Records of the Clerk's Department of the Trent River Authority and its predecessor bodies; 1760-1975

Scope and Content

The records of the Clerk's Department comprise letter books (RC/C) of outgoing correspondence of the River Trent Catchment Board 1931-1951, the Trent River Board 1951-1965 and the Trent River Authority 1965-1975. There are a vast number of general files (RC/F/1-2) covering the years 1925-1974 which relate to all aspects of the work of the Trent River Authority and its two main predecessor bodies, ranging from major projects such as the Nottingham Flood Protection Scheme to personnel matters and quite minor administrative procedures. Accruals have added a series of files comprising the 'document archive' of the the Department (RC/F/3), and files relating to the Doncaster District Drainage Board 1929-1933, some of whose functions were taken on by the River Trent Catchment Board under the Doncaster Area Drainage Act, 1933 (RC/F/4).

Also included amongst the records of the Clerk's Department are the administrative and financial papers, some dating back to the early 19th century, of a number of internal drainage boards prior to 1965 (RC/I), including Bramcote Brook Independent Drainage Board, Crowle District I.D.B., Forebridge Drainage Board, Misson I.D.B., Idle, Ryton and Bycarsdyke Court of Sewers, Sow and Penk, and Whitewater I.D.B. The series of legal documents (RC/L) includes many copies of enclosure awards, the originals of which date from 1760, as well as papers concerning some minor cases.

Material such as minutes and committee papers (previously RC/M), grants of arms and annual reports have now been moved to form a new collection of governance records of the Trent River Authority alongside similar material from the other departments (RG).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Land Drainage Act of 1930 created the Catchment Boards of England and Wales which were to have oversight over main rivers and which were funded by precepts from other authorities including Internal Drainage Boards and County Councils. The River Trent Catchment Board was established in May 1931. Its predecessor bodies included a number of early drainage, navigation, and warping companies which were absorbed by or amalgamated with the River Trent Catchment Board in 1941. The River Boards Act of 1948 brought together the responsibilities for drainage, fisheries and pollution under single authorities and on 1 April 1951, the Catchment Board became the Trent River Board, taking over the functions of the Trent Fishery Board. The next change of name occurred on 1 April 1965 when, following the Water Act of 1963, the Trent River Board became the Trent River Authority. The Authority was responsible for flood prevention and land drainage along the 'main rivers' in its area, conserving, monitoring and developing water resources, controlling water quality, preventing pollution, and managing fish stocks and angling licences. The 1973 Water Act created new Water Authorities with comprehensive management of the entire water cycle and so the River Authorities were dissolved.

Upon the establishment of the River Trent Catchment Board in 1931, the preliminary official work of the Board was undertaken by K Tweedale Meaby, Clerk of the Nottinghamshire County Council. In July of that year, it was decided to appoint full time officers, and in October 1931, the Clerk of the Board commenced their duties. The work of the Clerk's Department was continued by the Trent River Board and the Trent River Authority. The first Clerk of the Board and Chief Financial Officer was John Hirst, who was succeeded by Ian Drummond in 1959.


The material has been arranged in series according to form. The subsequent arrangement has been largely based on that employed by the Trent River Authority and its predecessor bodies.

Access Information

The bulk of the collection is accessible to all registered readers. However, access may be restricted to some files which include material which may have data protection issues, or are less than 30 years old.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogues to file level

At the National Register of Archives, London:

Typescript Catalogues to file level

Online: Online catalogue available from the Manuscripts and Special Collections website.

Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Custodial History

Small groups of documents were transferred to the University Library in the 1960s, but in 1974-1975 (when the Severn Trent Water Authority took over), it was decided to transfer the bulk of the records of the Clerks, Engineer's and Treasurer's Departments of the Trent River Authority (and predecessors), relating to activities in the Trent basin. Subsequent large accruals have added further papers to the Clerk's and Engineer's Departments, along with more governance material and the records of the Hydrology/Water Resources Section. The records of the Prevention of River Pollution and Fisheries Departments are not present. This catalogue was produced in 2011-2012 with support from The National Archives Cataloguing Grants Programme.

Related Material

Manuscripts and Special Collections also holds the records of other departments of the Trent River Board/Authority (Engineer's Department Ref: RE, Treasurer's Department Ref: RT, Governance records Ref: RG, Hydrology Department Ref: RH); also their predecessors (Trent Navigation Company Ref: RtN, Brigg Court of Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers Ref: Br, Court of Sewers for the Level of Hatfield Chase/Hatfield Chase Corporation Ref: HCC, Trent Fishery Board Ref: RTF); their successors (Severn Trent

Water Authority Ref: RWA, Severn Trent Water Ref. RST, National Rivers Authority Ref: RRA, Environment Agency Ref: REA); also records relating to sewerage and water supply (City of Nottingham Water Department Ref: R/HR, Derwent Valley Water Board Ref: DVW, Stoke Bardolph and Bulcote Model Farms Ref: RSB, Papplewick Pumping Station Ref: PPS, Nottingham New Waterworks/Northern Waterworks Company Ref: MS 880); also papers of an employee of the Trent River Authority (H.R. Potter Ref: HRP).