London Transport Aldenham and Chiswick bus overhaul works trade union records

Scope and Content

These are mainly records of local officials of the National Union of Vehicle Builders (the Transport and General Workers' Union vehicle building and automotive group from 1972) and the Amalgamated Engineering Union and its successors. They include original minutes of the Aldenham and combined (Aldenham and Chiswick) joint trades works committees and of local union meetings, and circulated minutes and papers of meetings with London Transport management. There is some duplication in the content of the latter because copies were kept by more than one official. The records relate to the Aldenham works unless otherwise stated.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1952 London Transport, in order to relieve the pressure on its Chiswick bus overhaul works, began converting and extending an existing building at Aldenham near Elstree in Hertfordshire on a site originally intended for car sheds for the proposed Northern Line Bushey Heath extension. Work on engines and gearboxes, experimental work and chassis overhauls continued at Chiswick until 1955 when all overhaul work was transferred to Aldenham, which was officially opened in October 1956. The site was at its busiest during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Work carried out included body rebuilds, accident repairs, repaints, seat trimming, destination blinds, new bus preparation and tilt-testing.

London Transport's Bus Works Restructuring Programme of 1983-1984 was followed in October 1985 by the decision to discontinue the practice of completely overhauling each bus every four or five years. As a result, the Aldenham Works were closed and sold for redevelopment in November 1986 and its activities were transferred to the older and smaller maintenance depot at Chiswick.

Reference: G.J. Child, 'Aldenham Bus Works', Journal of the Watford and District Industrial History Society, no.15, pp.15-17. 1989; Transport for London Corporate Archives research guide no 33, Apr 2016 (

Access Information

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

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

These records were collected from the Aldenham joint trades works committee office and deposited in the Centre in September 1986.