Papers of Alexander Connon

Scope and Content

A small collection of papers relating to Connon's time in Africa, as an employee of the Taylor Woodrow Group of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors. The collection comprises a final draft of a site clerk's hand book, subsequently printed and used as a simple training manual for Taylor Woodrow Group of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors' African employees, 1954; and a file containing records of visits made by Connon to sites in the Gold Coast and Nigeria to audit and instruct the company's clerical staff, 1950s. The records' interest lies in the illustration which they provide of contemporary attitudes towards the company's African workers, and of their salaries and working hours.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Connon joined the Taylor Woodrow Group of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors in the United Kingdom early in 1946 as a cashier/ wages clerk. In Sept 1948 he transferred to Tanganyika, on the African Gold Coast, where his company were engaged in laying a pipeline from the New Southern Province Groundnut Exploitation area to the coast. He spent the following 10 years in this region, initially at the company's offices in the Nachingwea area, where it was involved with plans to build a township, and subsequently, at Lagos and the Eastern Region (Port Harcourt). During this time he was promoted from internal auditor, to regional manager, and latterly, administration manager for Nigeria. His company was committed to a policy of Africanisation, and during his time there he was involved with training young Africans in office techniques and procedures, such that they might subsequently be employed in place of their British counterparts. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1959, but remained with the Taylor Woodrow Group for several years. In 1984 he was a student advisor at Aberdeen College of Commerce.


None observed - listing in process

Access Information

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in Oct 1984, by Alexander Connon. The records were deposited in response to an article written by Professor J.D. Hargreaves, Department of History, University of Aberdeen, in the African Studies Group Bulletin, Sept 1983.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

No related material identified in this repository


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Not known