1940 to 1989
World War II
outbreak of war in 1939 brought about a lack of raw materials.
Production ceased for the first six months of 1940. Almost no whisky
was produced during the war, and it was not until the late 1940s that full
production was reached again.
company's first motor lorry was acquired in 1947, having previously relied
on a cart and white-faced chestnut horse. By 1967, the company had a
fleet of six Commer lorries.
equipment was upgraded in 1948, the old pneumatic drums being replaced by 'Saladin'
boxes - large reinforced concrete receptacles positioned under the 'steeps' for
soaking the grain.
maltings came into use at Slateford Road after the company had acquired
the former premises of Scottish Brewers in the early-1960s.
1960s, the company was producing most of its own yeast, and it was using
most of its spent material to produce products such as 'Dark Grains'
Up to 1953, the company had just one warehouse. It was at
Westfield, across the railway from the Wheatfield Road distillery.
Two more were built within the next couple of years.
By 1961, the company had acquired more land - the former Corporation
tramcar depot at Westfield and former premises of Scottish Brewers at
Slateford Road beside Gorgie Station By 1964 had built four more
warehouses, giving it capacity to store a total of 21,000,000 gallons of
By 1975, it had 5 warehouses at Wheatfield Road, 6 at Westfield,
4 at Slateford Road and 9 on their 70-acre site at Muirhall, beyond West
Calder, in West Lothian. Part of the Muirhall site had been bought
from the then defunct mineral-oil firm founded by James Young - 'Paraffin'
In 1970, the company was still charging its wholesale customers only 6s
6d (32.5p) per gallon for its whisky. and demand for the product was
The distillery was enlarged between 1976 and 1979. New mash tuns,
malt mills and washbacks were installed and laboratory facilities were
In 1930, the workforce was about 100. Most lived within walking
distance of their work and many were members of the company's bowling
club. The company built its own bowling green close to the General
Manager's house near the main gate to the distillery.
By the 1960s, the workforce had increased to almost 400.