Falkirk’s hoard of secrets there to be dug out

Callendar House holds a veritable treasure trove of archival information
Callendar House holds a veritable treasure trove of archival information

Centuries of secrets await those willing to look behind the serene exterior of Callendar House and delve into the archives within.

As part of the Explore Your Archive campaign, which starts with an open event on Saturday, Falkirk Community Trust is encouraging people to take the time to visit their archive and find out what hidden local stories can be uncovered in their documents.

Community Trust spokesperson Laura Whyte said: “Falkirk Archives hold a wealth of information about the heritage of the local community and is available for anyone to look at, whether they are tracing their family history, studying for school or university projects, or simply interested in finding out more about local people, places or events.

“We have pulled together boxes of documents, journals and paper cuttings about a few hidden stories to show people the kind of things they can discover in the archive.

“They include the tale of local professional violinist Evelyn Dewar, stories involving the Redding Pit Disaster and the attitudes of local people to the 1820s Radical revolt.”

Located in Callendar House’s Victorian library, the archive is the place to come to find out about the history of Falkirk district or to start some research on your own family’s past.

Local archives and photographs are held there and may be viewed by the public. Most aspects of local life are covered, from valuation and electoral rolls to old newspapers, school records to town council minutes, from foundry catalogues to church bazaar programmes and everything in between.

Free of charge to all researchers, although there is a small charge for photocopying, the archive always has helpful staff on hand during opening hours to offer guidance and advice to aid people in their research.

“Visiting an archive can take you on an adventure,” said Laura. “You may end up discovering much more than you imagined. Archives are full of fascinating content to read, touch and explore.

“Whether you are interested in fashion, sport, food or even UFOs, there will be something waiting for you in the archives.”

Saturday’s open event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Falkirk Archives are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, closing between 12.30 and 1.30 p.m.

Call (01324) 503779 or visit www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/heritage/archives for more information.