Johnstone History Museum

Johnstone History Museum Johnstone History Museum is based in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. It contains local industrial and social artifacts and memorabilia.
JOHNSTONE HISTORY MUSEUM. Johnstone is extremely fortunate to have the Museum it has. It is a unique facility that was incorporated into the building of the supermarket by Morrisons free of charge to the people of Johnstone. It is leased for an annual nominal sum to Johnstone History Society, which operates it with a team of volunteers for the benefit of the Town and its visitors.

Johnstone History Museum is based in Johnstone, Scotland. It contains local industrial and social artefacts and memorabilia. The origin of Johnstone can be traced precisely to the 23rd Jaunuary 1782, when George Houstoun, the Laird of the Lands of Johnstone, sold the first tracts of land feus from his estate. Using the power from the River Black Cart the town's cotton and flax spinning industry rapidly expanded until over 20 mills were in operation. The cotton mills gave rise to a need for engineering skills to maintain the water wheel machinery and the spinning machines. These were boom times for the spinning industry in Johnstone. But this was not going to last. [More] As a result of the cotton famine caused by the American Civil War and the advent of steam power, by 1850, cotton spinning began to decline. But as the mills closed all was not lost for the people of Johnstone. The engineering businesses, built on cotton, survived the decline, and they then prospered in their own right. New firms were created that manufactured machine-tools of all kinds (see the photographs in our Gallery). Foundries were built to support the engineering works and there was a demand for the heavy machine tools for the construction of the iron ships being built on the Clyde. By the 1900’s Johnstone designed and built machines were in demand all over the world. This was the second Industrial Revolution for the town of Johnstone. The Museum exhibits trace the History of the Town from its inception though the rise and fall of the Textile industry and on to the various Engineering business. Some Engineering businesses survive in the Town to this day. It is manned on a voluntary basis by members of Johnstone History Society. Volunteers are welcome.


On behalf of the Volunteer team at the Museum we are really sorry, but we have had to close the musuem untill further notice.

The entrance to the Museum in Morrisons store.

The entrance to the Museum in Morrisons store.

Welcome to Johnstone History Museum

Welcome to Johnstone History Museum


On Wednesday 6th Dec the Museum put on a presentation at the Paisley & Johnstone Training Centre in Laighcartside Street. They were celebrating their 50th Anniversary. For those who do not know, the Training Centre was set up to train Engineering apprentices from the numerous Engineering firms in the area. Our Presentation consisted of 40 PowerPoint slides showing the Companies and the Machine Tools that they produced. Shanks, Craig & Donald, Loudons, McDowalls, Langs, Clifton & Baird and many more. P&J Training is still going strong training Engineering and Gas Engineers. Chances are that if you had a Gas boiler put in recently the guy/girl was trained in Johnstone. Gas Engineers trained around the corner from Gas Street, how cool is that.


Next, on Tuesday 5th Dec we had a visit from 27 Pupils and teachers from Class P6 in Auchenlodment school. They listened intently to our Johnstone Story and had lots of questions. All are a credit to their School.


Have had a busy couple of weeks at the Museum. On 22nd Nov we had a visit from residents of Erskine Home to hear our story of the History of Johnstone. I was advised that one gentleman Lance McNeil, was very quiet and might fall asleep. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He was a live wire telling us all about his life in the Army in WW2 and about his life in the area around Johnstone. He had been a member of Johnstone Wheelers. He well remembered Rita Montgomery (Jones). We have now spoken to Rita and we plan for Rita and John to visit Lance at Erskine.


This is the page with a link to our Johnstone History Museum web site.


We are busy at the Museum archiving the hundreds if not thousands of items we have in store. We have changed over a few of our displays and we are also getting ready for Doors Open Day in September. If you haven't been in for a while why not pay us a visit.

The museum has had slides handed in and we wished to find out more about them.What was the occasion and what was the dat...

The museum has had slides handed in and we wished to find out more about them.
What was the occasion and what was the date?

Johnstone History Museum

Johnstone History Museum


Thanks to Ricky Kelly, the Museum now has a page to add to our website Once we get to master the technology and understand how our Facebook entry works we will add a more attractive look to our site.


(Inside Morrisons) 30 Napier Street

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:30 - 16:00
Friday 10:30 - 16:00
Saturday 10:30 - 16:00


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Hi looking for information on 80 high street when it was built ,who built it why are there initials on the two towers & what appears to have been a clock recess in the middle column ,TIA
A treasure trove of information & connections! Ian Murray is a gift...
I am looking for information of a young boy aged 10 who was drowned at the river cart whilst bathing on the 3st august 1906. Does anyone know where I can retrieve newspaper reports on this accident please? the boys name was Robert stewart millar. thank you
I have sent a message regarding the grandmother of a friend who was murdered in 1951.