Galashiels Combined Technical School

Scope and Content

Administrative records and student records

Administrative / Biographical History

Classes in technical subjects were first introduced to the Borders by the Mechanics Institute in 1867, with limited success. Over the years successive attempts were made, primarily by the Galashiels Manufacturers Corporation, to increase the number and quality of these classes. In 1883 they started classes in weaving, dyeing and chemistry under the direction of Mr. Thomas Welsh. In 1889 the Burgh School Board took over the running of the classes from the Manufacturing Corporation, resulting in the Galashiels Combined Technical School. The governing body consisted of representatives from the Manufacturers Corporation, Burgh School Board, and the Engineering and Building trades. In 1898, Mr. Thomas Oliver was employed to take charge of the technical classes. Initially classes were held within the Public Hall but due to class numbers were transferred in 1894 to the Roxburgh Street School. In 1902 they occupied Burns Hall and in 1905, Ladhope Vale.

Successor bodies of the School include the South of Scotland Central Technical College, the Scottish Woollen Technical College, the Scottish College of Textiles, and the Scottish Borders Campus of Heriot-Watt University.


Records are arranged chronologically according to provenance.

Access Information

By appointment at the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.

Other Finding Aids

Fonds, series, and item level printed and computerised list available in the Searchroom

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents. Permission to publish material from the Archive must be sought in advance from the University Archivist. Responsibility for obtaining copyright clearance rests with the applicant.

Custodial History

The records were stored at the High Mill, and were identified and listed as part of the 1995-1999 Scottish Higher Education Funding Council/Non-Formula Funding project for Specialised Research Collections in the Humanities. Following the merger of the Scottish College of Textiles with Heriot-Watt University in October 1998, responsibility for the collection was transferred to Heriot-Watt University Archive, Records Management and Museum Service. In September 2000, the Archive moved to the Main Building at the Scottish Borders Campus, Galashiels.



Related Material

Records of successor bodies are held at the Scottish Borders Campus, Heriot-Watt University: South of Scotland Central Technical College (GB 582 HWUA SSCTC); the Scottish Woollen Technical College (GB 582 HWUA SWTC); and the Scottish College of Textiles (GB 582 HWUA SCOT).


  • Thomas Oliver, The Rise of the Scotch Tweed Technique1911. Available in the Archive, or at the Scottish Borders Campus.