 30 staying at Motherwell.

New premises were found at Eurocentral, but there was another change of name in 2006 when another American company, Bucyrus, purchased DBT.

This hastened the decision to transfer the remaining design work to Germany and in 2009 the staff were told the office was to close at the end of 2010.

John Aitken, the firm's longest-serving employee, having started at Andersons 45 years ago, said: "The doors are now closed on the original Anderson name - the company that over the 100 years plus gave employment to more than 100,000 local people around Motherwell and Hamilton alone.

"The days of large scale engineering in Scotland are, sadly, gone, never to return, but most people who worked in Andersons would be proud to say they were employed there and I am glad to say I was one of them."

Full story in January 6 edition of Motherwell Times