Ranald Warren Monteith Clouston, MBE, BSc (Eng), FSA, MI Mech E, MIEE, AM Inst F, 1925-2002, (sometimes addressed as Ron or Ronnie in correspondence) was born in Lavenham, Suffolk, the son of two doctors. He attended Prep School in Hertford from 1932 and Tonbridge School (1939-42) before going to University College London in 1943 to study Engineering. He joined the Junior Training Corps of the Royal Corps of Signals around 1942.
In September 1945 Clouston began work as a Graduate Engineer at the Renfrew works of Babcock & Wilcox Ltd, Boilermakers. He worked in the drawing office and then in different departments of the firm, to gain working experience, before becoming a Service Engineer and travelling to sites in Britain and in Europe, to work on boiler installations and other projects. In 1953 he moved to the firm's London Office, to begin work in the Projects Department. By 1956 he was working in the Costs Research Department, working on cost controls and project management.
Clouston became Babcock & Wilcox's archivist in 1968, working in a department that was known in the 1970s as the Cost Research, Archives and Records Centre. He continued as the Company Archivist until he retired from the firm in 1987. According to Alison Turton (BAC Newsletter 128, June 2002), "he was as amongst the earliest exponents of the modern concept of the corporate archivist," and he served as Editor of the Business Archives Council Newsletter in the 1970s.
Along with his lifelong interest in engineering and archives, Clouston had a variety of hobbies and enthusiasms. He was a good amateur boxer in his youth. He was an authority on various aspects of animal husbandry and farming, and served for many years as a Conservative councillor in Hampshire. However, his greatest passion was for church bells. Clouston was an enthusiastic campanologist but was more famous as one of the country's leading bell archaeologists. He was awarded the MBE in 1994 for his work researching the history of church bells and advising on their preservation and restoration. He died in March 2002.