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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LCC/PC/PET
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1872-1960
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 0.78 linear metres
Name of creator(s): LCC | London County Council x London County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The term 'public control', as used in the Council's organisation, embraced various services of a regulative character, mostly exercised by some form of licensing control. Largely unobtrusive in their operation, and producing no spectacular effects, they were all carried out in the public interest and, in some respects, for the protection of the public or certain sections of it.

Their administration was conditioned by trends in the legislative provisions under which they were operated, by shifts and changes in social usages, and by the development of the Council's policies towards the matters to which they related.

The Council was the authority responsible for the grant of licences to cover the safe keeping of petroleum spirit, petroleum mixture, and carbide of calcium, which is used to produce acetylene. Leaking petrol tanks were located and the leakage stopped before accident could occur. Disused tanks were rendered safe from danger of fire and explosion, and the Council kept records of all disused tanks remaining in the ground.

In addition the Council exercised powers over the storage of inflammable liquids and dangerous businesses such as varnish making, oil boiling and wax polish manufacture. The Council was an authority under the Explosives Acts, but the statutory requirements relating to safety distances made large stores of explosives impractical in London. The Council was principally concerned with the registration and inspection of shops where fireworks were stored.

Duties of control and registration of highly flammable celluloid stores were given to the Council in 1915. Between the two world wars very large stocks of cinematograph film were stored in London, mostly in the Wardour Street area, where film renters' premises were situated. The Council's celluloid inspector had to ensure that the safety precautions laid down in the Act were properly observed. The quantity of celluloid and nitro-cellulose cinematograph film in the county became greatly reduced, and by 1963 there were only about 60 stores registered. The films stored were mostly of historic interest or were used to print safer stock from the original nitro-cellulose films.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London County Council Public Control Department relating to the storage of petroleum, celluloid and explosives, 1872-1960, including correspondence with the Home Office as to necessity for an amendment of the Petroleum Acts; report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on the Petroleum Bill; the London County Council (Celluloid, etc.) Act, 1915 and Code of Practice; report of the Departmental Committee on Celluloid; suggested Legislation for control of storage of manufactured celluloid articles; conferences at the Home Office on adequacy of existing celluloid law; increase in size of cine reels; projectors; Celluloid Storage Committee papers and report; pamphlets and abstracts concerning celluloid; wartime measures for celluloid storage; notices regarding manufactured celluloid articles; fires involving celluloid; Explosives Registers and street index to premises registered for storage of explosives.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LCC/PC/PET/01: General files; LCC/PC/PET/02: Explosives registers; LCC/PC/PET/03: Reports.

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:

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

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the LCC please see Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council by W Eric Jackson (1965), LMA Library reference 18.0 1965, The London County Council 1938, LMA Library reference 18.7 SER 4, and The Youngest County: A description of London as a county and its public services, 1951, LMA Library reference 18.0 1951.

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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