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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GWB
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1875-1960
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.45 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Greenwich Workshop for the Blind x Workshop for the Blind of Kent


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Greenwich Workshop for the Blind, began as the Workshop for the Blind of Kent, opened in 1875 by Major-General PJ Bainbrigge, to provide training and employment for local blind men. The workshops were situated on Greenwich High Road, fronted by a shop in which the goods made by the blind were sold. These included household goods such as brooms, baskets, rugs and mattresses. Among the workshop's many customers were several of London's poor-law unions and hospitals, which purchased their mattresses from the shop.

The Workshop was administered by a committee until 1 April 1958 when it was taken over by the London County Council. The Council's services for the blind included the keeping of a register of all blind persons, home visiting, social and handicraft clubs, the teaching of handicrafts and the disposal of the finished products. In 1942 the Council had established a placement service for finding employment for blind people in war work. After the war the placement service was expanded and the Council took over the administration of the Greenwich Workshop as part of this service.


Scope and content/abstract:

Minutes, 1875-1958; Chairman's papers, 1928-1929; Committee papers, 1926-1938; rule book, 1936; annual reports, 1878-1957; correspondence with the Ministry of Health, 1920-1957; correspondence with the Board of Education, 1921-1947; correspondence with Kent County Education Committee, 1920-1937; case papers, 1929-1946; orders for goods placed by the Army Ordnance Department, the Blind Employment Factory, the Port of London Authority and the Office of Works, 1915-1928; correspondence with Banstead, Holborn and Hackney Poor Law Unions, 1926-1928; advertising handout, 1930; legal papers, 1890-1892; sales particulars, including catalogues, inventories and agreements, 1891-1935; papers regarding the centralization of collections for the blind in London, 1923; correspondence with the Charity Commissioners, 1900s; financial accounts, 1925-1960.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

GWB/1-12: Minutes; GWB/13: Rule book; GWB/14-16: Annual Reports; GWB/17-21: Correspondence; GWB/22-25: Orders; GWB/26-28: Poor Law Unions; GWB/29: Advertising; GWB/30: Legal; GWB/31-42: Sales Particulars; GWB/43-47: General; GWB/48-59: Financial.

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: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent body, the London County Council.

Allied Materials

Related material:

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:
April to June 2009

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