Unknown history of Wolverhampton Tinplate trade unionists




5th February, 1987. to the Editor, TASS News and Journal,

Dear Colleague,

A ceremony at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre took place on Friday 16th January, in which NCC member and TASS NO.4 District President Brian Aldridge unveiled a plaque on the wall of the reception area of the Civic Centre, commemorating the five sheet metal workers who in 1819 where transported to Tasmania for the crime of belonging to a union.

Owing to atrocious weather, many people from out lying areas who would have liked to be present could not make it, in particular Ken Gill and Tom Nelson sent in apologies for not being able to get to Wolverhampton, but wished the venture every success.

Representatives from Wolverhampton~ Council included ex-Wolverhampton Mayor Councillor Fred Ledsam, Council Leader Councillor John Bird, who opened the proceedings and Deputy Leader Councillor Peter Bilson was also present.

The Wolverhampton Trades Council was represented by its President

Bruce Young, Secretary Mrs. Jackie Coote, and Bill Edwards (ex regional Secretary of U.C.A.T.T.).

Prominent among the union representatives present was the Assistant General Secretary of the Locksmith’s Union Dave Thomas. N.A.T.P.E., N.A.L.G.O., U.C.A.T.T., C.T.P.U., and T.&.G. were also represented.

TASS was well represented with NO.4 Distr1ct Secretary Tom Henderson, retired Wolverhampton Officer Albert Sweet, ex Mayor of Wolverhampton Ted Mitchell, and most of the Wolverhampton Branch Committee. Len Brown Craft Metal Mechanics Officer was also present, and of course Brian Aldridge and myself.

The get together was a resounding success and Wolverhampton TASS members felt that our union branch was now getting the recognition it richly deserves, being the oldest continuous union branch in the U.K. We can go back to 1802 with certainty and we know that records destroyed at the time of the arrests would have shown Wolverhampton had a craft union in the 1700s, as it certainly will still have in the 2000s.

Yours fraternally,

B. Scotto,             TASS District Officer



Rededication 15-2-2019

 tinplate unveiling2019

Wolverhampton TUC delegates  20190215 145826