James Kilpatrick & Son Ltd.

It’s hard to know what to call this site, as it’s had so many names. The company of James Kilpatrick & Son was formed by master plumber James Stevenson Kilpatrick of Paisley, and it was when his son John got involved that the company became involved with electrical installation. They started off with installations in private houses (only the poshest houses had electric power at the time), and moved into armature winding and other heavier electrical work.

In 1937, the company was sold to Duncan Watson (Electrical Engineers) Ltd of London. The company became involved with power station work, especially the large hydroelectric projects in the Highlands. In 1949, the company was sold again to Power Securities Ltd., the owners of the Balfour Beattie construction company, and the company became the Balfour Kilpatrick division, specialising in large electrical installations.

The company established Lounsdale Electric Ltd. in 1956 to make switchboards, and there was another merger with British Insulated Callender’s Cables – BICC owned a site in Renfrew, so the various divisions moved there in 1979, to this pretty 1930s office building.

The company moved to a new site in Hillington a few years ago, leaving behind a selection of buildings. They’re pretty trashed and mostly boring office stuff, but there are some interesting details.

The Lounsdale section had some interesting plans left behind:

And in one outbuilding, loads of old company records, brochures and pictures:

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