EVOLUTION IN GURB

GURB IN CENTURY XIX

The first railway in Catalonia was built in 1875, which was a disaster but it implied an important change. The first energy source was the factory called “Malars”, which was built in 1827. It was really close to the river “Ter”, its aim was to card cotton. At first, they used carbon, and since 1830, hydraulic energy. In the middle of century XIX, there was another factory in the outscares of Gurb called “El Tint”, in which they produced dyes, fertilizers and textiles pieces finishes. In century XIX, it only existed one factory in Gurb, Malars, but it did exist important roads and railways.

Principis segle XX. Imatge de Malars. Autor: Lluís Coll i Espadaler. Procedència: Arxiu Municipal de Manlleu, Àlbum Coll-Espadaler

GURB IN THE BEGINNING OF XX

For Gurb, the earlies in century XX were a period of changes. Some of the most highlighted were the construction of the road called Sant Bartomeu del Grau, which provided an important enhancement in the village’s communication, and the arrival from the Civil War into the village.

In the aspect of tillage, in the earlies of century XX, farmers were experts in livestock, basically in cows and pigs. Later, they added the breeding of aces. Even later, and without predicting it, it appeared the industry which, in the livestock and the agriculture, mechanized the tools of the field. This caused that the production increased and, at the same time, it started the production of cold meat and cereals. Finally, they introduced tillages of potatoes and corn. During all this period, 75% of factories were textiles and 25% were farms. 
In the field of factories, the main source of energy was petrol, because they had buy carbon from really far away and it was too costly. In this period of time, the following factories was built:

  • La central elèctrica de fecsa: Built in 1920
  • “Malars”: “Malars” was an import factory in the aspect of industrialization in Osona. It was a textile plant. It was bought by Jacint Rifà in 1890. It’s located near to the river “Ter”, close to the river “Gurri” and between Roda i Manlleu (The road from Vic to Manlleu, direction to Roda). It had 94 employers.
  • Railway station: It was founded in the earlies of century XX, it is next to “L’Esperança” and over some roads in Gurb. 
  • Farming station: With the aim of studying and improving the agriculture and livestock, people built in 1924 a farming station which was supposed to work for all the region. This one was located in Gurb, more specifically in “L’Esperança”. The construction started in 1925 and the buildings set up still work nowadays. In 1934, it stopped being a farming station, in the day of today it’s where the town hall, the young poing, the theatre, the post office and the consultory lie.
  • El Tint (a factory which produced dyes and clothes)”: It had 65 employers. This factory worked since century XIX and it was ubicated in the outscares of Gurb where, in the present, there’s the road from Vic to Manlleu. When its owner, Antoni Puig, got married with Enriqueta Porret, complemented his business of dyes with diferent agricultural country houses. One of these country houses was “La Vaqueira”, located next to the factory. Nowadays this is a rural house called “La Vaqueira del Tint” in honour to “La Fàbrica del Tint”, which has next to it. It worked in the creation of dyes, fertilizers and textile pieces.

On the communication of the village’s behalf, one of the roads was the one which went in direction to Sant Bartomeu del Grau, the one which passes in front of the pharmacy in Gurb. There were also those ones which went to Ripoll, Manlleu and Roda. The last one was the old C-17. There were reforms in the roads which went to Vespella and Sant Julià. In 1956, a road, in direction to the Sant Julià de Sassorba’s parish, was established.

But not everything was that beautiful, and that was because of the Civil War which arrived to Gurb. During those years, there were a lot of changes. The most radical left- wing parties and the syndicates took control of the situation. Local committees of anti-fascist militias occupied municipal powers, replacing the town hall.

To be able to face the village’s urgent necessities, they took the goods from communities of nuns, the goods from the four parishes, from different particular goods, they also took out furniture from country houses and four out of twelve cotxe from the village were requisitioned.

They also increased taxes for 21 persons. With all the money recollected, they built 100 tables, 200 chairs and a cupboard with the aim of installing many schools, for not having to follow the new educative system, in the confiscated farm houses.

In order to take water to Les Escoles de Gurb, the channelled it from the well with an engine. Later, they realized that it wasn’t drinkable.

A bridge was constructed and the road of the Argila was repaired in order to improve the communications. The anti-fascist put people in jail and they killed those who were considered as supporters of the right-wing parties. A total of 13 people died.

GURB IN THE END OF XX CENTURY

Gurb was a zone with a few entrances and exit, because there weren’t many roads. The most important roads were: The road of Sant Bartomeu, the road of Manlleu and the national 152. It was a village in which agriculture had more importance than industry. Because of this, the primary sector was the one that had the most importance. Gurb took advantage of the train, because thanks to him they could have direct connection with Barcelona, something very important when it comes to sell products out of the region.

Bit by bit, the number of industries increased, the first big industrial estate appeared in 1983, “Mas Galí”, since then, Gurb got more industries, this provoked the creation of new industrial estates like “Sant Roc”, “el Sot de Pardals” and many more. Logically Gurb kept being a farming and livestock village, because of that its industry was related to these fields, there was a vast number of factories which worked in well-being of animals like “Divasa Farma Vic”, “Herbifung SL” between others, from the production nutritional products or medical products destined to the animals until the production of foodstuff coming from animals like the cold meat, the most important factories were “Casa Tarradellas”, “Embotits Solars” and others .

Font: Llibre “Gurb, un poble arrelat a la terra”

GURB AT THE BEGINNING OF XXI

In century XXI, Gurb is in a stage of big changes started at the end of the last century. The economy is growing and the number of industries is intensifying, they are also building new roads and the village is living a period of brightness. It’s the village in the region of Osona with the most economy and the 25th place, in Spain, with the most incomes per capita and it has an extension of 51,23 km2, as a result of being the biggest one in the region of Osona. The industrial growth in Gurb has kept increasing progressively during the last years, until arriving to the point in which it has taken over the economy of Gurb. We need to add that the beginning of this was spontaneous, what we mean is that it wasn’t guided. Even though it was clear that was going to happen, because the conditions ,which Gurb provides, are perfect for businesses which want to set up their factories. Gurb provides great fiscal advantages, a huge developable zone, a magnificent closeness to the capital of the region and its communications are like the ring on one’s finger for going around Spain, for example, there’s C-25 which goes from Girona to Lleida, C-17 which goes from Puigcerdà to Barcelona. These roads have given an amazing future to Gurb. Thanks to those companies which have come with the aim of founding their headquarters in Gurb, industrial estates have been set up, and we found three which are really important: “Mas Galí”, “L’Esperança” and “La Ronda”. Although the industry generates an important amount of money and can seem really attractive, everything has its dark side. The agriculture, main base in Gurb, has decreased considerably during this current century. The landscape remains quite the same as the past. People thought Gurb would change a lot, but actually it hasn’t changed that.