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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4278
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1883-2003
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 34.81 linear metres
Name of creator(s): London Electricity Board


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London Electricity Board (LEB) was responsible for the supply of electricity, and retail and development of electrical appliances to domestic customers and businesses in the London area from 1948 to 1990. Although the LEB's geographical area of 250 square miles was the smallest in the country, it was the most densely populated, having over 20,000 inhabitants per square mile (1950s). The Board had resulted from the nationalisation of electricity which had brought together a large number of undertakings that had developed in a piecemeal fashion since the 1880s.

The LEB predecessor undertakings with records in this collection comprise:
Saint Pancras Metropolitan Borough Council
Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council
Islington Metropolitan Borough Council
Poplar Metropolitan Borough Council
Leyton Municipal Borough Council
Walthamstow Urban District Council
Battersea Metropolitan Borough Council
Barking Urban District Council
Fulham Metropolitan Borough Council
Barnes Urban District Council
Chislehurst Electric Supply Corporation Ltd
London Electric Supply Corporation Ltd
Dartford Urban District Council
East Ham County Borough Council
Ilford Municipal Borough Council
Willesden Urban District Council
Bethnal Green Metropolitan Borough Council
Erith Urban District Council
Marylebone Electric Supply Company Ltd
Bermondsey Metropolitan Borough Council
County of London Electric Supply Company Ltd
Woolwich Metropolitan Borough Council
The Metropolitan Electric Supply Company Ltd
West Kent Electric Company Ltd
Wimbledon Municipal Borough Council
Beckenham Urban District Council
Central London Electricity Ltd
London Associated Electricity Undertakings Ltd
City of London Electric Lighting Company Ltd
Foots Cray Electricity Supply Company Ltd
South London Electric Supply Company Ltd
South Metropolitan Electric Light and Power Company Ltd
Southwark Metropolitan Borough Council
Notting Hill Electric Lighting Company
Stepney Metropolitan Borough Council
London Power Company Ltd
Bromley Rural District Council
Hampstead Metropolitan Borough Council
Shoreditch Metropolitan Borough Council
West Ham County Borough Council
Hackney Metropolitan Borough Council

For detailed histories of these undertakings see the introduction to LMA/4278/01 and for the LEB see the introduction to LMA/4278/02 in the catalogue.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Electricity Board and predecessors, 1883-2003. This collection contains a wide variety of material including minute books, staff records, technical reports, engineers' log books, photographic and printed material (including newsletters, magazines and leaflets and booklets on electricity services) of the LEB (1948-1990) and LEB inherited material from a large number of undertakings operating in the pre-vesting period (1882-1948).

For detailed summaries of the records held in this collection see the introduction to LMA/4278/01 and for the LEB see the introduction to LMA/4278/02 in the catalogue.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged in two series: LMA/4278/01 Pre-investing Undertakings containing records of electricity companies mainly prior to 1948 LMA/4278/02 Post-investing Undertaking London Electricity Board, containing records of the LEB after 1948. Most additional records to the main deposit archived at London Metropolitan Archives have been given a number and letter file reference in order to insert them in the appropriate place in the catalogue. For example 'LMA/4278/01/570B'.

Conditions governing access:

Most records are open to public inspection, although some LEB record series in LMA/4278/02 are closed for 50 years. Access to closed items only by written authority from the successors of London Electricity plc Legal Department.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

The records were originally held at the LEB's Head Office, New Broad Street, City of London. They were then transferred to Old Brompton Road Main Sub-station, Kensington, where they were still held in 1997 in very poor semi-derelict conditions. In 1998 the collection was removed to City Road Drawing Office Archive, London Electricity plc, Islington. 'Watts under London' (1999) by Ian Beament, Managing Director of London Electricity (see LMA/4278/02/149), proved to be the catalyst for the saving of this collection.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated in four accessions in 2000, 2003 and 2010.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For further records relating to the LEB at London Metropolitan Archives see:

- London County Council (reference LCC) records of electricity supply 1882 - 1942 (LCC/CL/HIG/01), London electricity minutes 1912 - 1928 (LCC/MIN) and the Special Advisory Committee on London Electricity Supply 1923 (LCC/PP/SLE).

- records of Greater London Council (reference GLC) relating to Dover Radial Route road work plans affecting the London Electricity Board (GLC/TD/PL/05).

- financial and administrative records of the London Electricity Consultative Council (1949 - 1990) (ACC/2802).

- records of London Hydraulic Power Company: General Hydraulic Power Company (B/GH/LH) held at London Metropolitan Archives.

For national records see the Electricity Council collection held at Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester.

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:
July to October 2009

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