Papers of William Bernard Evison, (Royal Arsenal, Brighton, Luton Industrial and Enfield Highway Co-operative Societies)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, work related papers and reports, research material, pamphlets, newspaper cuttings and articles and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Bernard Evison, who was known as Bernard, was born 5 July 1909, son of Henry, a grocer in Scunthorpe. Following a three year grocery apprenticeship with Grimbly Hughes & Co Ltd, Oxford, W.B. Evison joined the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society in 1932. While there he completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree as an evening student. He held a variety of roles within the Society including carrying out a research project for W.B. Neville, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society. W.B. Evison's 'efficiency and thoroughness' in this task led to him creating the Sales Investigation Department. His role involved supplying departmental managers and executive officers of the Society with information which formed the basis of their organisation and development. This was done through the use of analysis of costings and expenses, tabulation of information concerning prices and purchases and the preparation of surveys. He continued until 1939 when he joined the Brighton Co-operative Society becoming Trade Development Supervisor. His war service, 1941-1946, saw him as foodstuffs purchaser for the Army in Egypt, Palestine and Syria, rising to the rank of Major on staff of Supplies and Transport Directorate. W.B. Evison was involved with the provision of supplies and transport for the 20,000 soldiers in London for the victory celebrations in June 1946. He returned to the Brighton Society on leaving the Army until taking up the position of Assistant General Manager with the Luton Industrial Co-operative Society in 1948. By this time he had become a Batchelor of Commerce, London University and a Fellow of the Institute of Certificated Grocers. In 1953 he moved to the Enfield Highway Co-operative Society Ltd again as Assistant General Manager. He was promoted to General Manager in 1963 where he remained until his retirement in 1971.

In 1936 he married Lady Beatrix Dora Alexander, known as Trixie, daughter of A.V. Alexander, Co-operative M.P. They went on to have a daughter and son. W.B. Evison died in 1996.

Information taken from WBE/2/2/1, WBE/4/1, WBE/4/2, WBE/4/4 and

Access Information

All open materials can be viewed by prior arrangement, Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm. Contact the Archivist at: National Co-operative Archive, Co-operative College, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester, M60 0AS. Email: archive",

Acquisition Information

The collection was deposited in April 2010 and 2011 by Jenny Hunt, the grand-daughter of A.V. Alexander and daughter of W.B. Evison. Accession No: Arc/2012/14

Other Finding Aids

Box list compiled on deposit.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Carol Walden, University of Liverpool MARM Placement, Jan 2013

Appraisal Information

Duplicates and items held in other collections were removed.

Custodial History

The accession comprised items relating to A.V. Alexander and W.B. Evison and these have subsequently been catalogued separately. Where an order was obvious this has been maintained, but in most cases similar items have been placed together and sorted into chronological order to aid accessibility. Information from the depositor indicates that the badges and medallions (AVA/3) belonged to A.V. Alexander so have been placed in this collection.


It is possible that more items may be deposited