David Colville (1813 – 1898)
David Colville, of Campbeltown in Argyll, joined the family business owning and controlling coasting vessels and managing several local enterprises.
After his father's death, Colville moved to Glasgow and set up a provisions merchant in the Trongate. In 1861, Colville left dealing in tea and coffee and started in the iron trade.
Colville entered a partnership with Thomas Gray, the manager of a small malleable-iron works in Coatbridge. The Colville and Gray partnership soon dissolved.
Colville decided to set up his own business and in 1871 saw the start of David Colville & Sons, alongside sons John and Archibald. The Dalzell Steel and Iron Works started as a malleable iron works but switched to steel production in 1880.
When Colville was building the Dalzell works, the Steel Company of Scotland was established and it became apparent that steel would replace malleable iron. Colville sent his youngest son, David Junior, to the Steel Company's Hallside works to be fully trained in this new technology.
Colville died in 1898. He is long remembered for his shining qualities and kind heart, a captain of industry who contributed so much to commercial industrialism. His sons maintained their fathers' honour and continued in the family business.
During WWI the government asked Colville's to intervene in some of the nearby struggling steel plants, and to that effect took over the running of the Clydebridge Steel Company and the Glengarnock Works.
In 1916, Harland and Wolff along with John Brown and Co acquired a large share in David Colville and Sons, together with their collieries, to supply the yards.
1930 saw David Colville & Sons become a public company and during 1937, restructuring begun which ultimately led to the building of Ravenscraig Steelworks.
Ravenscraig Steelworks was opened by Colvilles in 1954 at a cost of £20m. In 1961, Colville's operated ten subsidiaries with works at Motherwell, Cambuslang, Glengarnock, Glasgow, Bellshill, Uddingston and Coatbridge. The company employed in the region of 11,000 persons.
In 1967, Colville's was renationalised forming part of British Steel.
Despite the closure of Ravenscraig in 1992, the former Colville -run Dalzell and Clydebridge works continue to operate today as part of Tata Steel.