British Gas Operational Research

Scope and Content

The archive comprises the minutes of the Operational Research Committee of the Gas Council, 1970-1994; reports and notes on projects, many by the North Thames Gas Board, 1966-1994; the 'Operational Research Digest', 1971-1994.

Administrative / Biographical History

Although operational research was carried out within the Gas industry before 1970 (reports surviving here from 1966), from this date there existed an Operational Research Committee of the Gas Council. This committee continued until 1991, when a meeting of operational research managers decided that the committee should be replaced by meetings of these managers, who would use the forum to co-ordinate the work of regional operational research groups.

The Gas Act of 1948 created twelve area Gas Boards. The nationalised industry was governed by the Gas Council. The Gas Council was abolished in 1973, when the British Gas Corporation was established and the area Gas Boards became Regions. The assets of the Corporation were transferred to British Gas plc on 24 August 1986, then owned solely by the Government. In November 1986 shares in British Gas plc were offered for sale on the stockmarket, and trading in these shares commenced on 8 December 1986. The twelve regions of the now privatised industry were reorganised into 91 districts in 1991, the company itself establishing five separate business units in 1994.


The numbering system used by British Gas for the reports and notes has been incorporated into the Centre's reference numbers and represents the year of the report and the item number, e.g. MSS. 335/GA/4/1/68/23 is for report number 23 written in 1968.

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

Acquisition Information

The archive was deposited with the Modern Records Centre by British Gas in September 1996 and January 1998.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law, although publication must be referred to the depositor (British Gas).

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Centre holds the following other collections relating to the history, development and practice of operational research and to pioneers and practitioners in this field (collectively known as the Operational Research Archive): British European Airways: Operational Research Branch (MSS.335/AI/1); British Overseas Airways Corporation: Operational Research Branch (MSS.335/AI/2); British Steel Operational Research papers and Memoranda (MSS.335/BS); the Papers of Professor Stephen Cook (MSS.335/CK); the Community Operational Research Unit (MSS.335/COR); the East Midlands Operational Research Group (MSS.335/EMORG); Papers of the Fellowship for Operational Research (MSS.335/FOR); British Gas North West Operational Research Reports (MSS.335/GA/NW); GKN Operational Research Reports (MSS.335/GKN); Fellowship for Operational Research (MSS.335/FOR); International Federation of Operational Research Societies (MSS.335/IFORS);Interviews with Operational Research Pioneers and Related Papers (MSS.335/INT); the Institute for Operational Research (MSS.335/IOR); the Local Government Operational Research Unit (MSS.335/LG); Miscellaneous and Fragmentary Operational Research Papers (MSS.335/MIS); Operational Analysis Branch, NATO (MSS.335/OAB); Draft Obituaries of Operational Research Practitioners (MSS.335/OBIT); the Papers of Jack Plymen (MSS.335/PLY); the Papers of Professor K. Brian Haley relating to Operational Research Quarterly (MSS.335/SO/H); the Papers of Rolphe C. Tomlinson (MSS.335/TOM); and the Papers of Dr Edward D. van Rest (MSS.335/VR).