Records of the Transport and General Workers Union (Region 10: Docks and Waterways)

Scope and Content

These records were created or received by Brian Barker in his capacity as Regional Docks and Waterways Officer. Region 10 of the TGWU covered mainly Hull and Goole. Unfortunately, the records do not go back much beyond the early 1960s, and they are therefore most useful for studying the 1970s and 1980s. It is not known what happened to earlier records dating back to 1922, and the survival rate of records of predecessor unions at local level is very patchy.

Administrative / Biographical History

Fourteen trade unions came together in 1922 to form the Transport and General Workers Union. These were: the Amalgamated Society of Watermen, Lightermen and Bargemen; the Amalgamated Carters, Lorrymen and Motormen's Union; the Amalgamated Association of Carters and Motormen; the Associated Horsemen's Union; the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union of Great Britain and Ireland; the Labour Protection League; the National Amalgamated Labourers' Union of Great Britain and Ireland; the National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staffs; the National Association of Ships' Clerks, Grain Weighers and Coalmeters; the National Union of Vehicle Workers; the National Amalgamated Coal Porters' Union of Inland and Seaborne Coal Workers; the North of England Trimmers and Teemers' Association; the North of Scotland Horse and Motormen's Association; and the United Vehicle Workers. Over time many other unions have been absorbed, notably the National Union of Dock, Riverside and General Workers in Great Britain and Ireland in 1922, the Workers' Union in 1929, the National Association of Operative Plasterers in 1968, the Chemical Workers' Union in 1971, the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers in 1981, and the National Union of Dyers, Bleachers and Textile Workers in 1982.

Although the port of Hull was the third largest after London and Liverpool at the beginning of the twentieth century, employing 13,000 dockers at its peak, the history of the docks has not yet been written [Davies, p.180]. This is due in part to the lack of surviving primary sources.


DTG/1 Docks branches, 1968 - 1985

DTG/2 Hull Docks District Committee/Joint Branch Committee, 1968 - 1983

DTG/3 Region 10 Committee and Officers, 1971 - 1986

DTG/4 Transport and General Workers Union: national, 1968 - 1988

DTG/5 Hull Joint Port Working Committee, 1962 - 1988

DTG/6 National Joint Council for the Port Transport Industry, 1963 - 1985

DTG/7 National Dock Labour Board: local and national, 1959 - 1989

DTG/8 National and local Joint Councils for British Waterways Wages Grade Staff, 1980 - 1990

DTG/9 British Waterways Board, 1972 - 1987

DTG/10 Subject files, 1951 - 1989

DTG/11 Case files, 1971 - 1990

DTG/12 Miscellaneous, 1970 - 1990

Access Information

Some of the records in this collection contain sensitive personal information. In accordance with data protection legislation, records containing sensitive personal information are not available for public inspection for 75 years if the information relates to adults, or 100 years if the information relates to children. In some circumstances access may be granted for research purposes. To request access or for further information please contact

Access to all other material will be granted to any accredited reader.

Conditions Governing Use

Transport and General Workers Union

Custodial History

Deposited by Brian Barker, Docks and Waterways Officer, TGWU, Bevin House, Hull, 13 September 1995

Related Material

Records of Hull Labour Party [U DLP]

Papers of Anthony J Topham [U DTO], including papers on educational work with the TGWU and on industrial relations/trade unions

Files on Hull docks, 1970-1981, amongst papers of Sir Patrick Wall MP [U DPW/3/93-98]

Other repositories:

Research results of two linked projects on trade unionism in British docks, undertaken by Prof. FJ Lindop, University of Greenwich [MSS.371/QD7], Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Records of the Transport and General Workers Union [MSS.126/TG], Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Research papers of Tony Topham, relating to vols. II & III of the history of the TGWU, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick


  • Sam Davies, 'The history of Hull dockers, c.1870-1960', in Sam Davies et al, eds., Dock workers: international explorations in comparative labour history 1790-1970 (Ashgate, 2000), vol.I, ch.9
  • Tony Topham & Ken Coates, The making of the Transport and General Workers Union: vol.I The emergence of the labour movement 1870-1922 (Basil Blackwell, 1991)