Banter at the Boathouse: Volunteering in Heritage


The West Boathouse project follows 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 1850s 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 Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, Glasgow City Council 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 have been supporting and recording how the clubs’ archive is being managed, as well as its long-term preservation. The West Boathouse project has been following 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.

We will be hosting a series of webinars, covering topics relating to the issues and problems encountered when managing the archive and finding solutions to ensure the long-term sustainability of the collections.

For the first of the series, we will be hosting a talk about the volunteer experience, the benefits of volunteering and information on how volunteers can get involved in the heritage field. The preliminary programme for this talk is as follows*:


Introduction to the West Boathouse by Ingrid Shearer, Heritage Engagement Officer for Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and Audrey Wilson, Partnerships and Engagement Manager for Scottish Council on Archives


Round of talks from volunteers who worked on preserving the collection


Talk from Tessa Poller, Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, on the benefits of volunteering


Introduction to Make Your Mark, a volunteering portal for heritage in Scotland



*please note that the programme may be subject to change

Get your free tickets here!