The papers of Arthur Willitt/ The Society of Post Office Executives.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Society of Post Office Engineering Inspectors and successive bodies circular letters to Council, 1937-75; Circular letter to branch secretaries, 1937-46 and 1947-52; Annual conference agendas and minutes, 1921-74; Subject and correspondence files especially on the origins of 'Whitleyism', pay, productivity, grading and promotion, accommodation and welfare; Post Office Engineering Departmental Whitley Council circular letters to staff, 1945-1962 (incomplete); Post Office Engineering Inspector,1914-29 Society of Post Office Executives Review, 1938-73; Society of Post Office Executives pamphlets and rulebooks.

Society of Post Office Engineering Metropolitan/Central Committee Minutes, 1902-17; Monthly circulars, 1914-1920.

London Telephone Traffic Officers' Association minutes and related papers and Telecommunications Traffic Association, minutes and related papers, 1905-69.

Society of Telecommunication Engineers, General Purposes Committee Papers, 1943-60; Grading and Salaries Committee Papers.

The Collection also includes Society of Post Office Executives material for Wales and the Border Counties, 1939-1970; Post Office Electrical Engineers Journal, 1927-75, and Liberal Party minutes and papers, 1949-54.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Harvey Willitt was born in 1910 and began work for the Post Office when he left school. Following service with the Post Office Executive Union, including a year on the National Executive Council, he attended his first conference of the Society of Post Office Engineering Inspectors (SPOEI) in 1939 when he was elected to the Executive Council (EC). He served continuously on the EC of the SPOEI and its successors until he retired in 1975. He was also the President of the Society from 1946-1975. He served in the Post Office Engineering Departmental Whitley Council, 1937-8 and 1946-75. In recognition of his long years of service to the Union, the Society of Telecom Executives, (a successor to SPOE) named their Middlesex headquarters Arthur Willitt House. For more information on the administrative history of the Society of Post Office Engineering Inspectors see

Reference: Richard Storey and Janet Druker, Guide to the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library (1977), pp. 58-59.


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are restrictions on access to these papers. Post Office Superannuation files are closed.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by Arthur Willitt in 1975. There have been five additional deposits, the last in 1985.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this collection-level is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom. A box list describing the the third deposit is available in paper format at the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources. For further details on the other deposits see also issues of the Summary Guide to the Modern Record Centre, (1977, 1981,1986,1995).

Authority records exist for the Society of Post Office Engineers (GB 0152 AAR1110); Arthur Harvey Willitt (GB 152 AAR2014); and Postal Telegraph Clerks' Association (GB 152 AAR1081).

Conditions Governing Use

There are restrictions on the use of this archive. Publications based on material later than 1950 require written consent from the Union.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal, destruction or scheduling has taken place.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Centre also holds other papers from the Society of Post Office Executives, 1920-75 (MSS.124).

Local and regional Post Office trade union archives are generally kept in local libraries and record offices. For more information consult the National Register of Archives at <>.