Bolton and District Operative Cotton Spinners' Provincial Association Archive
Date range: 1857-1975
The Bolton and District Operative Cotton Spinners' Provincial Association was formed in March 1880 by the amalgamation of two Bolton cotton workers' organizations: the Hand-Mule Spinners' Association and the Self-Actor Minders' Association.
The Association was a trade union for mule spinners working in fine spinning, which predominated in the Bolton area. Over time, the Bolton Association had ten branches: Atherton, Chorley, Farnworth, Hindley, Leigh, Manchester, Pendlebury, Reddish, Tyldesley and Wigan. It was an influential member of the central mule spinners' union, the Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners. The union provided sickness benefit, unemployment benefit and strike-pay for its members, and represented them in wage negotiations and trade disputes. It also defended the unique system of work organisation which predominated in the mule spinning industry.
The collection comprises minute books, account books, cash and contribution books, benefit books, accident registers and other records of the main Bolton branch and the other branches. There are also annual reports, other printed material, and excellent correspondence files, mainly relating to the textile employers, who were organizing themselves into their own associations by the 1870s.
The archive is of great importance for the history of the trade union movement, the rise and fall of the Lancashire cotton industry and the social and economic history of the Bolton area in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
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