Ballast Trust offers advice on heritage railway archives


By Hugh Dougherty

A SCOTTISH-based charity is offering its expertise and advice to the heritage movement on organising archives.

The Ballast Trust is celebrating its 30th year of identifying, cataloguing and conserving Scottish business archives, especially those of railway, shipbuilding and engineering companies, throughout 2018, and wants the movement to know more about what it does and how it can help.

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Volunteer Stuart Rankin at work on the Hunslet Barclay archive. HUGH DOUGHERTY

Archivist Kiara King said: “Our primary function is to receive archives from companies, survey them, catalogue and organise them to make them accessible and then to send them to an appropriate archive for long-term storage and access.

“We have material with us for considerable lengths of time and, although we don’t offer a research facility, we can accommodate some searchers at our Johnstone premises.

“We’re working through diesel locomotive drawings from Hunslet Barclay at present, while we’ve recently organised a massive bundle of drawings from the North British Locomotive Company’s diesel locomotive building era, while Caledonian Railway locomotive drawings and carriage production diagrams from St Rollox Works are currently being worked on too.”

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Kiara says that railway modellers often contact the trust looking for drawings, but full-scale heritage projects and lines are also benefiting.

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