Guide to the Miscellaneous Collections held by the Doncaster Archives Department (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Doncaster Archives Department
Collections held by the Doncaster Archives Department (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1821 - 1971
Collection Number
24 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Records 1842-1968 of Bridon Plc, formerly British Ropes Ltd, including history of the company, financial records and photographic albums, with references to branches in Australia and New Zealand.

Records 1872-1876 of solicitors Somerville and Baxter, including annual report and accounts of Bank of South Australia.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

For Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Doncaster Archives Department, England, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1993 (AJCP Reels: M2980-M2982). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Doncaster Archives Department, King Edward Road, Balby, Doncaster,England

For more information see Doncaster Archives Department catalogue (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding Aid Note

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Pieces that were not filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project have not been included in this Finding Aid.


Australia; Bank of South Australia; Bridon PLC (British Ropes Ltd); British Ropes Ltd; Business records; New Zealand; Photographs; Solicitors; Somerville and Baxter, solicitors


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 140, p. 151

Item Descriptions

Fonds DD/CL. Clark Family of Doncaster, 1881

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP reel M2980.

Series 3. Other Clark Records, April 1881

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Probate of will of George Clark Walker of Brooks Farm, Parahaki, Wangarei, New Zealand, died 16 September 1880 (2p.), 22 April 1881 (File 5)

Fonds DD/DC. Davies-Cooke of Owston, 1821

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP reel M2980.

Biographical / Historical

The Cooke Family owned the Owston estate and Owston Hall in the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1698 to 1980. In 1829 Philip Davies-Cooke (1793-1853) married Lady Helena King, the daughter of George King (1771-1839), 3rd Earl of Kingston in the Irish peerage. He built Mitchelstown Castle in County Cork, the largest Gothic house in Ireland.

Series P/2. Political Papers: 3rd Earl of Kingston, 6 March 1821

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Lord Bathurst to Lord Kingston re passage to New South Wales for Mr Bennett of Cork (2p.), 6 March 1821 (File 25)

Fonds DX/BAX. Sommerville and Baxter, 1872 - 1876

2 items


Originally filmed on AJCP reel M2980.

Series 6/1. Percival Papers: Thomas Percival, January 1872 - 1876

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Thomas Wilson (London) to T. Percival (Whitby) with receipt for sale of Bank of South Australia shares (2p.), 24 January 1872 (File 6/1/4/1-2)
Bank of South Australia Reports of the Court of Directors (36p. printed), 1876 (File 6/1/5)

Includes: Annual report and accounts, list of proprietors.

Fonds DY/BRI. Bridon PLC, 1887 - 1971

8 items

Papers of British Ropes Ltd and companies acquired.

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP reels M2980-M2982.

Biographical / Historical

British Ropes Ltd was founded in 1924 as a result of a merger of eight companies. It took over many other steel wire and rope companies in subsequent years. Its name was changed to Bridon Ltd in 1974.

Series 1. Bridon PLC, 1950 - 1968

2 items
Subseries 1/7. Catalogues
1 item
Australian Wire Rope Works Pty Ltd Newcastle, 1950 (File 1/7/88)

Illustrated bookslet about the company and its products. (25p., printed)

Australian Wire Industries Pty Ltd, n.d. (1960?) (File 1/7/89)

Illustrated booklet about the company and its products, including examples of ropes in use (eg. Scenic skyway at katoomba). (257p., printed)

Subseries 1/8. Published Works, 1965
1 item
David S. Macmillan. Archibald Forsyth and Co: one hundred years of ropemaking, 1865-1965. Sydney, The Company (55p., printed), 1965 (File 1/8/37)

Illustrated history of the company. Filmed selectively.

Series 7. William Cooke Co Ltd, 1961

1 item

Biographical / Historical

William Cooke & Company was established at Tinsley, Sheffield, in 1873. It produced steel, iron, wire rope and horse shoes, as well as channel steel for rubber tyres. British Ropes Ltd acquired an interest in the company in 1948 and took over the remainder in 1954.

Commemorative brochure issued on the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the company in New Zealand, 1961 (File 7/8)

Includes illustrated brochure on the New Zealand company and its managing directors. (12p., printed)

Series 18. Gourock Ropework Co, 1934 - 1971

3 items

Related Materials

For other material on the company in Australia and New Zealand see M2638-M2639 Records of Gourock Ropework & Company (

Biographical / Historical

The Gourock Rope Company was founded in 1777 and merged with the Port Glasgow Rope and Duct Company in 1797. It manufactured ropes, canvas and sailcloth. Henry Birkmyre (1762-1844) became a partner in the firm in 1814 and his son William Byrkmire (1802-1862) and grandsons Henry Byrkmire (1832-1900) and John Byrkmire (1834-1910) controlled the company for the next century. In 1903 the firm was incorporated as Gourock Ropes Company Ltd following an amalgamation with New Lanark Mills, which had been founded by David Dale and Richard Arkwright in 1784. By 1954 it had a large overseas operation, with subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, Canada and Argentina. The company became part of British Ropes Ltd in 1970. The Port Glasgow works closed in 1974.

Journal foreign branches, 1934 - 1968 (File 18/3)

Financial records of overseas branches, including Australia and New Zealand. (253p., some blank pages)

Financial records, New Zealand, 1965 - 1971 (File 18/7)

Statements of account, credit and debit notes. (456p.)

Financial records, Sydney, 1965 - 1971 (File 18/8)

Statements of account, debit and credit notes. (267p.)

Series 28. Thomas and William Smith, 1887 - 1926

2 items

Biographical / Historical

The ropemaking business of William Smith & Company was founded by in Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1782. In 1810 Thomas Smith and his sons Thomas Smith (c. 1784-1856) and William Smith (1787-1860) expanded the company by starting a shipbuilding business in Newcastle. It moved to North Shields in 1851. It eventually became Smith's Dock Company, one of the largest ship repairing businesses in the world. Thomas and William Smith became part of British Ropes Ltd in 1924.

Australian tramway rope order book (58ff.), 1887 - 1926 (File 28/1)

Details of cables ordered and laid for Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company. (Some blank pages)

Photograph album, n.d. (File 28/2)

Photograph of cables and cables in use, including aerial ropeways in Tasmania; logging at Geeveston Mills, Tasmania; headgear at Sons of Gwalia Gold Mine, Australia. (Poor photograph). (29p.)

Fonds DZMD. Miscellaneous Deposits, 1842

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP reel M2982.

Letter from Miss Bella Ashkam of Melbourne, Australia, c. 29 May 1842 (File 364)

Anna Bella Ashkam (Brighton) to her sister Elizabeth Askham (Doncaster) re life in Melbourne; weather; furnishing the house; "the servants have what is called damper... the old prisoners made the best"; convicts are better servants than emigrants. (4p., crossed, faint.)

Fonds NF1. Society of friends, Doncaster, 1832

2 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP reel M2982.

Biographical / Historical

Daniel Wheeler (1771-1840) was accepted as a Quaker minister in 1816. In 1832-35 he undertook 'a voyage of concern' to the Pacific Islands, New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.

Thomas Backhouse (1792-1845), the son of the banker James Backhouse, managed a nursery in York from 1815 onwards. His brother James Backhouse (1794-1869), together with George Washington Walker, visited Australia from 1832 to 1838, visiting Quakers and investigating convict establishments.

Series 3. Certificates of Commendation, September 1832

2 items
On behalf of Daniel Wheeler issued by Balby monthly meeting and Sheffield addressed to the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land, and the Society Islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean (1p. faint), 13 September 1832 (File 3.1)
Signed by Thomas Backhouse on behalf of York meeting (1p. faint), 26 September 1832 (File)

Includes transcription in index handlist. (1p.).

Fonds P59. Parish Records: St Margaret Parish Swinton, n.d.

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP reel M2982.

Series 10. Miscellaneous, n.d.

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Catherine Everett (Remuark, South Australia) to Vicar, n.d. (File 23)

Swinton that cannot spare money for his church, 'everything here is in a most unsettled condition', encloses photograph of cottage. (2p.)