Papers of the National Union of Railwaymen

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The records of the National Union of Railwaymen are essentially a continuation of those of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales which was the largest partner in the amalgamation forming the union. The offices of the other partners, the General Railway Workers' Union and the United Pointsmen's and Signalmen's Society, were closed upon amalgamation and very few records of these unions survive.

Minutes, various series, 1913-89; membership registers, 1913-27 (incomplete); extensive subject files including of Organisation and Movements Department; records of Legal Department; Railway Review , 1913-1976; Transport Review, 1977-1990; various reports and publications, 1913-74; various records of branches and district councils.

National Busworkers' Association: records of and relating to, 1950-54, collected by NUR (MSS.127/NU/OR/3/227-34).

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen: Fusion conference proceedings, pre-1914; financial report, 1922; pamphlet, 1924; agreement, 1921; Locomotive Journal, 1921-5, 1927-33.

National Union of Railwaymen Orphan Fund : annual reports, 1913-80 (incomplete).

Administrative / Biographical History

The National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) was formed in 1913 by the amalgamation of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the General Railway Workers' Union and the United Pointsmen's and Signalmen's Society. The Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales was the dominant partner in this amalgamation. In 1953 the National Association of Transport Employees was formed and National Union of Railwaymen members in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland transferred to that union. In 1990 the National Union of Railwaymen amalgamated with the National Union of Seamen to form the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

Reference: P.S. Bagwell, The Railwaymen: History of the National Union of Railwaymen (2 vols; George Allen and Unwin, 1963 & 1982).

Arrangement

The arrangement of the archive and the list relating to it is based on the departmental structure of the National Union of Railwaymen. The union's rules, first promulgated in 1913 and remarkably stable thereafter, provide for four departments : finance; legal; movements; and organisation. The rules describe the organisation of the Finance Department and the union's legal assistance scheme in some detail. The Movements Department's primary function is to conduct dealings with the employers of the union's members, a role which the rules expressly deny to the union's locally based organisers. Ultimate responsibility for the conduct of disputes and negotiations is, however, vested in the Executive Committee. The recruitment and retention of members was the task of the Organisation (later Organisation and Registration) Department. Following the establishment of the closed shop its work was largely a matter of membership administration. Some records, such as the union's minutes and its publications cannot be assigned to one department and are listed separately.

The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see http://www.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/mrcclass.shtml. It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

Unpublished material less than five years old is closed to research.

Acquisition Information

The first deposit was made by the National Union of Railwaymen in April 1976. Subsequent deposits were made later in 1976 and in 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998 and 2000.

Other Finding Aids

The collection was catalogued in 1986. A copy of this catalogue is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources. The 2000 deposit has not yet been catalogued.

Authority records exist for the National Union of Railwaymen (GB 0152 AAR1031), the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (GB 0152 AAR1036) and the National Busworkers' Association (GB 152 AAR1037).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.

Accruals

Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Centre also holds the records of the NUR's predecessors, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (MSS.127/AS), the General Railway Workers' Union (MSS.127/GR) and the United Pointsmen's and Signalmen's Society (MSS.127/UP). It also holds R. Hyman's research papers relating to the National Union of Railwaymen and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (MSS.380).

In addition, the Centre holds the papers of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Vehicle Wagon Builders, Wheelwrights, Carpenters and Mechanics (MSS.259/RV) and the Transport Salaried Staff Association (MSS.55).