Bitton Families



By Leon

The Bitton TORRANCE family had come from Lasswade on the Esk in Scotland where the COWAN papermaking family operated their Melville Mill. In a paper written by Reg Harris, he states that a family called Somerville moved from Scotland to Bitton and set up a paper mill in the Golden Valley, which eventually became the Golden Valley Paper Mills Ltd. The family recruited a John Torrance in Scotland to set up the factory and, as a smith, he built ancillary machines and equipment needed to get production going. He set up an iron foundry and machine shop and worked with a local family of smiths called Bush who had experience of making castings and building machines for the local collieries and brass works. The Bush and Torrance families must have been close, because Henry Ellacombe Bush's daughter Rhoda married Thomas TORRENCE.

From a lister named Norman Hook I found out that Torrance and Sons Ltd. were manufacturers of Ball Mills and Attritors used around the world for grinding anything into powders. The Stainless Steel Attritors were a very sophisticated piece of powder grinding machinery. This Company could still be in business, for they certainly were in the 1950's, when commodities were still being ground into Powders of varying fineness, possibly in much greater quantities.


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John Torrance (of Lasswade, Scotland; s/o Thomas TORRANCE/Elizabeth SMEATON) m. Margaret STEVENSON, 1826.

Thomas TORRANCE (b abt 1837/8 in Midlothian, Scotland; m. Rhoda BUSH)
Janet TORRANCE (b abt 1829/30 in Lasswade (Midlothian) Scotland
John TORRANCE (b. abt 1833/34 in Lasswade (Midlothian) Scotland

1881 Census, Bitton Village, Bitton (Glos) England
Thomas TORRANCE M 43 M Scotland Rel : Head Occ: Engineer (Master) (X/1)
Rhoda TORRANCE M 35 F Bitton, Gloucester, England Rel: Wife Occ:Engineer Wife
Rowland TORRANCE U 18 M Bitton, Gloucester, England Rel:Son Occ: Engineer
Hugh TORRANCE U 16 M Bitton, Gloucester, England Rel:Son Occ:Clerk At Paper Mill
Kate TORRANCE 14 F Bitton, Gloucester, England Rel: Daur Occ:Scholar


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