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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.


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.

PS: The working title, "Johnstone History Review" is rather boring. Suggestions for a more attractive name for this new features are welcome. (Please don't submit "History McHistoryface.")

Preview the Articles feature

2018 Calendar Now on Sale
Our new 2018 Calendar is now on sale in the Museum and in our WEB SHOP. Posted to you anywhere in the world

A4 size 12 Johnstone Pictures and 12 months of Calendar pages for to write your appointments on.

Place your order with us and we will send the Calendar for you to your friends and family.

Get Your Copy!

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.

Johnstone History Society October Talk
Tuesday 10th October. 7.30pm Masonic Hall Collier Street Johnstone

Colin Mackie presents The Southern Necropolis

The Southern Necropolis cemetery is a unique historical and educational asset for present and future generations to come and contains over a quarter of a million burials of individuals who have either helped build or been an important part of the rich legacy of Glasgow`s past.

Members expected. All visitors made most welcome

WW1 Role of Honour List
We haqve recently updated our World War 1 Role of Honour list that you will find under the Categories section of our Web Log list. Should you so wish, we can now add your information to the names. If you wish to add information please use the contact section of the Web Site to submit information you wish to include.

Read the article

History Society Talks
The new session of Historical Talks starts in the Masonic Hall in Collier Street Johnstone at 7.30pm on Tuesday 12th September 2017 See details in the Calendar. All visitors welcome

Doors Open Days Sat 2nd Sept & Sun 3rd Sept
The Museum is taking part of Renfrewshire Doors Open Days
New displays of Johnstone Organisations, past & present have been arranged. The Museum will be open on Saturday 2nd Sept & Sunday 3rd Sept from 1030am till 4pm
Doors Open Passports signed and a childrens quiz included
As with last year there will be a Historic Johnstone Walk leaving the Museum at 2pm Should last about 1 hour weather permitting.

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 Citazen.

Read this

Museum Update
As you may be aware, a willing team of Volunteers staff the Museum. With the Holiday season in full swing, the team are all arranging their holidays and this calls for a few rearrangements in the Rota system. But, we are a flexible lot and there is no sign that we will have any difficulty filling the slots. Thanks to all the Team for the great work they do to keep the operation on the road.

Use this link or call the museum to volunteer.

Volunteer (Contact us)

Rod MacDuff Traces Johnstone Roots VIDEO
Rod MacDuff has posted a personal documentary of sites in Johnstone related to his ancestors. (Re-posted from Facebook and Youtube; thanks to Jim McLaughlin for doing most of the homework for us.)

PS: If you have a Johnstone history video on line that is publicly accessible, we may be able to embed it in this fashion. Please coordinate through the museum.

Johnstone History Society May Talk
We had a great talk from Alexander Hall on the Malta Convoy that rescued the Island from imminent surrender to the German and Italian forces.

We had a packed house to hear the Story of Operation Pedestal in August 1942, that concluded with only 4 merchant sips and the Tanker Ohio reaching Valetta Harbour. Huge loss of life to deliver the precious cargo.

The courage of the Maltese people led to the Island being awarded the George Cross.

Johnstone History Society May Talk
May Monthly Meeting & Talk

The Relief of Malta
by Alexander Hall

Tuesday May 9th at 7.30 in the Masonic Hall Collier Street, Johnstone
Members Expected Visitors always Welcome

Note:- This is the last talk of this years session. We start again on Tuesday 12th September with our next winter Programme. Enjoy your Summer Holidays.

The Coats Family Talk by Allan Driver
On September 15 we were treated to a great talk by Allan on the history of the Coats Family and the background to the building of the Coats Memorial Baptist Church in Paisley.

Alan not only covered the creation of the Coats Cotton mills in Paisley but gave us an insight into the wealth that was created by the Coats family.

Nowadays the small congregation of around 40 at the Church. struggle to keep it going. The future does not look bright with costs escalating and little in the way of income. The fund that was so generously created by the Coats Family to keep it going is fast disappearing. There must be some way to preserve what must be one of the finest church buildings in Scotland.

Photograph Courtesy Marilyn Connor.

Happy 175th Birthday Johnstone Station
On 21st July 1840, Johnstone Station was opened by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway. The station is rare in that it is just about the oldest station (1840)in Scotland that has its original Booking Office still incorporated within the handsome sandstone buildings. (Item submitted by Craig Crawford of Howwood.)

Happy 175th Birthday to Johnstone Station

On the 21st July 1840, Johnstone station was opened by the Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway.

The station is rare in that is just about the oldest station (1840) in Scotland that has its Booking Office still incorporated within its handsome Sandstone buildings.

The Gales of 1968 seriously damaged the station canopies which provided passengers with a means of boarding their trains without getting wet. The railway management decided to have the canopies removed all together, rather than have them repaired. So now you have to dash from the Booking Hall or the little shelter.

There were two signal boxes. No 1 at the North end controlled a junction for the lines to Johnstone Gas Works and Greenock via Kilmacolm. No 2 at the South end controlled the goods yard and associated sidings.

The goods yard handled all sorts of traffic until rationalised in 1963 for a new lease of life to deal with the motor car traffic from the newly built Rootes Group Car Plant at Linwood. The Car Trains were initially formed of flat wagons which were converted from former carriages. More modern trains were introduced formed of double decked wagons. The trains were a quarter of a mile long and signalling alterations were necessary to enable the departing trains to be coupled up on the main line towards Elderslie. After the car traffic stopped with the closure of the Car Plant, there was a brief use of the sidings for a nightly departure of a train to Wisbech carrying Dog Food from the now Closed Spillers factory at Barrhead. On complete closure of the yard, some ground was given over to allow the building of the new Thorn School and the rest to form an enlarged car park the capacity of which is once again being increased.

With the withdrawal of Steam, Diesel trains started running in 1959, in turn to be replaced by electric trains in 1986. Today, the main passenger traffic, stopping at Johnstone, is between Ayr, Prestwick Airport and Glasgow Central Station. Some trains now continue via Glasgow Central Station to Edinburgh.

Johnstone was called Johnstone High for a time, to avoid confusion with Johnstone North Station. This was located in Napier Street near the present History Museum at Morrisons. Johnstone North started life as a terminal station opened in 1885. The line and the Station were rebuilt to a higher level when it became a through station on the Lochwinnoch Loop Line which opened in 1905. Johnstone North Station closed in 1955 and the Loop Line to passengers in 1966 when the Johnstone High Station reverted to its previous title of just Johnstone Station.

Seeking Johnstonians living Abroad
We have recently been delighted to receive enquiries from Johnstonians now living abroad and we are keen to make contact with others who may have a tale to tell or memories to share about their time in Johnstone. Articles and old photographs of the area that you would be willing to share on our web site would be gratefully received.

Contact us here

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