The mill at Guardbridge, near Leuchars, has been producing paper since 1873, when William Haig (of the Haig whisky) converted a distillery site to paper manufacture. The mill was originally a general paper producer, but lattery it specialised in security papers used for financial and official documents.
The worsening economic situation has hit all the Scottish paper manuafacturers hard – see my previous reports from the Inverkeithing and Carrongrove mills – and Curtis fared no better, going into administration in July 2008. The site is currently in the hands of KPMG, who are slowly selling off the equipment, but almost everything remains for the moment. It’s a great chance to see a mix of modern and antique mill equipment.
First up, the boiler house:
This was a revisit, to see what we could find of the offices, labs, etc. We found the big-ass computer, which was cool…
Caldwells Paper Mill was built in 1914 in Inverkeithing, just North of the Forth – initially it had four machines, but a fifth was added in 1928. From 1928 until 2002, Caldwells Mill was owned by the Inveresk Paper Company, who at their peak owned 8 other paper mills, but by the 1990s were struggling. Caldwells was taken over by Swedish company Klippan who had a rescue plan, but a slump in the price of paper put paid to that, and the mill closed in 2003 with the loss of 150 jobs – the equipment was returned to Inveresk.