Legacy Archive

The Trust is custodian of a wealth of images, documents and films documenting the Company’s history

These are a significant historical record and the Trust is committed to giving them purpose in the wider community by creating resources for education and research through a series of projects.

Images

There are 238,000 images charting the history of John Laing from the first house, built in 1848.

It also provides an objective social history of the UK and beyond, through the prism of construction.

The exciting Breaking New Ground Project in partnership with Historic England will see 10,000 images from the end of World War II selected and made available to schools, universities and community projects.

This project, launched officially in Autumn 2019, has created new jobs and training opportunities.

Documents

There are a significant number of documents stored, again providing a comprehensive and wide-ranging history of the Company and the UK. These include plans for some historic estates, brochures, R&D material and personal letters. There is also a complete set of Team Spirits – the Company’s monthly in-house magazine, which ran from 1946 until the Construction arm was sold in 2001.

This documentary resource, in particular, has been very useful in helping with enquiries from those trying to trace information about a parent or relative who worked for the Company.

It has also provided help for historians researching local developments, specific buildings and even town histories.

The whole document collection is currently being audited for creation of an accessible digital archive.

We hope this will enhance the Trust’s ability to provide help and information to even more people.

Further details can be obtained from alex.finkenrath@laing.com

Film Archive

John Laing realised the power of film early on and the Trust holds a large collection of movies in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

These are mainly high quality films range from some 1929 black and white footage of the Laing Battalion, to in depth documentaries on projects including The M1, Berkeley Power Station, The Bull Ring in Birmingham, Bala Lake and many others. There is even popular footage taken by Sir John Laing during his missionary work in India and Africa.

Various artists, charitable organisations and national film makers have used footage from the collection, such as the Westway Trust which manages 23 acres of land beneath the Westway into London, on behalf of the community.

Watch our archive preview

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