The literary club that produced this magazine consisted of employees of The Falkirk Iron Company, Ltd. According to company literature, the firm was established in 1815, became a joint stock company in 1819, and only closed in 1981. Some of the records for this company are housed in Falkirk Archives. An overview of its history is available on the Falkirk Community Trust Museum and Archives Collection website. It is currently unknown when exactly the company’s Literary Club was formed.
Castings Magazine was produced quarterly and cost 3d. Following four pages of advertisements for local businesses, the table of contents lists 18 contributions. The entire work is a total of only 28 pages. This miscellany includes a variety of non-fiction articles, for example: on George Borrow’s book, Lavengro; the League of Nations; a trip from Shanghai to Hankow; instructions on ‘How to construct a cheap Receiving Set’; and one which asks ‘Who was William Shakespeare?’.
Original poetry is also included along with a feature called ‘Vanities in Verse’, which contains short, light-hearted poems on the lark, on wishes, on memory, as well as a nursery rhyme. In addition to a ‘Ladies [sic] Page’ that lists various recipes, other features include ‘Works and Welfare News’, and news on the Boys’ Welfare Club and the Girls’ Welfare Club. There are reports on the company sports teams, the company prize winners at the Falkirk Cattle Show and on the Benevolent Funds Committee.
Interestingly, there are also two employee biographies. The first is on James Kidston, a dresser at Falkirk Iron works, who started work for the company on 24 March 1863, and was still in same department in 1923. Kidston wrote prose pieces, and one of his poems (about being kind and patient) is given at end of the piece. The second biography is on John Hastings, who started working for the company at age 10 on 5 June 1860 and retired in 1922. He started in the Grate Fitting Shop, eventually became a Shop Foreman, before finally working in the Hollow-ware Department, having charge of the Tin Cover Shop.
Of note is that there is a writing competition offered in this issue, with prize money for the best two articles and photographs (10/ for each) submitted for the issue. The competition subject was to be ‘Holiday Experience’.
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Literary Club of The Falkirk Iron Company, Ltd.
Date of Existence
Date of Magazine
June 1923 (No. 2)
Number of Issues
1 (extant) (at least 2 produced)
Contents and Contributions
Advertisements; Art/Illustrations; Letters to Editor; Photographs (company employees); Photographs (company sports teams); Poems (original); Reports; Table of Contents; Title page
Falkirk Archives, Callendar House