Amalagamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers

This is the story of the Amalagamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers, including the United Vehicle Workers.

Amalagamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers badge
AATVW badge

Founded in Manchester in 1889, the union laboured in its early years under the rather long-winded title of the Northern Counties Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Hackney Carriage Employees and Horsemen in General.

The union was formed in response to a move by Manchester and Salford Tramway Company to reward members of the public who informed on tramway workers who were allegedly guilty of defrauding their employer, and soon had 400 members.

By 1892, with a full-time general secretary, George Jackson, on the far from generous salary of £1 4 shillings a week, the union had extended its reach as far as Nottingham, Sheffield and Burnley, and had a new name: the Tramway, Hackney Carriage Employees and Horsemen’s Association.

During the 1890s, the growing union absorbed Bolton Tramway Union, Manchester , Salford and District Lurrymen and Carters Union, Edinburgh and District Tramway and Carmen’s Union , Belfast Carters Union and Huddersfield Carters Union.

By the time it changed its name once again to become the Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers, the union could claim 10,000 members. Impressive though this sounds, however, the industry itself had grown far faster, and the AATVW still represented only a small proportion of people employed in it. A final boost came in 1910, however, when the London Tramway Employees Association transferred its engagements to the union, taking membership to 17,076 and giving it national reach.

In 1919, the AATVW joined forces with the London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers in a new United Vehicle Workers, whose membership now included electric, cable, steam, horse, tram, cab and omnibus drivers as well as conductors, chauffeurs, horsekeepers, cabmen, carters, lurrymen, farriers, washers and cleaners.

The merger proved exceptionally difficult, and within a year, the new union’s total membership had fallen from 115,897 to 89,962, in part because of rivalries between bus and tram workers, leading at one point to a short-lived breakaway Trams, Omnibus and Tube Workers union.

On 1 January 1922, the United Vehicle Workers became one of the founding organisations of today’s Transport and General Workers Union.

List of officers , December 1905

PresidentHenry Archer46 Bailey Street, Old Basford, Nottingham
General SecretaryCouncillor George Jackson JP5 Leaf Square Pendleton
TrusteeCouncillor R Tootill JPWestward House, Tonge Road, Bolton
TrusteeEdwin Plinston194 Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington
TrusteeJames S Kirkbride9 Bold Street, Chorlton Road, Manchester
AuditorHenry Murray87 Fentonville Street, Sheffield
AuditorJames Hacking J B Bovill49 Thomas Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester
Amalagamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers. List of officers , December 1905

Directory of branch secretaries, 1905

AccringtonSamuel Pilkington184, Stanley Street
AshtonJ H Kaye48 Queen Street, Hurst
BarnsleyNewby Thornley61 Farrar Street
BelfastR J Moore14 Walbeck Street
BirminghamA G Jones9 Upper Dean Street
Blackburn No 1James Hacking35a Northgate
Blackburn No 2James Hacking35a Northgate
BoltonGeo Hollis616 Chorley Old Road, Halliwell
BradfordJ H Palin51 Lower Rushton Road, Thornbury
Burnley No 1John Hartley25 Parker Lane
Burnley No 2James Ashton9 Haydock Street
BlackleyT Hopkinson18 Silver Street
Burton-on-TrentJ J Clark88 Ash Street
BournemouthH Allen83 Victoria Road East
BrightonE Knight35 Gloucester Street
CardiffR J PalserTavistock Hotel, Bedford Street
ColneB Tatam12 Spring Yard
DarlingtonC Bainbridge54 Greenbank Road North
DundeeA M Strachan11 Robertson Street
EdinburghR Johnson142 High Street
EdmontonC WatsonTramway Workers Rest, Edmonton, London
GlossopH Winterbottom3 Charles Street
Halifax No 1W Graham1 Dowker Street, Fenton Road
Halifax No 2J H Palin51 Lower Rushton Road, Thornbury, Bradford
Huddersfield No 1O Stancliffe2 Rook Street
Huddersfield No 2J Ainley2 Logwood Street, Lockwood
Huddersfield No 3S Hirst122 Springdale Street, Longroyd Bridge
Hull FarriersGeorge Purdon8 Wilberforce Terrace, Argyle Street
IlkestonG M TylerSpringfield Gardens, Awsworth Road
KeighleyA Briggs10 Victoria Road
LeedsJ Kelly48 Cavendish Street
LeesWm Green56 Hartshead Street
LeicesterGeo Sawbridge57 Berners Street
London No 1G F Reader6 Harcourt Road, West Ham
London No 2H J Greenhill18 Claude Road, Heaton Road, Peckham
London No 3G Pearson41 Joubert Street, Battersea
London No 4J E Matthews11 Tandridge Place, Landor Road, Clapham
London No 5B Owen74 Clifton Crescent, Asylum Road, Peckham
London No 6G Pearce154 Trundley's Road, Deptford
London No 7A G Hooker80 Tyer Street, Vauxhall S.E.
London No 8G R Wilber102 Balvernie Grove, Southfields, Wandsworth
Manchester No 1W Hodgkinson11 Marshall Place, Waterloo Road, Hightown
Manchester No 2J H Shaw12 Norseman Street, Rose Grove, Stockport Road
Manchester No 3Thos Brewer24 Apsley Grove, Ardwick
Manchester No 4H Day31 Greenfield Terrace, Flixton
Manchester No 5W Jarman80 Butler Street, Greenheys
Manchester No 6C H Davies12 Aked Street, Stockport Road
MilnsbridgeJohn Chas BrookCassons Buildings
MossleyG W Bolton127 Stockport Road
Newcastle-on-Tyne No 1J W Bradley52 Helmsley Road, Jesmond
Newcastle-on-Tyne No 2H Goodhead31 Bulmer Street
NorthamptonA Gamble1 Marlborough Road
NottinghamJ E Pendleton25 Highbury Avenue, Bulwell
NelsonD Moulds86 Bradshaw Street
Oldham No 1A E Turner56 Regent Street, Rochdale
Oldham No 2A E Turner56 Regent Street, Rochdale
PortsmouthH Barker6 Nelson Square, Landport
ParkstoneW Reid3 Portland Terrace, Weymouth Road
PrestonJ H Alstead60 Lauderdale Street, Fishergate Hill
PontypriddA H Maye56a Queen Street, Treforest
RawtenstallJ McElwee2 Lord Street
RochdaleA E Turner58 Regent Street
RotherhamW Millner80 Rawmarsh Road
Salford No 1J Griffin27 Bolton Road, Pendleton
Salford No 2W White149 Church Street, Pendleton
Sheffield No 1John Temperton5 Woodhead Road
Sheffield No 2John Temperton5 Woodhead Road
SouthportJ Christopher200 Sussex Road
South ShieldsM Robinson69 Eldor Street
StalybridgeJas W Kaye48 Queen Street, Hurst
StockportA Lloyd20 Thomson Street
Stone-on-TrentJ Heath5 Adams Street, May Bank
TodmordenJohn Morris14 Butterworth Street
WarringtonEdward Plinston194 Wilderspool Causeway
WiganT Cobbe15 Duke Street
WalthamstowJ Perkins101 Diana Road, Forest Road
WolverhamptonChas Everett15 St Mark Street
Amalagamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers, directory of branch secretaries, 1905