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Associated Organisations of the Carpenters' Company

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2812 H
Held at: Carpenters' Company
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Full title: Associated Organisations of the Carpenters' Company
Date(s): 1909-1975
Level of description: Sub-fonds of the Carpenters' Company
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Extent: 2 boxes; 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Carpenters' Company | Worshipful Company of Carpenters


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Carpenters' Company opened an Evening Institute in Stratford, East London, in 1888, offering classes to local people in plumbing, geometry, cookery and mechanical drawing. In 1891 the Institute became a day Technical School for local boys. As council provision for education improved the Company decided to close the school in 1905, much to the surprise of parents and in spite of the school's success. After the closure, the School's Campers' Club, Old Carpentarians' Football Club, Cricket Club and Debating Society all continued with their activities, meeting at the house of the former Headmaster, William Ping. By November 1909, a working committee had been formed to establish an old boys association and a circular letter calling for a general meeting was despatched. A preliminary expenses fund was also set up in order to defray printing, postage and other costs.

The first meeting took the form of a reunion dinner at the Alexandra Hotel, Stratford on 22 January 1910. About 150 former students attended and the Old Carpentarians was officially launched. William Ping presided over a committee charged with setting up the framework and managing the new association. By 11 March 1910, a constitution and rules had been drawn up and approved by the general membership. The association was to be open only to former Day Students of the School, paying an annual subscription of 2 shillings. The committee duties included organising an annual dinner, an annual business meeting and a summer outing. The various clubs (having initiated the idea of an association) were to run their own affairs but should comprise only of association members. In 1911, in order to maximise participation, the committee decided to divide the membership into 20 districts with committee members being responsible for a particular district.

The Association flourished in its early years but, by 1916, the duration of the First World War meant that meetings were less frequent and, inevitably attendance decreased. The death of William Ping in December 1918 meant the loss of the key person in the association. The re-formed committee met in March 1920 with the first post-war dinner being held at Carpenters' Hall in January 1921. Liveryman H. Westbury Preston (Master of the Carpenters Company in 1926) was appointed as the second President. A change to the membership was agreed in February 1926 when the committee decided to extend membership to the sons of Old Carpentarians.

The outbreak of the Second World War meant the curtailing of activities, although reunions were held in 1940 and 1944. At the 1944 reunion, it was decided to lay a wreath each year on Mr Ping's grave. The association also decided to institute two prizes, Ping and Porter Memorial Prizes, to the Carpenters' Road School (the school on the Company's estate closest to the old Jupp Road building). This prizegiving turned into an annual event with additional prizes - Preston, Butcher, Marshall - also being awarded. Links with the Company remained strong as, in 1950, the third President was appointed, Liveryman Alan Westbury Preston (Master 1958).

In 1955, the Old Carpentarians celebrated the Jubilee of the School's closure. Preparations had been in hand for a while: from 1947-55, memorabilia had been collected together in a scrapbook; a desk was presented to the Company, and a commemorative plaque was placed on the site of the school, then the Telephone Exchange.

By the 1970s, the original students were at least 75 years old or more, and an address list dated 1977 records 15 "active" names including that of the actor Stanley Holloway. From this period onwards, the Company entertained all surviving Old Boys to a general luncheon in Carpenters' Hall. In 1982 the Old Carpentarians Association transferred all its funds to the Carpenters' Company and the Company undertook to meet the cost of the prizes awarded annually at Carpenters Road School.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Associated Organisations of the Carpenters' Company, comprising records of the Old Carpentarians, 1909-1975, namely minutes of the committee, 1909-1972, including the inaugural working committee, menus, newspaper reports, balance sheets and annual reports to the membership; address books with members details, 1910, 1922-1974; annual reports, 1960-1970, compiled by the Honorary Secretary giving an account of the annual reunion and containing members' greetings and correspondence; correspondence to and from the Honorary Secretary, 1974-1975, relating to annual reunions and prizegivings; The Story of the Carpenters' Company's Technical School (1891-1905) and of The Old Carpentarians, published by the Committee of the Old Carpentarians' Association, 1964; scrapbook, [1950]; menu for the Jubilee Reunion, 1955; sound recordings of annual dinners held at Carpenters' Hall, 1961-1964.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the archives is at the discretion of the Company. The records are available for consultation by prior appointment only. Contact the Archivist, Carpenters Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2JJ.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies of material can be supplied, subject to copyright restrictions and suitability of the item for copying.

Finding aids:

Catalogue available at Carpenters' Hall.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Created by the Old Carpentarians.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred to Carpenters' Hall c.1982.

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: The Story of the Carpenters' Company's Technical School (1891-1905) and of The Old Carpentarians (Committee of the Old Carpentarians' Association, 1964). Compiled by Julie Tancell and Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey Project.

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:
December 2003

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