Shanks of Barrhead was a name known throughout the world. Much of what we take for granted in the bathroom was pioneered by John Shanks. However Shanks influence was wider and encompassed such things as ship's fittings, mortuary equipment, specialized hospital equipment, laboratory fittings. There is scarcely an individual who would not recognize the name Shanks and there are probably several million people use one of the products each and every day.
The announcement that the factory in Barrhead was to close and that the business would be transferred to England came as a severe blow to the people of Barrhead. Although the works were a shadow of their former self and employed over 300 people it was a major employer in the Barrhead area..... etc
Just closing down and found the Barrhead page still open. WTF?
Seems the answers were there all along...
The company suffered great losses due to a rapid increase in the manufacture of Sanitary Ware in plastics and fibreglass by others. .. and eventually in the late sixties negotiations with Armitage Ware L.T.D. resulted in a takeover. Shanks ceased to exist in august 1969 and a new company Armitage Shanks L.T.D. came into being.
In 1980 another takeover resulted in the company becoming part of the Blue Circle Industries Group.
In 1989 Barrhead and the surrounding community were shocked by the announcement that the Tubal Works were to close.
Early in 1992 the final bombshell was dropped with the announcement that the Ceramic Works would close. The successor to the pottery finally closed shortly afterwards.
Armitage Shanks continues in England and throughout the whole of the world but the near legendary association of Barrhead and Shanks is now Finished.
The site has now been taken south. Apparently much of the archive material belonging to the company was destroyed whether by accident or design we will never know.
(Author: Bill McConnichie, ex-employee of Shanks, Barrhead)