Our history started back in 1954 with Alex Brewster Snr and his wife Agnes. The newly-wed couple bought Blackcraig Farm, Dechmont, West Lothian where they farmed arable crops and a small selection of livestock.
Four years after they first ventured into farming, Alex Snr and Agnes moved to Bonnington Mains Farm in Kirknewton with their five children. The Bonnington Mains Farmhouse has now been in the family for more than 60 years.
In 1975, Alex Snr officially went into business with his twin sons, Alex and David, to form Alex Brewster & Sons. At this point, the family’s business was solely farming.
Tragically, just a few years later in 1977, at the age of 52, Alex Snr passed away leaving his wife Agnes and the twins to run the business. At only 22 years old, the boys and Agnes managed to run a successful farm. They even received a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest yield of barley ever grown.
Alex and David had always been rugby fanatics, both playing for Stewart Melville’s RFC. Alex went on to play for Scotland and was awarded a total of 6 caps during his rugby career. He played his first game at Twickenham against England in 1977 and even captained the Scotland team on their tour of Japan in 1989.
Alex and David sold the farm land and invested the proceeds in property and developed a range of sites in the local area.
Alex’s son, Scott, joined the business. Our current Managing Director, Scott’s arrival marked the third generation of Brewsters to be part of the family business.
In the decade between 2007 and 2017, the focus had shifted to the redevelopment of the redundant Craigpark Quarry near Ratho. The restoration allowed for a residential scheme and associated country park to be created as well as a Wave Garden for surfing which is currently under construction. It was mainly completed using excavation waste from local construction sites as a backfilling material.
During the quarry restoration, Scott and Alex saw a huge volume of quality materials go to waste and knew something had to be done to change the linear ‘take, make, waste’ approach in the construction industry. This was the inspiration behind the business’ innovative circular approach to waste management and recycled aggregates.
Scott’s vision was realised and Brewster Bros Ltd was incorporated to purchase the shareholdings of local haulage contractor Henry Gillies. The Brewsters took over Henry Gillies’ fleet of trucks and HGV drivers, as well as the Drumshoreland Bing which at the time was an exhausted heap of spent oil shale which had previously been extracted for the secondary aggregate known as blaes. It has since been restored and is now the site for the recycling facility just outside Livingston.
David Brewster sadly passed away just before the site was operational. His involvement and memory lives on with the latest version of the business and of course in the name. David and Alex have always been known as the ‘Brewster Brothers’.
In June we made our biggest announcement to date – we’re opening a second site in Gartshore. The site will be fully operational in October when we will host an open day to celebrate the milestone.
The business is still very much a family affair. Alex is the Operations Director and can be found on site every day. His son, Scott, is Managing Director. Alongside the family, there are many long serving employees who have been with the Brewsters for over 30 years. This includes Brian, one of the Plant Operators who started on the farm in the 90s and Malky, the Plant Manager, whose father worked on the farm for Alex and David.