Papers of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minutes (various series), 1875-1913; branch balance sheets, 1875-1912; membership registers, 1897-1912; subject files, including files relating to the Taff Vale and Osborne cases; various publications and reports, 1875-1913;  Railway Review, 1879-1912 (incomplete); Railwaymen's Parliamentary Representation Association, minutes and miscellany, 1911-12.

Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants Orphan Fund: annual reports, 1889-1912 (incomplete) (MSS.127/AS/4/3).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales was founded in 1872. In 1892 it absorbed the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of Scotland. It was the dominant partner in the 1913 amalgamation with the General Railway Workers' Union and the United Pointsmen's and Signalmen's Society which established the National Union of Railwaymen.

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

Arrangement

The division between the records of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and those of its successor, the National Union of Railwaymen, is not entirely clear cut. A number of files and minute books span both organisations. In all cases such items are listed as a part of the National Union of Railwaymen archive and cross references are provided. The following points should be noted :

  • all records of branches of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are listed as National Union of Railwaymen records at MSS.127/NU/6/BR1-22;
  • records of the Conciliation Boards established after the 1907 dispute are listed as records of the National Union of Railwaymen's Movements Department under reference MSS.127/NU/MV1;
  • publications of bodies other than the National Union of Railwaymen and its predecessors (including the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) are listed under reference MSS.127/NU/5/1-5.

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

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

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, 1998 and 2000.

Other Finding Aids

Part of the collection was catalogued to file level by Alistair Tough and Christine Woodland in December 1985. 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.

An authority record exists for the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (GB 152 AAR1032).

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 ASRS's successor, the National Union of Railwaymen (MSS.127/NU), of which this collection forms a part. Also part of this collection are the papers of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of Scotland (MSS.127/ASRSS), absorbed by the ASRS, and the General Railway Workers' Union (MSS.127/GR), with which the ASRS amalgamated to form the NUR.

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).

Bibliography

Christine Woodland,  The Taff Vale Case: A guide to the ASRS records  (University of Warwick Occasional Publications no. 3, 1978)  and Christine Woodland,  The Osborne Case Papers and Other Records of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (University of Warwick Occasional Publications no. 4, 1979).