Records of Andrew Barclay Sons & Co Ltd, locomotive manufacturers and engineers, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Financial records 1876-1959
  • Costing records 1898-1959
  • Engineering records including those of Barclays and the North British Locomotive Co Ltd 1878-1970
  • Photographs 20th century
  • Publications and publicity material including catalogues, advertisement books and journals 1912-1970
  • Armstrong-Whitworth records 1931-1937
  • Records of John Cochrane and Co Ltd, engine makers, Barrhead including quotation book, letter books, order and cost books, photographs and advertising material 1897-1950
  • Contract lists for Barclay, North British Locomotive Co Ltd and pre-North British Locomotive Co Ltd 1837-1961
  • Drawings for locomotives by Andrew Barclay locomotives (including repairs) nos. 66-2377 (incomplete), Dubs and Co (12 drawings), Neilson Reid and Co contract nos. 401-903 (incomplete), Sharp Stewart and Co contract nos. 108-1166 (incomplete), North British Locomotive Co Ltd contracts L14-999 and L1-98 (second series) (incomplete), Armstrong Whitworth and Co contracts DT1-77 plus 7 miscellaneous engines and technical drawings for Andrew Barclay and J Cochrane Standing Engine drawings

This collection is held at Glasgow University Archive Services under the charge and superintendence of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. A full list of records in this collection can be found on the National Records of Scotland (formerly the National Archives of Scotland)  online catalogue under the reference GD329.

Administrative / Biographical History

Around  1840  ,  Andrew Barclay (  1814-1900  ) went into partnership with  Thomas McCulloch in an engineering business to make mill shafts in  Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland . Two years later he left to set up on his own and, in  1847,  he moved to new premises in the town, which were paid for by the sale of his patent for the manufacture of gas lamps. The money from this sale was not paid however, and consequently the firm, which specialised in winding engines for the local coal industry, was sequestrated in  1848  . Barclay soon recovered from this set back and by 1859, when the company produced its first locomotive, the firm was employing 150 people. By 1870, Barclay's had produced 420 locomotives.

Around  1871 Andrew Barclay established a second locomotive building business,  Barclays & Co , for his younger brother, John, and his four sons, James Wilson, Andrew jnr, William and Robert. This business was based at the  Riverbank Works, Kilmarnock . This business remained closely associated with that of  Andrew Barclay , who provided most of the plant. The firms were declared bankrupt in  1874  and  1882  respectively. In  1886 Andrew Barclay 's business was reconstructed as  Andrew Barclay Sons & Co , but  Barclays & Co was not revived. Problems were still encountered but in  1892  the firm took on limited liability as  Andrew Barclay Sons & Co Ltd . Two years later  Andrew Barclay was removed from control of the company by its shareholders. Barclay then sued the company for unpaid wages, eventually settling out of court in  1899.  In  1930  , the company took over the business of  John Cochrane (Barrhead) Ltd , engine makers, and in  1963  it acquired the goodwill of the  North British Locomotive Co Ltd , Glasgow. In  1972  it was acquired by the  Hunslet Group of companies, enginners of Leeds, England, and its name was changed in  1989  to  Hunslet-Barclay Ltd . The company was still operating in 2001.

Wear, Russell,Barclay 150: a brief history of Andrew Barclay Sons & Co, (1990)

Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography ed. Slaven & Checkland, vol.1 (Aberdeen University Press : 1986)


This material is arranged into series, which consist of numbers of items related by function and/or format. With series, the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Requests for access for legal, business or commercial purposes must be referred to Hunslet-Barclay Ltd, Kilmarnock

Acquisition Information

National Archives of Scotland : 1976-1983

Held under the charge and superintendence of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland

Private additional deposits : 1990

Other Finding Aids

Electronic file level list available on the National Records of Scotland  online catalogue.

Manual file level list available in the searchroom and at the National Register of Archives in London (NRA36388)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for large scale copying must be referred to the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

Any requests to publish or reproduce documents from the collection must be referred to Hunslet-Barclay Ltd and the Keeper of the Records of Scotland must also be informed.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard National Archives of Scotland procedures

Custodial History

Records held by Hunslet-Barclay Ltd prior to acquisition by the National Archives of Scotland


Accruals expected in 2002

Related Material

See source list on the Locomotives & Railways available via the  Glasgow University Archive Services website.

GB 0248 UGD 009 Records of  Dubs & Co

GB 0248 UGD 011 Records of  North British Locomotive Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 329/10 Records of  John Cochrane & Co (Barrhead) Ltd


Wear, Russell,Barclay 150: a brief history of Andrew Barclay Sons & Co, (1990)

Additional Information

This material is original

Compiled by Jenny Bunn, Assistant Archivist, 10 April 2000

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 5 October 2001

Geographical Names