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Alloa Speirs Centre

New
Door open days

28 September 2019 (9 am to 1 pm)

Clackmannanshire

The Speirs Centre was built as Alloa Public Baths and Gymnasium and was gifted by John Thomson Paton, Managing Director of John Paton, Son & Co. Ltd, KIlncraigs Mill. It was designed by John James Burnet, Son & Campbell. Construction began in 1895 and it opened on 29th April 1898. The building has been described as ‘one of Scotland’s finest public baths and gymnasiums’. It closed at the end of 1986, then reopened as a gymnastic centre on 13thJanuary 1989 as The Speirs Centre, in memory of the Clackmannanshire boxer Tommy Speirs. It closed again in 2012 and reopened on 18th October 2014, with a new extension designed by LDN Architects.

It now provides a wide range of services, including a library; local and family history research centre; Archives; Registry; and exhibitions on the history and heritage of the county.  

Clackmannanshire’s Archive Collection was moved into a new storage facility in the building in 2017 and people are invited to have a guided tour of the  Archive Store, which is not normally accessible to the public.  The Archives include records of Clackmannanshire Council and its predecessor bodies (including property valuation rolls, school log books and burial records) and also contain privately donated collections from local companies, clubs, families and individuals, such as the Patons & Baldwins archive and the Johnstone of Alva Papers.  There will also be displays relating to the history of the building and a look at what the county was like thirty years ago, to mark  the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Days. 

Exhibition: Alloa Pottery - A Celebration

Alloa Pottery was established in c1783, but its heyday began when it was taken over in 1856 by Joseph Bailey, an Edinburgh china and glass merchant. His sons later ran the pottery, modernising, expanding and improving it to ensure its survival in an increasingly competitive market.  W & J A Bailey's Alloa Pottery flourished, winning awards at international trade exhibitions,  producing an extensive range of pottery and engraved glassware and claiming to hold a stock of 100,000 tea pots. It eventually closed in 1907. This new exhibition has been researched, devised and arranged by the Friends of Clackmannanshire Heritage and includes about 150 pieces from the county Heritage Collection.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland - a new panel for Clackmannanshire

Part of the Great Tapestry of Scotland was shown to acclaim in the Speirs Centre in 2017; since then a panel has been researched and designed to tell aspects  of the story of Clackmannanshire. The main design has been drawn by Andrew Crummy and workshops have been held around the county to recruit volunteers and to select additional subjects for the panel. Visitors will be able to see the outline drawings on the linen panel and to find out more about the background to the project, which is being coordinated by Clackmannanshire TSI. 

 

 

 

 

 

Facilities

Key Information

Architect: J J Burnet, Son & Campbell, LDN Architects

Building Date: 1898, 2014

Clackmannanshire Archives

Guided tours of the Archive Store will take place at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00  and 12:00 and each tour will last approximately 45 minutes. Tour groups are limited to 15 people and places must be booked in advance.

To book please call 01259 452272 or email syule@clacks.gov.uk. There is a lift for disabled access and the Archive Store is wheelchair accessible.

The Speirs Centre is open from 9.00 until 1.00pm and visitors will also be able to look around the library and see the following:

Exhibition: Alloa Pottery - A Celebration

This new exhibition is on display on the ground and mezzanine levels of the building.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland - a new panel for Clackmannanshire

The display will be adjacent to the Archive Store on the ground floor.

 

 

 

Where to find us

Address
  • Primrose Place
  • Alloa
  • FK10 1AD