Saturday, March 13, 2010

AESD Draughtsmen's Union - London

AESD trade union Banner London & Home Counties
Including Middlesex, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire

AESD was established in Clydesude in 21st May 1913
158 West Regent Street, Glasgow by 50 draughtsmen headed by William Herd (Draughtsman at John Brown's Clydebank)

The London branch of the AESD was established towards the end of 1916, Mr J. J Winder became its first secretary and Mr Ernest H. Walker its first Chairman.

At the time the London branch not only included London but the whole of the Metropolitan area and most of South East England except Southampton.

In 1933 Mr J. Winder was elected Vice President of the AESD union and in 1934 AESD President
In later life Winder retired to Chelsea.

Ernest Walker became the first London Divisional Chairman, Walker, It was Walker who moved at the 1918 AESD national conference a resolution (after vacating the Conference Chair) on the importance of AESD political action and affiliation to the Labour party, which while defeated, went on to affiliate to the TUC.

Ernest Walker was a convinced Socialist and had been an active member of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) prior to WW1

Other key pionners in London included Alfred Glasspole, P. Hutchinson and R. Lappin all of whom later became Presidents of the AESD union.

It was Alf Glasspole who opended a discussion at the 1918 conference on the new Whitley negotiating machinery and his call for the rejection of the proposals secured 9,809 to 262

AESD strike at Middlesex Tool & Gauge Company, five week strike began 25th August 1953 settled 28th September 1953. secured nationwide support

R Silverthorne "our members were diffident at the outset of the strike action, carrying sandwich boards or walking on a picket line, but at the conclusion of the dispute they even acted as pickets for other trade unionists who were on strike, and took part in a demonstration to assist them"

Regional officer R.J. Silverthorne (Picture at the top is of strikers in front of Regional banner) Silverthorne was the brother of the famous International Brigade nurses and nursing leader Thora Silverthorne.

AESD sisiter union was the Draughtsmen's Association of Ontario (Canada) "The first organisation for draughtsmen in the Dominion. It was established late 1959 with 400 members

It was stated the Canadian union had similar benefits and democratic ideals as AESD was the ultimate goal. D. Wishart 1609 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Canada

Another important West London AESD member was Mike Cooley of Ealing, from Taum, Ireland dismissed from is employment in 1981. Tass branch chair he was a driving force in the famous Lucas (Aerospace) Plan was published in 1976

Ken Gill later General Secretary of the AESD laterknown as TASS, one of Britain's most progressive unions was also an activist in London from Edgware.