Tag Archives: Fountainbridge

Part 1: Rise and fall of North British Rubber Company

I was intrigued to discover that the North British Rubber Company is the subject of a very interesting exhibition currently being held by the Edinburgh Printmakers, Remembering the North British Rubber Company. I certainly do remember the old manufacturing company and the Castle Mill Works in Fountainbridge very well indeed because I worked there as an engineer from 1957 till 1960. In our house as I was growing up ‘The Mill’ was often a frequent topic of conversation as my mother, Elizabeth Robb, had worked in the hot water bottle department there from leaving school in 1912 till she married my father in 1926. Every Wednesday an old friend and colleague of my mother from ‘The Mill’, Isa McNeil, came and had tea with us, and the gift she brought was always a packet of Toblerone chocolate. My mother’s Uncle, Willie Gilbert (my Great Uncle), also worked there so when I joined the company I became the third generation to work there.


Women at the North British Rubber Company working on the hot water bottles, 1900 (Image reproduction: Evening News via STV/NBR Wrinklies)

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