A Journey Up the Watter:  Recording the Rowing and River Heritage of the Clyde

Join us on this journey with the rejuvenation of the category B listed timber frame building and its contents, the West Boathouse – a clubhouse for two rowing clubs on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow. The rowing clubs have archives dating from 1840’s which were not catalogued or listed until the start of this project by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT), an independent charity set up in 1982 that exists to rescue, repair, restore historic buildings and return them to use within their communities. Funders of the project include National Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, and The Robertson Trust.

Work began on site in February 2021 and during the weeks leading up to contractors arriving, the club’s heritage collections were moved and safely stored off-site. Scottish Council on Archives will be supporting and recording how the clubs’ archive is being managed and its long-term preservation. Working closely with Ingrid Shearer, Heritage Engagement Officer at GBPT we will follow the journey of the archive from the attic of the Boathouse, to becoming a catalogued and digitised collection that will be enjoyed and used by the local community, club members and researchers.

There will be a regular blog from Ingrid and her team of volunteers featured on this dedicated webpage to the project. Here you will learn about the issues and problems they encounter when managing the archive and witness how they find solutions to ensure the long-term sustainability of the collections. The blogs will include topics, such as cataloguing, conservation, copyright, and digital preservation. To complement the blogs, we will also host 4 webinars with guest speakers, specialists in their fields of study and we will include a dedicated section for discussion and Q&A.

Keep up to date with the West Boathouse project by following us on Twitter @CArchivesScot and be there at the finish line when the West Boathouse officially relaunches on Doors Open Day Festival 12-18th September 2022.

Boathouse Blogs

Throughout the project, we will be releasing a series of blogs written by Ingrid Shearer, the Heritage Engagement Officer for GBPT, detailing the work that went into the West Boathouse rejuvenation works. You can find them below:

Collections and Storytelling

Interpretation and Redisplay When the project began in 2019, the collections were housed in the boathouse. The stairwells and corridors were filled with photographs from the 1880s onwards, framed pennants and vintage boats and oars were hung from the ceiling and displayed on the walls of the gyms and clubrooms. …

Collections Care: Getting in aboot it!

Background The West Boathouse project was always a slightly unusual proposition. The building houses the sporting heritage collections of two rowing clubs, Clydesdale Amateur rowing Club and Clyde Amateur Rowing club, both of whom were founded in the mid-1800s. There is a mix of archives (1880s photographs, minute books and …

Hiding in Plain Sight: Why Sporting Heritage Matters

It took a while for the penny to drop for me. Like many folks in the heritage sector, I am emphatically ‘not sporty’ and wore my disinterest like a badge of honour. School sports day trauma and academic snobbery had combined into a blind prejudice. Because sports aren’t ‘real’ cultural …

Collections Care: Where to start…

About the West Boathouse Project Built by City Surveyor Alexander B. McDonald for Glasgow Corporation, the West Boathouse on Glasgow Green has been home to Clydesdale and Clyde Amateur Rowing Clubs since its construction in 1905. From the outside, the boathouse looks like a traditional masonry building. However, a cleverly …

Banter at the Boathouse Webinars

As part of the project, we will be releasing a series of events on topics related to the work being carried out. You can watch them below!

Watch the first in our series of online lunchtime events below! In this session, we discuss the importance of volunteering in the heritage sector and hear from some of the volunteers involved in the project.