UCAC's Branches (Canghennau)

Scope and Content

Since the foundation of UCAC, branches were formed in areas where there were union members. The collection shows that Glamorgan, and north east Wales were the early growth areas. The west and the north especially become more obvious in the 1960s. The membership lists show that a branch could be formed with a nucleus of keen members in a single school. The collection suggests also how branch activity could vary from area to area, with some branch's correspondence appearing regularly in the files, while others did not even leave one letter. Above the individual branches is the county organisation. There is quite a change in this structure as the union increases its membership and sees the establishment of branches in new areas. These changes are recorded in the conferences and minutes of the first decade. After a brief period of separating Wales into two regions, north and south, it was decided to rationalise the structure according to local government counties, and to create county Organisations / Cymdeithasau sir (e.g. Glamorgan). With local government re-organisation which came into force in 1974, the structure was changed again to correspond to the new arrangement, through reducing the number of county organisations to 8 (e.g. Gwynedd). Local government re-organisation in 1996 did not affect the arrangement in the collection as it stands now. The collection contains quite a variation in the umber of documents which relate to the branches and the county organisations. There is a substantial collection of correspondence, minutes, and statements/memoranda from some county organisation, Glamorgan and Caernarfon/Gwynedd especially. Other branches and county organisations remained fairly quiet. One reason for this is that a large proportion of branch correspondence is included in the National Executive correspondence. Another reason for the gaps is the variation in activity from branch to branch. The short-lived regional arrangement was ignored, and the county organisation was adopted as the highest level of this part of the collection. Within the county organisation the branches were distributed according to the boundaries that are acknowledged in Gazetteer of Welsh Place Names (1967) and Welsh Administrative Territorial Units (1969). In the wake of local government re-organisation in 1974 the new counties were added at the end of the list of old counties. The union had its own arrangement for referring to branches, by numbering them 1-65. This system did not come into force until the 1960s, when a branch was established in every region of the country. It was not practicable to adopt that arrangement for the documents in this collection, given the county / branch structure of the collection. The branches were arranged within the structure of the old counties. A letter is used to denote the county organisation (e.g. Glamorgan/Morgannwg = a), and a number was specified for each branch within the county (e.g. Cardiff branch= a1, Caerphilly branch=a4).