Johnstone History Museum
A Project of Johnstone History Society • Scotland
JHM Web Log
Renfrewshire Doors Open Days
As usual the Museum will be open on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September as part of Refrewshire Doors Open Day.

The theme this year is Animals and we are featuring Working Horses as part of this subject.

We can stamp your Doors Open Day passports and there will be a Childrens quiz.

We will be open from 10:30am till 4pm on both days
New Exhibition at the Museum
Thanks to John Butler, who built our Model Coal Mine, we now have a brand new exhibition of many of his fantastically detailed models which have won him many awards in National Model Competitions.
Johnstone History Society February Talk
We had a great talk from Alastair Dinsmor about the start of the Police Force in Glasgow. The First In Britain. Alastair helps run the Glasgow Police Museum which is well worth a visit see LINK

Glasgow Police Museum

Our New YouTube Video Posts
Thanks to the efforts of 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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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.
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.
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)

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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