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Thomas Hudson & Co Ltd

The firm of Thomas Hudson, boilermakers, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, was founded in 1870 by Thomas Hudson, who seems to have come from the north of England. From its inception it manufactured both boilers and structural ironwork.


In the 1890s, presumably due to the growing use of steel plates, the works was enlarged and re-equipped with heavier machinery, much of which was still in use in the 1970s. The firm was an early user of both compressed air and electricity, having their own power station. By the 1890s the firm had established itself as makers of colliery plant, including scrapers, conveyor buckets and coal washing machinery. They also had a considerable trade with the local malleable and pig iron works, and the associated chemical plants. They exported boilers and other products overseas.


The firm continued to make a mixture of products until the 1950s. Around 1900 they invested in a perforating machine and a large flanging press. These were to be the secret of the firm's survival into the 1970s, the output latterly consisting almost entirely of flanged plates for the trade and perforated sheets for colliery screens. Thomas Hudson and Co Ltd was taken over by an Irish firm in 1980, Graepel Perforators Ltd, who kept the original name alive. On demolition of the works in 1989, the company moved to Airdrie, continuing to operate as agents for Graepel

Poster from John White Collection

Thomas Hudson, Sheepford Boiler Works - old boiler
This shot showcases an old egg-ended boiler re-used as a tank.
The egg-ended was a low pressure, externally fired design. Essentially a design from the first half of the nineteenth century, some remained in use until the middle of the twentieth century. The brick building to its left housed a Marshall steam engine.
Copyright Chris Allen and licensed under this Creative Commons Licence .

picture supplied by Rab Smith - Canada

Burgess Ticket for Thomas Hudson dated 14 August 1905

Usually a burgess ticket was necessary before one could trade in the burgh, it entitled one to buy seats in the church and only burgesses had any chance of being elected to the council.
Burgesses were originally any inhabitant of a burgh who held land there. It was later restricted to merchants and craftsmen.
Burgess tickets were also granted to outsiders who had performed some service for the burgh.


THE estates of Thomas Hudson, of Sheepford Boiler Works. Coatdyke, were sequestrated on 14th July, 1881, by the Sheriff of Lanarkshire at Airdrie.

The first deliverance is dated the 14th of July, 1881. The meeting to elect the Trustee and Commissioners is to be held at eleven o'clock, forenoon, on Tuesday, the 26th day of July, 1881, within the Royal Hotel, Airdrie. A composition may be offered at this meeting; and to entitle creditors to the first dividend, their oaths and grounds of debt must be lodged on or before 14th November, 1881. All future advertisements relating to this sequestration will be published in the Edinburgh Gazette alone.

G. B. MOTHERWELL, Airdrie, Agent.

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