Johnstone History Museum
A Project of Johnstone History Society
JHM Web Log
We welcome news of Johnstone, photos of Old Johnstone, stories of former and continuing businesses and even professional articles on regional history. Use our contact form to send story and content ideas.
Our 2019 Johnstone Calendar is now on Sale in our Shop section. A4 size with 12 photographs of Johnstone Past & Present. Sent to you anywhere in the World.
Our New Coal Mine arrives
Thanks to John Butler, we now have our own Johnstone Coal Mine model. It now takes pride of place in one of our display cabinets.

The model is on a glass shelf of a three story display cabinet. We have challanged John to add to his coalhead mine display by adding a mine shaft or two, that can then been shown descending down to the level of the next shelf. We will then need some little miners, pit ponies to go with some pieces of Johnstone coal. Some have suggested that, on the shelf below that, we should have some water.

Flooding was always an issue with the Johnstone mines which were contantly subject to water ingress. See the Coal Mines and Quarries section of our Gallery section.
Our New YouTube Video Posts
Thanks to the Rees Clark, our brilliant Web sponsor, we can now post little videos on our site.

Our first adventure is to show you the newly painted Museum and new displays. More to come once we find our feet.

Museum - New Displays
The redecoration of the Museum has been completed and we are now concentrating of some new displays.

We have completed the Textile wall and have now started on a "History of Johnstone Display". It will include a Map of the area in the 1650's showing the features of interest to Johnstone and its connection with the Houstoun Family. The planning of the town in 1782 by George Houstoun and the importance of coal to the prosperity of the Town. The next new board is concentrating on Transport with features of the coming and going of the Canal, the Railways arriving and the Electric Tram System that used to go all the way from Glasgow, through Johnstone to Kilbarchan.

Oh! Not to forget our NEW Johnstone Burgh football team stand-alone display.

Do come in and see how we are getting on.
Johnstone History Society - First Talk of this year's session
On Tuesday 11th September we start our 2018/2019 series of Talks.
Jean MacDonald from the National Trust for Scotland will present. "Local Boys made Good - the Couper brothers and Holmwood House.

Venue:- The Masonic Hall in Collier Street at 7.30
Museum Makeover
Morrisons supermarket is having a big makeover at the moment and they have offered to repaint the Museum at the same time.

This is all scheduled to take place overnight on Monday 30th July. So, its all hands to the pump over the next few day to cover everything and move furniture about so that they painters can get clear access to the walls and the ceiling.

Hopefully, we can get it all back in order before our normal Wednesday opening time.
Jane Cassidy's search for her WW1 ancestor.
A couple of months ago, a Jane Cassidy from Ayr, contacted the Johnstone History Facebook site, attempting to establish the whereabouts of "Railway Cottage" or "Station Cottage" in Johnstone in the late 19th century/early 20th century and to discover whether is still existed.

Her enquiry was prompted by her coming across the name Frank Downs on the Glasgow and South Western Railway WW1 memorial at Ayr train station.

What intrigued Jane was the fact that her grandfather’s name was Frank Downs, and he was a railwayman.

Jane had established that her grandfather had been born in Johnstone. I managed to find a map and photograph of the station area around the period in question and subsequently discovered that the “Station Cottage” appears in the photograph. (see red arrow)

Jane was delighted with the find and agreed to write a story about her search. Her story you can find in our WW1 Articles section or follow the link below. Thanks Jane.

LINK to Jane's Story

Museum New Displays
We have been busy at the Museum updating our displays. Thanks to the wee Monday Archive Team, the entire Textile Wall Display has been changed with particular reference to themes of The Mills, The Mill owners, Paton's People etc etc. In addition a new Ancient Bottle Display has been put on in one of our cabinets. All well worth a look.
History Society Talk Syllabus 2018/2019 Session
It may be a bit early but we now have all our speakers organised for the History Society Talks starting in September 2018. Thought you might like to see what is in store for you. See the Coming Events in the Home Page for details.
History Society Talk Tuesday 8th May
Our May talk is the last of this session. The Good news is that we shall return in September. Valerie has already arranged all the Speakers for Session 2018/2019 starting in September 11th 2018
New Historic Research Feature
We've added a new feature we hope will interest our readers and those members with a desire to share their knowledge and research. The new Research Articles feature will enable writers to submit their scholarly work to the JHS website.

Articles will be reviewed by the editorial committee and if approved may be subject to editing for style or content. When fully implemented, each article will also have a download option to facilitate printing by the reader. Each article will be copyrighted by the Society and the author, so careful attention to annotations and bibliography should be given by authors.

More information about submitting articles will be provided as the project develops. For now, we've collected some previous content that provides a look at how the content will be presented. Please follow the link below this article for a preview.

Preview the Articles feature

Mouse Traps Required; Made in Johnstone
🐁 Iain Murray writes: Johnstone History Museum has recently been contacted by a David Drummond who has written a historical account of the Mouse Trap Factory in South William Street (1896-1960). David is going to send photographs and information about the factory. It would be great if we could set up a little display of the Mouse and Rat traps that were produced in Johnstone. Some of you must have some laying about at the back of a cupboard. All we have at the moment is a little display trap used for advertising.
Reminiscences of Wickman Lang by Eddie McRorie
Skilled trades workers were a major factor in the development of Johnstone's reputation as a center of innovation in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Eddie McRorie has described his experiences working in the machine tool industry in the 1970s; excerpts follow, click here for the full story or
here for the related gallery.

Johnstone History Society welcomes submissions of personal, professional and company histories. Use the Contact form to suggest a topic or submit an article for evaluation by the editors.


John Lang & Sons a brief overview by Jessica Reid
The Lang organisation started as a private family partnership and progressed into a limited company around 1916. John Lang and Sons specialised in designing and producing lathes. Although they mainly and successfully produced lathes. The company also produced tools and machine parts such as gears.

Read the Article

Johnstone Grand Industrial Exibition 1853
The Great Industrial Exhibition, organised by the Johnstone Mechanics' Institiution took place in 1853 in a building behind McDowall Street in Johnstone. It showcased over a thousand items in four classes, Machinery; Manufactured Goods; The Fine Arts and Curiosities. This article, published in Jan 15 1853, was written by the Paisley correspondent of the "Glasgow Citizen".

Read this

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