Fonds BR 273 - Boulton and Paul Ltd, joiners and structural engineer

Identity area

Reference code

BR 273


Boulton and Paul Ltd, joiners and structural engineer


  • c 1850-1997 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Approximately 63 linear metres

Context area

Name of creator

(? 1906-? 1990)

Administrative history

The company's origins date back to an ironmonger's shop founded in 1797 in Norwich by William Moore. Later partners in the firm were John Barnard, William Boulton and Joseph Paul. By the early twentieth century, Boulton and Paul Ltd was a successful general manufacturing firm, based in Rose Lane, Norwich.
In the First World War, Boulton and Paul began to construct aircraft , and in 1916, much of the business was transferred to a new site, the Riverside Works. The aircraft building business was sold off in 1934 and moved to Wolverhampton under the name Boulton Paul Aircraft Ltd. During the Second World War, Boulton and Paul was a major producer of prefabricated buildings, wire netting and wooden sub-assemblies of aircraft. As a result, the Riverside premises were the target for bombers, and several of the buildings were destroyed in 1940.
The 'Sidestrand' and the 'Overstrand' were twin-engined all-metal biplane bombers produced by Boulton and Paul Ltd after the First World War.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 24 November 1997 (ACC 1997/146), 12 June 2000 (ACC 2000/59), 26 July 2001 (ACC 2001/115), 20 February 2003 (ACC 2002/274), 28 April 2004 (ACC 2004/23) and 8 July 2010 (ACC 2010/90).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Contains Boulton and Paul's company archives and Jim Colman's papers as company archivist (see boxes 1-43 and 88, 111-114 and 122-123 for Jim Colman's records). Includes product catalogues, photographs and some business records. It appears that some company records were destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. Therefore some types of records, such as the company's administrative records, orders and contracts etc. are not well represented in this archive. There are also few records relating to aircraft manufacture. Some records relating to the The Royal Society International Geophysical Year Expedition (Antarctic), c 1955-c 1956 and the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, c 1953-c 1957 are included.

Please note that catalogue descriptions and references are not final and may change in the future. Entries have not been fully edited and may contain some errors.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Currently arranged by date of accession and then by box/container number. ACC 1997/146 is the main deposit of records and contains Jim Colman's papers.

Jim Colman's papers are arranged following his internal reference system of NN and PN (photograph) numbers. Index cards relating to the NN and PN numbers in Jim Colman's papers are at ACC 1997/146/123. Information from most of these cards has been transferred to this catalogue but the cards are also a useful subject index to Jim Colman's records.

Records with internal references of C/ and C may refer to contract numbers or Construction Engineering photograph/negative numbers.

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