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Local administration records of the Post Office Telegraph and Telephone Service

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1814 TCB Local Administration
Held at: BT Archives
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Full title: Local administration records of the Post Office Telegraph and Telephone Service
Date(s): [1854]-1969
Level of description: Sub fonds
Extent: 10 volumes; 2 boxes (approx)
Name of creator(s): Post Office Telecommunications
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Thomas Gardiner chaired a departmental committee tasked with the applying the increased decentralisation recommended by the Bridgeman Committee report of 1932 which advocated that the Post Office should be organised along more commercial lines. The Gardiner Committee's recommendations, published in its report of 1936, led to eight regions being established in the provinces, each in the charge of a Regional Director responsible for the control and co-ordination of all Post Office services within his region. Additional to these eight provincial regions, two further regions were set up in London - one for Posts and one for Telecommunications. The provincial regions were divided into Head Postmasters' districts for the management of the postal and the telegraph services (in practice these were already in existence).

The telephone service regions were divided into telephone Areas under Telephone Managers, of which there were ultimately 57 for the provinces and nine in London. Telephone Managers, with Head Postmasters acting as their agents on certain matters, were to be responsible for the day-to-day control of all aspects of the telephone service (engineering, traffic, sales and accounts). They were also to be accountable to the Regional Director for the overall efficiency of the telephone service in their territory.

The first two regions (Scotland and North East) were set up in 1936, followed by the two London regions (Telecommunications and Postal), and the changes throughout the country were in place by 1940. (The records note that Midlands telecommunications region was due to be established in 1940 but its formation was formed in haste on 2 September 1939, the day before the declaration of the Second World War.)


Scope and content/abstract:

Administrative records of telecommunications regions including London, the Home Counties, Midlands and North Eastern regions and the Aberdeen telephone area. Such records typically include regional annual reports, bulletins and local service issues but not all records survive for all regions.

The most extensive records are for the London Telecommunications Region (LTR) which include annual reports 1937-60 (TCB 26), internal information and newsletters such as the publicity officers 'News and Views' 1960-82 (TCB 708).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged by local administrative unit.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers may reproduce copies of material held by BT Heritage or take photographs/film of them themselves, subject to approval by the archivist and the conditions laid out in BT Archives Copying, Photography and Reproduction Information available on request and in BT Archives searchroom.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Available for research at BT Archives, see

Finding aids:

Full catalogues for BT Archives can be searched at

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These records were divided between the Royal Mail Archive and BT Archives in 1991, when the telecommunications records were transferred to BT Archives' custody, or transferred from BT directly.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:

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