Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine)
|Full name||Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine)|
|Members transferred||Manufacturing, Science and Finance|
|Affiliation||GFTU, NCTTF, TUC|
|Key people||William Cornforth Robinson (Secretary)|
|Office location||27 Every Street, Nelson, Lancashire|
The Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine) (AABTD) was a British trade union which existed between 1866 and 2002. It represented skilled workers in the cotton industry who were responsible for preparing warp yarns prior to weaving.
The union was founded in 1866 as the Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers by the loose amalgamation of several district unions. It was reconstituted in 1889, and officially registered the following year. In 1915, it added "Hand and Machine" to its name. By this time, it had also affiliated to the United Textile Factory Workers' Association.
The union's large number of affiliates included:
|Accrington||1885||101||Merged into Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle 1971|
|Ashton-under-Lyne||1860||171||Merged into Hyde and District in 1967|
|Bacup and District||1901||85||Merged into Rossendale Valley 1963|
|Bamber Bridge||1882||66||Merged into Preston 1930s|
|Barnoldswick||1925||N/A||Dissolved 1970. Earlier union active 1906–1970|
|Blackburn||1866||706||Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971|
|Bolton||1892||266||Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971|
|Burnley and District||1878||498||Dissolved 1983|
|Bury||1890||105||Merged into Rochdale and District 1973|
|Chorley and District||1892||174||Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971|
|Church and Oswaldtwistle||1867||102||Merged into Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle 1971|
|Clitheroe and District||1892||70||Dissolved 1940s|
|Colne and District||1895||214||Dissolved 1983|
|Darwen||1892||252||Merged into Blackburn and Bolton 1971|
|Earby and District||1905||33||Dissolved 1960|
|Farington||1903||N/A||Merged into Preston 1906|
|Great Harwood||1860||109||Dissolved 1950s|
|Hadfield and Glossop||1895||56||Merged into Hyde and District 1920s|
|Haslingden||1886||75||Merged into Rossendale Valley 1963|
|Heywood||1890||102||Merged into Rochdale and District 1973|
|Hyde and District||1902||72||Merged into Colne and District 1976|
|Leigh and Bedford||1890||67||Merged into Bolton 1940s|
|Littleborough||1893||60||Merged into Rochdale and District 1967|
|Longridge||1870||31||Merged into Preston 1950s|
|Nelson and District||1893||340||Dissolved 1983|
|Radcliffe||1891||60||Merged into Bury 1972|
|Rawtenstall and District||1891||60||Merged into Rossendale Valley 1963|
|Rochdale and District||1892||157||Merged into Colne and District 1974|
|Skipton and District||1905||44||Dissolved 1980|
|Stockport||1906||61||Merged into Hyde and District 1967|
|Wigan and District||1891||60||Merged into Bolton and District 1963|
From 1890 until 1932, the union was led by William Cornforth Robinson, a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, who served two terms as a Member of Parliament. In the 1940s and 1950s, it was led by Harry Earnshaw, also a member of the National Executive Committee.
Although union membership was never large, it remained fairly steady into the 1950s, being 3,924 in 1955. However, it dropped rapidly from the 1960s onwards, as employment in the cotton industry in England declined. Many affiliates merged with each other, with the Blackburn and Bolton Districts of the Amalgamation becoming the largest single affiliate. However, that union was suspended from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in 1972, as it had registered with the government, in defiance of TUC policy. In response, in 1974, the amalgamation expelled the union, which subsequently collapsed. The following year, the Colne, Nelson and Preston unions began working together with a common general secretary, as the North East Lancashire and Cumbrian District, representing three-fifths of the remaining membership. In 1983, they were dissolved, along with the remaining minor affiliates, and the former North East Lancashire and Cumbrian District took over the leadership of the amalgamation.
By 1980, the union had only 1,065 members, and by 1989 this had declined to just 470, although its members were determined not to merge into a larger union. Given the precipitous decline in membership, it disaffiliated from the Trades Union Congress in 1992, and eventually its remaining members transferred to Manufacturing, Science and Finance in 1998, with the union being formally dissolved in 2002.
- J. Ashton
- 1890: William C. Robinson
- 1932: James Stott
- 1940: Harry Earnshaw
- 1962: Alan Green
- 1964: James Bleackley
- 1968: G. Borrah
- 1974: F. Sumner
- 1982: A. Little
- 1985: Albert H. Edmundson
- 1991: Tony Brindle
- Report on Trade Unions in 1905-1907. London: Board of Trade. 1909. p. 121-124.
- Eaton, Jack; Gill, Colin (1981). The Trade Union Directory. London: Pluto Press. p. 177. ISBN 0861043502.
- Exton, Jack; Gill, Colin (1981). The Trade Union Directory. London: Pluto Press. p. 177.
- University of Warwick, "A Catalogue of the Papers of the Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers"
- P. F. Clarke, Lancashire and the New Liberalism, p.93
- Marsh, Arthur; Ryan, Victoria; Smethurst, John B. (1994). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. 4. Farnham: Ashgate. pp. 126–143. ISBN 9780859679008.
- Report on Trade Unions in 1905-1907. London: Board of Trade. 1909. p. 28–31.
- The Labour Who's Who (1927), p.185
- Denis Healey, Healey's eye: a photographic memoir, p.22
- Roger Undy, Trade Union Merger Strategies, p.62
- Roger Undy, Managing the Unions, pp.298-300
- Tom Wilson, The Future for Unions