Visit from Annabel Goldie

5:54 PM

On Friday 7th December, the Ballast Trust had a visit from MSP Annabel Goldie.

She met with our Director, Professor Tony Slaven, members of staff and some of our volunteers. We had laid out some examples of the different types of business records that the Trust specialising in working with. There were some beautiful examples of 19th century technical drawings in the form of locomotive manufacturing drawings and plans of station buildings constructed by the Caledonian Railway Association.

We also had lovely examples of the social history contained in business records through the minute books of the rambling and bowling clubs of George Stewart & Co. (which we have blogged about before).

It was a very welcome opportunity to get across the message that business archives matter and explain our role in the implementation of the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland.

Annabel said in a press release of the visit:
I was delighted to be able to visit the Ballast Trust and meet Director Professor Slaven, staff and volunteers. Visiting the Ballast Trust in Johnstone was for me discovering an unexplored delight. I had no idea that such important processing of industrial and business archive information was being carried out right here on our own doorstep. The Trust is a hugely important contributor to Scotland’s archive records. The dedication and skill of the Director, trustees, staff and volunteers ensure that detailed information from technical drawings of the 19th and 20th century to workforce journals describing the activities of staff rambling clubs and bowling clubs is captured. Business archives provide a fascinating perspective not just on the technical skills of that period but of the social activity of employees and the wider community.
Since her visit, Annabel has submitted the following Motion to the Scottish Parliament:

That the Parliament notes the work of the Ballast Trust, which is a Renfrewshire-based charitable foundation that provides a rescue, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives with an emphasis on technical records such as shipbuilding, railway and engineering plans, drawings and photographs; understands that, since its establishment in 1987, it has processed technical records on behalf of national and local archive repositories and museums; believes that this has resulted in the trust, in conjunction with National Records of Scotland, carrying out the vital processing of a huge range of industrial and business archive material; commends its continuing referencing and retention of what it considers a diverse base of historic material that chronicles both industrial and business and social and community activity; applauds what it sees as the dedicated and committed efforts of the trust’s director, trustees, staff and volunteers, and praises it on its determined efforts to educate business and professional communities to be mindful of the archive treasures that might be found throughout business premises the length and breadth of Scotland.

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