Galashiels Manufacturers Corporation

Scope and Content

Records of Incorporation 1897; Minutes 1816-1961; Financial records 1855-1984; Events and Publicity 1903-1985; Galashiels Cloth Hall 1830-1838; objects 1816.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1777 a group of weavers formed the Clothiers' Corporation in order to share equipment and other resources. This later became known as the Galashiels Manufacturers Corporation. A junior branch of the Corporation called the Junior Clothiers' Benevolent Institution or the Young Dyers was also formed in 1816. The Corporation provided a forum for discussion and lobbying to protect and further the commercial interests of its members. It was also concerned with trade effluent discharges, refuse disposal and trade fairs and exhibitions. The Corporation received trade delegations and determined mill holidays. It also held an annual Michaelmass Dinner and Ball which was one of the highlights of the Galashiels social calendar.

In 1791 the Corporation decided to build a Cloth Hall in Galashiels for the reception and sale of woollen goods. A rent of forty shillings per annum would be charged for members to rent out shelves, and any remaining space would be let out to non-subscribers. The foundation stone was laid on 4th June and cost 230. On 11th October 1791 the building was completed and officially opened by holding the annual Michaelmass dinner there. It was opened for the reception and sale of goods on 30th July 1792. It is believed that the Hall was located on the corner next to the Cross in Galashiels.

In 1883 the Corporation 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 opening of the Galashiels Combined Technical School. The governing body consisted of representatives from the Manufacturers Corporation, Burgh School Board, and the Engineering and Building trades. When the South of Scotland Technical College replaced the School in 1906 the Corporation subscribed to the building fund and its representatives served on the Advisory Committee of the College.

The Corporation remains active in the Galashiels area as the Borders Manufacturers Corporation.

Access Information

Open for consultation by appointment.

Acquisition Information

Formally deposited with the Archive, Records Management and Museum Service in 2001. The Galashiels Cloth Hall Day Book was donated in 1988 by E Y Johnston.

Other Finding Aids

Item level printed list available in the seach room.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Helen Taylor, Archivist, Heriot-Watt University Archive, Records Management and Museum Service.

Conditions Governing Use

By appointment. Closure periods may apply to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing personal information. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.

Custodial History

The records were listed by the Business Archive Council (Scotland) Surveying Oficer and deposited in the Scottish Collgeof Textiles under the care of the Corporation's then Deacon Professor C Maddox in the 1980s.

Related Material

Galashiels Combined Techinical School, South of Scotland Technical College, Scottish Woollen Techicnal College and Scottish Textile College held at Heriot-Watt-University, Scottish Borders Campus.

Scottish Borders Council Archive and Local History Centre, Selkirk also hold some items.

Location of Originals

The collection is original. Located at the Scottish Borders Campus, Netherdale, Galashiels.


The Young Dyers of Galashiels. Alexander Walker and Son, Galashiels, 1919.

Geographical Names