Visit to Craig and Rose

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On Tuesday 24th June 15 members of the club visited the Craig and Rose Paint factory at Halbeath.  Craig and Rose have been creating paints and decorative finishes of the highest quality for over 170 years.

Colin Mitchell Rose gave the party a talk about paint manufacture and a guided tour of the facilities.  Craig and Rose were established in 1829 in a factory in Leith Walk.  In January 2000 they left Leith for Fife and set up in an old whisky bond on the edge of the M90.

Craig and Rose have found themselves a niche market in one that is dominated by three main players: ICI, Crown and Leyland.  They became famous for supplying the paint for the Forth Bridge for 100 years but now they specialise in the production of high value decorative paints aimed at the retail market.

Assisted by Ann McKevitt's "Changing Rooms" and contracts with Homebase the company now has three ranges:- Craig and Rose 1829, Feng Shui and Opulence.  They sell through B&Q, Fads, Habitat, John Lewis etc.

Colin Mitchell Rose emphasised how important it was for his company to react to customer needs.  They have between four and five hundred lines all of which can be ordered weekly.  Almost all the paint they now make is water based (the gloss is still solvent based).  They use a giant "Magimix" and after 20 minutes the mix is even.

Colin blamed the loss of the Forth Bridge contract on bad management and neglect which had led to a high tech solution being recommended by consultants.  

The Bridge is now shot-blasted back to the steel and coated with paint that is estimated to last 25 years.  He said that if his company still had the contract they would probably have recommended the same paint as they did 100 years ago. He claimed "the old paint was laid back and had no surface tensions."

Colin revealed that the specification for the Bridge paint had changed only once in 100 years in the 1970s. 

Ian Grieve gave a fitting vote of thanks recalling the last time he had been in the building there had been 50000 casks of whisky in it.  Colin who had previously been asked to explain what happened to the "mistakes" quipped "I bet your mistakes didn't go into landfill.