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Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology - East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust

Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology

2017 Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology For our overarching theme and inspiration for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we have chosen to focus on the three local rivers in East Renfrewshire: the Auldhouse Burn, the River Cart and the Levern Water. It was the water power of these rivers which allowed the textile industry to flourish bringing, print fields, printworks and mills to the area, which in turn led to the growth of our towns and villages.

This increase in the population and growth in our infrastructure allowed other industries to develop. In Barrhead, for example, developments in sanitation saw the success of the local business Shanks & Co. that operated in Barrhead for over 100 years.

Although much of this industry is long gone it has left behind a strong historical legacy. Many of the beautiful buildings constructed in the heyday of the industrial revolution of are still in use today. Several of our Community Halls such as the Duff Memorial Hall in Busby, Eastwood House in Giffnock, Arthurlie House in Barrhead and the Glen Halls in Neilston are testament to the merchant and business class who became the main players in our local communities and we plan to highlight some of the history of these buildings and the industries surrounding them over the course of the year.

Bigger towns and villages also meant the spread of housing and therefore more public service facilities. One of these, a water sanitation site in Barrhead has now been transformed into The Water Works, a thriving community garden, which will look to the town's heritage for an art project later this year.


East Renfrewshire has a full year of activities programmed to celebrate the history, heritage and archaeology of the area. Some highlights to look forward to include:

  • Robert Burns themed art class
  • A children's project to interpret the Gemmell Statues into a graphic novel
  • Local History sessions
  • Shanks themed art installation at the Water Works, Barrhead
  • Local fine art interpretation projects
  • Artwork and interpretation for community facilities
  • Scottish Local History Week Sat 4th - Sat 11th March
  • Book displays (Read the Past national library campaign)

Full details of all events will be posted on our website and social media pages. For further information on our heritage services you can visit the Local and Family History section of our website. East Renfrewshire's Heritage Collection can also be viewed online:

McConnell's Mill, Neilston Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Scottish Local History Week, Sat 4th - Sat 11th March 2017

Made from Textiles: The Story of Rouken Glen and Thornliebank (a film by Tom Marchant)

Our flagship event at this year's Scottish Local History Week was the premiere screening of 'Made from Textiles: The Story of Rouken Glen and Thornliebank', by local filmmaker Tom Marchant. Tom who, has been involved in producing films on local history for several years was inspired to make this new film due the recent opening of the new walkway at Rouken Glen, which exposed previously hidden examples of the early water engineering for the works at Newfield and Thornliebank. He created a wonderful film which went down a storm with the audience at Giffnock Library. When we asked what they enjoyed about the night some commented: "Really interesting film with a great insight into our local history"..."Finding out things I knew nothing about despite living in this area for 40 years" ...."Please continue these types of events. Learning about the past is so important for our future. Thank you"


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