Photographic records of steel framed buildings constructed by David Colville and SonsLimited, 1920-1951

Scope and Content

The collection comprises two albums, primarily containing black and white photographs. The firstdocuments the steel frame construction of the Bank of England in the City of London, which wasrebuilt between 1920 and 1930. The photographs depict views of the steel frame, curved trusses andentrance girders on Princes Street, welding, welded connections, and finished work. The album alsocontains newspaper cuttings relating to the rebuilding of the bank (1930-1932), and a typescriptlecture about the rebuilding of the bank giving reference to photographs (c. 1951). There are alsotwo items of copy correspondence dated September 1951, one sent by C.J. Willey to J. Cotton,chairman of Serck Foremans Group, and one sent by Cotton to Willey.

The second album contains photographs and newspaper cuttings relating to other buildingsconstructed by Colville's in the late 1920s and early 1930s. These include premises for Barclay'sBank in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Gracechurch Street, City of London; the Royal Mail SteamPacket Company in Leadenhall Street, City of London, and in Manchester; the Royal Academy ofDramatic Art in Gower Street, London; the Royal Bank of Canada at 6 Lothbury, City of London; theMiddlesex Hospital, London; Phoenix Assurance, City of London; and Woolwich Borough Council. Otherbuildings featured include Croydon Aerodrome Hotel; the Dugdale Printing Works; Stone House at 84Houndsditch, London; and Ninth Church of Christ Scientist in Marsham Street, Westminster. Thephotographs focus on aspects of the steel framework of these buildings.

Administrative / Biographical History

The photographs in this collection feature buildings with a steel frame construction. In eachcase, the steel girders were manufactured and assembled by David Colville and Sons Ltd (laterColville Constructional Company Limited), of 195 West George Street, Glasgow. The firm, founded byDavid Colville (1813-1897), had iron and steelworks in Glengarnock, Ayrshire and Motherwell andDalzell, Lanarkshire. Colville's was eventually sold to the British Steel Corporation.

The photographs and newspaper cuttings in this collection were compiled by Mr C.J. Willey. It islikely that he was an employee of David Colville and Sons Ltd.


No archival arrangement has been necessary

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.


Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposesonly, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advancein writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts andSpecial Collections in August 1987.

Related Material

  • Corus Colors Regional Record Centre: Corporate and miscellaneous records of David Colville andSons Limited. c.1885-c.1930.
  • National Archives of Scotland: Accounting, technical, production, staff and premises recordsand letter books of David Colville and Sons Limited. 1871-1930.

Personal Names