Opening of Kirkcudbright Creamery. (Extract.)

This early photograph of the creamery shortly after it opened is from the Hornel Library, Broughton House, and was probably taken by Robert McConchie..

The handsome up-to-date creamery erected by the Stewartry Dairy Association Ltd., on a piece of land at the west end of Kirkcudbright Bridge was formally opened by Lady Hope-Dunbar of St. Mary’s Isle on Friday afternoon. The function, which was of considerable interest to the town of Kirkcudbright and district, was attended by a large company of agriculturalists, and their lady friends from a very wide district. The ceremony took place at the main entrance to the building, which is close to the Kirkcudbright-Gatehouse road, within a short distance of the Dee, and within about 5 minutes walk of the railway station. The site, on Kirkchrist farm, was granted by Sir Charles Hope-Dunbar of St Mary’s Isle. It is an admirable one in every respect, and will be well served both by road and rail, as well as by river if need be. The creamery is under the management of Mr James K Murdoch, late assistant manager, United Creameries, Dunragit. Captain F.J. Turner, Castramont, factor on the Cally estate, and one of the prime movers in a project which is calculated to do much good, not only to shareholders, but also to the district, presided, and was accompanied on the platform by Lady Hope-Dunbar, Major We3llwood Maxwell of Kirkennan, and Mr J.E. Milligan, solicitor, Dalbeattie, chairman and secretary of the Dalbeattie Creamery Company, and Messrs H.G. Baird, Kirkchrist; Robert Austin, Ingleston, Twynholm; Robert Armstrong, Littleton, Gatehouse; James Picken, Milton; D.Y. Veitch, Portville, Gatehouse – members of committee; with Mr A Laurie, Union Bank, Gatehouse, secretary to the association, and Mr Alexander Mair, Portland estate office, Kilmarnock, the architect.

The Opening Ceremony.
The chairman, in opening the proceedings, said they were met for the ceremony of the opening of their new creamery. … As long ago as December 1919, a meeting was convened in Gatehouse for the purpose of considering the question whether a co-operative creamery should be erected so that the farmers in general might reap the full benefits of their labour and do without the middleman. The meeting in December 1919 was well attended, and the matter was enthusiastically taken up. At first it was their intention to erect the creamery at Tarff on a site which Mr Montgomery Neilson of Queenshill very kindly offered to give them for nothing. For various reasons, which he did not require to go into that day, the site was found unsuitable, and the committee of management approached Sir Charles Hope-Dunbar and found in him every bit as good a friend as Mr Neilson would have been. Sir Charles gave them the site, extending to 2½ acres, at a most reasonable rate, and they now saw the result of the committee’s labours. The work on the creamery was started last February, and consequently he thought – though they had been severely censured as a committee for their delay in starting – that once started they got a move on. … It might be of interest to them to know that the creamery alone had cost up to date £9,600. It was a lot of money, but at the same time they hoped that within a year or two it would be money more than well spent. They had a membership of 120, with, they hoped, one or two more to come. Within a month or two piggeries would be erected. Pigs would not only be a valuable by-product, so to speak, but would provide a means of getting rid of whey.

(The creamery was then opened by Lady Hope-Dunbar who made a short speech, as did several other dignities.)

Description of the building.
The building is of two storeys, and has been designed chiefly with a view to economical working, and although on strictly utilitarian lines with no extraneous ornamentation, in eminently expressive of its purpose.

The principal entrance to the creamery is from the roadway which has been formed on the front of the building, where ample space has been provided for carts or motors delivering milk. This roadway is laid at such a gradient as to permit of the milk being taken from the receiving platform into the milk receiving room, where it is weighed, discharged into the receiving vats, and thereafter passed by gravity over the milk warmer, thence trough a centrifugal milk cleaner, and on to the milk cooler, to be run into the cans, or cheese-making vats on the ground floor level. In the milk receiving room is also placed the steam gerber milk tester, and the necessary washing and steaming tanks. Directly adjoining the receiving room, the office is placed, and in such a position as to permit of complete supervision of both floors of the building. The remained of the upper floor is utilised as a cheese storeroom, and provides accommodation for over 2000 cheeses, partly on cheese turners, and partly on plain shelving. The stair connecting with the ground floor passes from the milk receiving room into the general-purpose room on the ground floor. In this room, the principal one in the building, accommodation is provided for eight large cheese-making vats, as well as all other appliances for dealing with the milk. At one end of the general purpose room is situated the cheese press room, having a hoist connecting with the cheese store room above, and at the other end, directly in front of the milk receiving room above, the milk warmer and cleaner are placed on a raised platform, and in front of this again the milk cooler. Under the milk receiving room are placed the cold storage chamber, and the room in which the engine and refrigeration plant are arranged, and on the opposite side of the general purpose room, the can washing and steaming room, boiler house and staff room, &c. The milk despatch platform is continued along the east end of the building and has doorways leading from the general-purpose room, thus facilitating the convenient handling of the milk cans. The can washing room and boiler house &c, are placed in a one-storey wing to the rear of the main building, thus lessening the danger of fire, and permitting of the steam in the can washing room, being readily removed.

The drainage from the creamery is carried out in accordance with the latest practice in sanitation, the effluent being treated in a septic tank before being passed into the river Dee, thus ensuring no possible danger of pollution.