Open main menu

The National Union of Railwaymen was a trade union of railway workers in the United Kingdom. The largest railway workers' union in the country, it was influential in the national trade union movement.[1]

National Union of Railwaymen
National Union of Railwaymen logo.jpg
MottoWorkers of the world, unite
Founded29 March 1913[1]
Date dissolved1990
Merged intoNational Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Members408,900 (1945)
JournalTransport Review[1]
AffiliationTUC, Labour
Office locationUnity House, Euston Road, London
CountryUnited Kingdom

Contents

HistoryEdit

The NUR was an industrial union founded in 1913 by the merger of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (founded 1872), the United Pointsmen and Signalmen's Society (founded 1880) and the General Railway Workers' Union (founded 1889).[2]

The NUR represented the majority of railway workers, but not white-collar workers, who were members of the Railway Clerks' Association (founded 1897, later the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association). NUR membership was open to drivers and firemen but most chose instead to be members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (founded 1880).

In 1914 the NUR joined forces with the National Transport Workers' Federation and Mining Federation of Great Britain to form the Triple Alliance – perhaps an unfortunate name, as the same year the Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia and the Triple Alliance of Germany, and Austria-Hungary (albeit without Italy) went to war.

In 1919 the NUR and ASLEF jointly organised the 1919 United Kingdom railway strike, which prevented a proposed wage reduction and won an eight-hour maximum working day.[3] The NUR formed Federation agreements with ASLEF in 1903[4] and 1982 but both were short-lived.

The NUR had 408,900 members in 1945, making it the fifth largest union in Britain. Its membership fell to 369,400 in 1956 and 227,800 in 1966.[5]

Following the formation of British Rail, the majority of NUR members worked for the nationalised organisation. However, other members worked for London Transport, the National Freight Corporation and various smaller companies. It also recruited British Rail workers in associated industries, such as its hotels, docks and harbours, and on the Sealink ferries.[1]

In 1990 the NUR merged with the National Union of Seamen to form the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and ceased to exist as a separate union.

Election resultsEdit

The union sponsored numerous Labour Party Parliamentary candidates, many of whom won election.

Election Constituency Candidate Votes % share Position[6]
1918 general election Cardiff East Arthur James Williams 5,554 28.5 3[6]
Derby J. H. Thomas 25,145 37.8 1[7]
Manchester Ardwick Thomas Lowth 5,670 31.8 2[8]
Middlesbrough West Charlie Cramp 5,350 32.8 2[6]
Newcastle-upon-Tyne East Walter Hudson 5,195 34.7 2[6]
Reading Thomas Charles Morris 8,410 29.8 2[6]
Wakefield Albert Bellamy 5,882 33.7 2[9]
Warrington Isaac Brassington 5,377 22.6 3[6]
1921 by-election Dudley James Wilson 10,244 50.7 1[9]
1921 by-election Heywood and Radcliffe Walter Halls 13,430 41.7 1[9]
1922 general election Bolton William James Abraham 20,156 15.8 4[10]
Bristol East Luke Bateman 13,759 49.7 2[10]
Cardiff East Arthur James Williams 7,506 31.4 3[10]
Derby J. H. Thomas 25,215 27.0 1[10]
Dudley James Wilson 8,522 39.8 2[9]
Heywood and Radcliffe Walter Halls 15,334 44.6 2[10]
Leeds South Henry Charleton 13,210 53.7 1[10]
Leyton East William Carter 6,300 30.9 2[10]
Manchester Ardwick Thomas Lowth 14,031 52.3 1[10]
Salford West Arthur Law 8,724 32.3 2[10]
Wakefield Albert Bellamy 9,798 48.5 2[10]
Wolverhampton East William Thomas Augustus Foot 3,076 12.2 3[10]
1923 general election Derby J. H. Thomas 24,887 29.0 1[11]
Leeds South Henry Charleton 11,705 44.2 1[11]
Manchester Ardwick Thomas Lowth 15,673 60.4 1[11]
Heywood and Radcliffe Walter Halls 15,273 47.1 2[11]
Rushcliffe James Wilson 6,882 24.7 3[11]
1924 general election Barkston Ash William Dobbie 11,894 41.4 2[12]
Derby J. H. Thomas 27,423 25.7 1[12]
Leeds South Henry Charleton 12,799 46.3 1[12]
Manchester Ardwick Thomas Lowth 15,941 54.9 1[12]
Oldham James Wilson 22,081 18.4 4[12]
Paddington North John William Gordon 10,481 38.1 2[12]
Wakefield George Sherwood 10,192 47.9 2[12]
1928 by-election Ashton-under-Lyne Albert Bellamy 9,567 40.6 1[13]
1929 general election Ashton-under-Lyne Albert Bellamy 13,170 44.4 1[14]
Berwick-upon-Tweed Henry Kegie 5,402 18.4 2[14]
Bethnal Green South West Christopher John Kelly 6,849 38.7 2[14]
Clitheroe William Dobbie 15,592 39.5 2[14]
Derby J. H. Thomas 39,688 30.0 1[14]
Leeds South Henry Charleton 18,043 52.5 1[14]
Lonsdale Joseph Henderson 7,303 25.4 3[14]
Manchester Ardwick Thomas Lowth 20,041 60.3 1[14]
Oldham James Wilson 32,727 25.0 2[14]
Paddington North John William Gordon 13,348 39.3 2[14]
Rossendale Arthur Law 14,624 36.0 1[14]
Wakefield George Henry Sherwood 13,393 48.8 1[14]
Westbury George Ward 7,458 22.5 3[14]
York Frederick George Burgess 20,663 45.0 1[14]
1931 by-election Ashton-under-Lyne John William Gordon 11,005 39.4 2[15]
1931 by-election Manchester Ardwick Joseph Henderson 15,294 50.5 1[15]
1931 general election Ashton-under-Lyne John William Gordon 11,074 37.1 2[16]
Leeds South Henry Charleton 14,156 40.1 2[16]
Manchester Ardwick Joseph Henderson 15,664 42.0 2[16]
Middlesbrough West Henry Kegie 13,040 33.4 2[16]
Oldham James Wilson 26,631 4[16]
Plymouth Sutton George Ward 14,073 36.7 2[16]
Rossendale Arthur Law 11,135 27.5 3[16]
Stalybridge and Hyde William Dobbie 14,251 28.1 2[16]
Wakefield George Sherwood 11,774 42.6 2[16]
York Frederick George Burgess 16,310 35.1 2[16]
1933 by-election Rotherham William Dobbie 28,767 69.1 1[17]
1935 by-election Edinburgh West William McAdam 10,462 33.9 2[18]
1935 general election Accrington Frederick George Burgess 21,203 45.6 2[19]
Barrow-in-Furness Percy Barstow 17,919 49.7 2[19]
Eccles Jack Grierson 20,055 47.3 2[19]
Gateshead James Wilson 25,804 47.3 2[19]
Leeds South Henry Charleton 15,223 46.0 1[19]
Manchester Ardwick Joseph Henderson 16,364 52.9 1[19]
Middlesbrough West Henry Kegie 12,764 33.7 2[19]
Norwich Christopher John Kelly 22,055 17.8 4[19]
Plymouth Sutton George Ward 15,394 41.7 2[19]
Pontefract Adam Hills 19,783 53.4 1[19]
Rotherham William Dobbie 29,725 67.5 1[19]
Salford North William McAdam 15,272 43.4 2[19]
1941 by-election Pontefract Percy Barstow unopposed N/A 1[20]
1944 by-election Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd unopposed N/A 1[20]
1945 general election Acton Joseph Sparks 19,950 56.1 1[21]
Eccles William Proctor 23,008 51.1 1[21]
Exeter Reginald Travess 15,245 40.2 2[21]
Manchester Ardwick Joseph Henderson 14,360 64.0 1[21]
Newcastle upon Tyne West Ernest Popplewell 28,149 58.5 1[21]
Pontefract Percy Barstow 24,690 60.6 1[21]
Rotherham James Harrison 35,654 74.2 1[21]
Salford North William McAdam 18,327 60.5 1[21]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 23,468 81.4 1[21]
South Derbyshire Arthur Champion 47,586 57.7 1[21]
The Hartlepools D. T. Jones 16,502 41.2 1[21]
The Wrekin Ivor Owen Thomas 22,453 56.3 1[21]
West Stirlingshire Alfred Balfour 16,066 54.4 1[21]
1948 by-election Glasgow Camlachie John Inglis 10,690 42.1 2
1950 general election Acton Joseph Sparks 21,751 49.1 1[22]
Birmingham Perry Barr Cecil Poole 23,178 56.6 1[22]
Eccles William Proctor 27,409 50.7 1[22]
Manchester Wythenshawe Charles Bridges 17,191 37.2 2[22]
Newcastle upon Tyne West Ernest Popplewell 31,230 58.2 1[22]
Nottingham East James Harrison 20,404 46.5 1[22]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 30,726 71.6 1[22]
South East Derbyshire Arthur Champion 30,039 49.1 1[22]
The Hartlepools D. T. Jones 25,609 50.6 1[22]
The Wrekin Ivor Owen Thomas 19,730 53.7 1[22]
Westbury Reginald Travess 15,766 35.6 2[22]
West Stirlingshire Alfred Balfour 19,930 55.6 1[22]
1951 general election Acton Joseph Sparks 23,287 52.2 1[23]
Birmingham Perry Barr Cecil Poole 23,322 58.1 1[23]
Eccles William Proctor 27,941 52.5 1[23]
Haltemprice Charles Bridges 19,584 41.9 2[23]
Newcastle upon Tyne West Ernest Popplewell 31,765 57.9 1[23]
Nottingham East James Harrison 20,865 47.8 1[23]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 29,958 71.1 1[23]
South East Derbyshire Arthur Champion 33,020 52.7 1[23]
The Hartlepools D. T. Jones 27,147 52.6 1[23]
The Wrekin Ivor Owen Thomas 20,109 52.4 1[23]
Westbury Reginald Travess 17,623 39.2 2[23]
1954 by-election Haltemprice Charles Bridges 9,974 38.2 2
1955 general election Acton Joseph Sparks 20,645 50.6 1[24]
Birmingham Perry Barr Charles Howell 18,732 51.0 1[24]
Eccles William Proctor 25,351 52.4 1[24]
Newcastle upon Tyne West Ernest Popplewell 25,401 55.7 1[24]
Nottingham North James Harrison 26,552 55.4 1[24]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 33,071 71.0 1[24]
South East Derbyshire Arthur Champion 25,620 51.6 1[24]
South Northamptonshire Ronald Lewis 17,339 44.7 2[24]
The Hartlepools D. T. Jones 25,145 51.6 1[24]
The Wrekin Ivor Owen Thomas 18,541 49.4 2[24]
Westbury Reginald Travess 16,295 37.8 2[24]
1958 by-election St Helens Leslie Spriggs 26,405 64.7 1[25]
1959 general election Acton Joseph Sparks 18,438 48.8 2[25]
Birmingham Perry Barr Charles Howell 16,811 42.6 1[25]
Darlington Ronald Lewis 19,901 39.7 2[25]
Eccles William Proctor 25,566 52.0 1[25]
Newcastle upon Tyne West Ernest Popplewell 28,956 54.8 1[25]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 35,961 62.1 1[25]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 33,676 68.8 1[25]
South East Derbyshire Arthur Champion 25,362 45.5 2[25]
The Hartlepools D. T. Jones 25,281 49.8 2[25]
1964 general election Birmingham Perry Barr Charles Howell 18,156 49.5 2[26]
Carlisle Ronald Lewis 19,169 45.6 1[26]
Glasgow Springburn Richard Buchanan 16,828 65.3 1[26]
Newcastle upon Tyne West Ernest Popplewell 29,603 58.3 1[26]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 34,137 67.0 1[26]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 30,318 66.8 1[26]
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 25,900 51.6 1[26]
1966 general election Carlton Amos Lloyd Ramsden 24,589 39.2 2[27]
Carlisle Ronald Lewis 22,565 56.1 1[27]
Glasgow Central Thomas McMillan 11,673 74.8 1[27]
Glasgow Springburn Richard Buchanan 15,998 67.8 1[27]
Nottingham South George Perry 24,580 50.3 1[27]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 33,325 70.8 1[27]
Sheffield Attercliffe John Hynd 32,336 77.3 1[27]
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 27,567 57.5 1[27]
1970 general election Carlisle Ronald Lewis 21,866 53.2 1[28]
Glasgow Central Thomas McMillan 7,936 66.0 1[28]
Glasgow Springburn Richard Buchanan 14,968 64.3 1[28]
Nottingham South George Perry 23,031 46.3 2[28]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 31,587 65.7 1[28]
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 26,840 56.4 1[28]
Feb 1974 general election Carlisle Ronald Lewis 23,119 55.2 1[29]
Exeter Graham Powell 17,686 31.2 2[29]
Glasgow Central Thomas McMillan 9,400 58.7 1[29]
Glasgow Springburn Richard Buchanan 18,067 53.7 1[29]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 32,621 59.0 1[29]
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 28,296 49.6 1[29]
West Bromwich East Peter Snape 21,895 52.8 1[29]
Oct 1974 general election Carlisle Ronald Lewis 21,079 51.2 1[30]
Glasgow Central Thomas McMillan 9,231 63.6 1[30]
Glasgow Springburn Richard Buchanan 17,444 54.6 1[30]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 32,620 64.1 1[30]
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 28,623 55.0 1[30]
West Bromwich East Peter Snape 19,942 50.5 1[30]
1976 by-election Newcastle upon Tyne Central Harry Cowans 4,692 47.6 1
1979 general election Carlisle Ronald Lewis 21,343 49.7 1[31]
Derby North Phillip Whitehead 28,797 44.9 1[31]
Edinburgh Central Robin Cook 12,191 47.9 1[31]
Glasgow Central Thomas McMillan 8,542 72.5 1[31]
Holborn and St Pancras South Frank Dobson 12,026 49.3 1[31]
Huddersfield West Richard Faulkner 16,996 40.6 2[31]
Islington North Michael O'Halloran 12,317 52.6 1[31]
Newcastle upon Tyne Central Harry Cowans 10,395 67.3 1[31]
St Helens Leslie Spriggs 32,489 59.6 1[31]
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 29,403 53.1 1[31]
Swansea East Donald Anderson 31,909 69.9 1[31]
West Bromwich East Peter Snape 19,279 47.0 1[31]
West Lothian Tam Dalyell 36,713 54.9 1[31]
1983 general election Carlisle Ronald Lewis 15,618 37.5 1[32]
Crewe and Nantwich Gwyneth Dunwoody 22,031 41.1 1[32]
Derby North Phillip Whitehead 18,797 36.8 2[32]
Glasgow Garscadden Donald Dewar 19,635 56.2 1
Holborn and St Pancras Frank Dobson 20,486 47.5 1
Linlithgow Tam Dalyell 19,694 45.1 1
Livingston Robin Cook 14,255 37.7 1
Sunderland South Gordon Bagier 22,869 45.7 1
Swansea East Donald Anderson 22,297 54.4 1
Tyne Bridge Harry Cowans 21,127 56.5 1
West Bromwich East Peter Snape 15,894 38.1 1
Wrexham John Marek 16,120 34.3 1
1987 general election Crewe and Nantwich Gwyneth Dunwoody 25,457 44.0 1[33]
Derby North Phillip Whitehead 20,236 37.2 2
Glasgow Garscadden Donald Dewar 18,920 64.4 1[33]
Holborn and St Pancras Frank Dobson 22,966 50.6 1[33]
Linlithgow Tam Dalyell 21,869 47.4 1[33]
Livingston Robin Cook 19,110 45.6 1
Swansea East Donald Anderson 27,478 63.7 1
West Bromwich East Peter Snape 18,162 42.6 1[33]
Wrexham John Marek 22,144 43.9 1[33]

LeadershipEdit

General SecretariesEdit

 
James Edwin Williams
1913: James Edwin Williams[34]
1916: James Henry Thomas[34]
1931: Charlie Cramp[34]
1933: John Marchbank[34]
1943: John Benstead[34]
1948: Jim Figgins[34]
1953: Jim Campbell[34]
1957: Sidney Greene[34]
1975: Sidney Weighell[34]
1983: Jimmy Knapp[34]

PresidentsEdit

1913: Albert Bellamy[35]
1918: Charlie Cramp[35]
1920: William James Abraham[35]
1922: John Marchbank[35]
1925: William Dobbie[35]
1928: J. Gore[35]
1931: William Dobbie[35]
1934: Joseph Henderson[35]
1937: Walter T. Griffiths[35]
1939: J. H. Potts[35]
1942: Frederick Burrows[35]
1945: Eddie Binks[35]
1948: William Tindall Potter[35]
1951: Harry Franklin[35]
1954: Jim Stafford[35]
1957: Tom Hollywood[35]
1958: Charles W. Evans[35]
1961: Bill Rathbone[35]
1964: Frank Donlon
1967: Frank Lane
1970: George Chambers
1972: Harold McRitchie
1975: Dave Bowman
1978: Alun Rees.
1982: Tom Ham
1984: George Wakenshaw
1987: Alan Foster
1990: John Cogger

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Eaton, Jack; Gill, Colin (1981). The Trade Union Directory. London: Pluto Press. pp. 38–42. ISBN 0861043502.
  2. ^ Raynes, 1921, p. 165.
  3. ^ Raynes, 1921, p. 269.
  4. ^ Raynes, 1921, p. 124.
  5. ^ Marsh, Arthur (1979). Trade Union Handbook: A Guide and Directory to the Structure, Membership, Policy and Personnel of the British Trade Unions. Westmead, Hants.: Gower Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-566-02091-2. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Labour Party, Report of the Executive Committee (1918), p. 115.
  7. ^ Tanner, Duncan (1990). Political change and the Labour Party 1900-1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 330–331. ISBN 0521329817.
  8. ^ McHugh, Declan (2006). Labour in the City: The Development of the Labour Party in Manchester 1918-31. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 58. ISBN 0719072581.
  9. ^ a b c d Howell, David (2017). Respectable Radicals: Studies in the Politics of Railway Trade Unionism. Routledge. ISBN 1351903764.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Labour Party, Report of the Twenty-second Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 255–272. Note that this list is of the sanctioned candidates as of June 1922, and there were some changes between this date and the general election.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Only five railway union candidates". Manchester Guardian. 19 November 1923.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Labour's candidates". Manchester Guardian. 11 October 1924.
  13. ^ Report of the Annual Labour Party Conference: 15–19. 1929. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "List of Labour Candidates and Election Results, May 30th, 1929". Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party: 24–44. 1929.
  15. ^ a b "Parliamentary by-elections". Report of the Annual Labour Party Conference: 16–28. 1931.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "List of Endorsed Labour candidates and election results, October 27, 1931". Report of the Annual Labour Party Conference: 11–27. 1931.
  17. ^ "Parliamentary by-elections". Report of the Annual Labour Party Conference: 38–41. 1933.
  18. ^ "Parliamentary by-elections". Report of the Annual Labour Party Conference: 30–34. 1935.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "List of Endorsed Labour Candidates and Election Results, November 14, 1935". Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party: 8–23. 1935.
  20. ^ a b Labour Party, Report of the Annual Labour Party Conference (1945). Affiliations are those as of mid-1945; it is possible that some MPs may have had different sponsors at the time of their election.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Labour Party, Report of the Forty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 232–248.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "List of Parliamentary Labour candidates and election results, February 23rd, 1950". Report of the Forty-Ninth Annual Conference of the Labour Party: 179–198. 1950.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "List of Parliamentary Labour candidates and election results, 25th October, 1951". Report of the Fiftieth Annual Conference of the Labour Party: 184–203. 1951.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Labour Party, Report of the Fifty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 255–275.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Labour Party, Report of the Fifty-Eighth Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 179–201.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g Labour Party, Report of the Sixty-Third Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 158–180.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h Labour Party, Report of the Sixty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 308–330.
  28. ^ a b c d e f Labour Party, Report of the Sixty-Ninth Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 289–312.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Labour Party, Report of the Seventy-Third Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 371–390.
  30. ^ a b c d e f Labour Party, Report of the Seventy-Third Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 391–411.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Labour Party, Report of the Seventy-Eighth Annual Conference of the Labour Party, pp. 406–431.
  32. ^ a b c General Election Guide. BBC Data Publications. 1983. ISBN 094635815X.
  33. ^ a b c d e f "Election 87 Results". The Times. 13 June 1987.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "General Secretaries of the National Union of Railwaymen, 1913-1990", Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Philip Sydney Bagwell, The National Union of Railwaymen, 1913-1963: A Half-century of Industrial Trade Unionism, p. 2.

Sources and further readingEdit

  • Bagwell, Philip S. (1963). The Railwaymen. London: George Allen & Unwin.
  • Bagwell, Philip S. (1982). The Railwaymen – Volume 2: the Beeching Era and After. London: George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-331084-2.
  • Bagwell, Philip. "Transport" in Chris Wrigley, ed. A History of British industrial relations, 1875-1914 (Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1982), pp. 230–52.
  • Griffiths, Robert (2005). Driven by Ideals. London: Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.
  • McKillop, Norman (1950). The Lighted Flame; a History of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. London & Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd.
  • Raynes, J. R. (1921). Engines and Men; the History of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. Leeds: Goodall & Suddick (1916) Ltd.

External linksEdit