Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/3287

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1860-1973

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1.93 linear metres (29 volumes and 4 boxes).

Name of creator(s): London Trades Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The first meeting of the London Trades Council was on 18 May 1860 in Shaftesbury Hall, Aldersgate Street. The Council had been established as a result of a campaign for a nine hour day in the building trade, and was intended "to cheer, instruct and advise in any trade difficulty", (Short History of the London Trades Council, 1935, Acc/3287/02/007), but became increasingly involved in political activity, particularly under two of its Secretaries - George Odger (1862-1872), and George Shipton (1872-1896).

There were trade councils in many industrial areas in the country at this time, but it was the London council which through its links with them and their equivalents abroad was considered to be the leader of British trade unionism. By the early 1870's the Trades Union Congress had been formed and it gradually took over many of the trade councils' functions and political impetus, although the latter remained in existence within the Congress framework. In 1945 Julius Jacobs became Secretary, and for the next seven years the Council became a voice for the Communist Party, distanced from the rest of the trade union movement. The result was expulsion from and deregistration by the Trades Union Congress in 1952; followed by the drawing up of a new constitution, election by the Trades Union Congress of a new committee, and a move into new offices in Rosebery Avenue. The Council is no longer in existence.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Trades Council. Both the minutes 1915-1943 (Acc/3287/01/001-029), and the annual reports 1922-1952 (Acc/3287/01/029-053) cover not only the routine administration of the Council, but also mention individual company disputes, and larger trade and social issues. Material dealing with the early years of the Council can be found on a set of microfilms within the collection (Acc/3287/01/66-76). The archive contains pamphlets and publications on various issues, produced not only by the Council but by other associated orgainisations (Acc/3287/02).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records have been sorted into the following groups: Administration Acc/3287/01; Publications Acc/3287/02.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in November 1993.


Related material:

The Trades Union Congress library holds minutes (1860-1971), annual reports (1873-1952), and press cuttings (1885-1957) of the London Trades Council.

Publication note:

There is a printed history of the Council in the London Metropolitan Archives library.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: June to August 2010.

Building trade | Trades (occupations)
Campaign groups | Groups
Communism | Collectivism | Political doctrines
Trade disputes | Trade (practice)
Trade unions | Labour relations
Political activists

Personal names

Corporate names
London Trades Council

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe