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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/CC/APC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1938-1956
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 0.3 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The concept of the Court of Common Council grew from the ancient custom of the Folkmoot, when the assent of the citizens to important acts was obtained. This custom was continued by the Mayor who consulted the Commons several times during the 13th century. From 1376 the assembly began to meet regularly and was referred to as the Common Council. It was decided that the Council should be made up of persons elected from each Ward. By 1384 a permanent Common Council chosen by the citizens was established for all time. The Council assumed legislative functions and adopted financial powers, confirmed by Charters of 1377 and 1383. The Council has often used these powers to amend the civic constitution, regulate the election of Lord Mayor and other officials, and amend the functions of the City courts. The Council was judged so successful in the conduct of its duties that it was the only Corporation unreformed by Parliament following the Municipal Corporations Commission report of 1837, while the Corporation Inquiry Commission of 1854 suggested only minor reforms. The work of the Council is conducted by a number of committees, while the whole Council has the right to approve policy, confirm major decisions and sanction expenditure. The committees handle many aspects of the running of the City including land and estates, finance and valuation, open spaces, street improvement and town planning, public health, police, Port of London, civil defence, airports, libraries, markets, education, and law. The Town Clerk has held responsibility for recording the minutes of the Council and its committees since 1274.

The Airport Committee was formed to investigate the possibility of establishing an airport at Fairlop, Essex, on the site of a disused World War One airfield. The site was purchased by the Corporation in the 1930s, however, it was requisitioned by the Air Ministry during World War Two and RAF Fairlop was established. The station was closed in 1946 and is now part of the Hainault Forest Country Park.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Airport Committee, Court of Common Council, 1938-1956, comprising minutes, committee papers and various files, including correspondence, particularly regarding use of the land by the Air Ministry during World War Two and the post war sale of land to Ilford Borough Council; relevant Acts and Bills; minutes of meetings of the Aerodrome Owners Association; off-prints and press cuttings; memorandums; sub-committee minutes and surveyors reports.

Also papers relating to the inauguration of the first direct air service between London and Venice, April 1956.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections: minutes and papers.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For plans of the site, see COL/PL and COL/PLD/PL. See also COL/SJ/06 - Subject Series: Subjects - Transport.

The National Archives holds papers relating to Fairlop Airport in the Air Ministry and British Transport Commission papers.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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:
February 2009

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