Lancashire Amalgamated Tape Sizers' Friendly Society
|Merged into||Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union|
|Affiliation||TUC, GFTU, NCTTF|
|Office location||238 Manchester Road, Nelson, Lancashire|
Tape sizing is the process of adding polymers and wax to cotton yarn in order that it will be less likely to break when being woven. In the 19th- and early 20th-centuries, tape sizers were regarded as being the most skilled workers in the cotton industry and therefore were able to command relatively good wages and conditions of employment.
The society regarded itself as having been founded in 1882, although the Board of Trade gave 1880 as the year of formation. Impetus for forming the society appears to have come from the Haslingden and Rossendale District Cotton Sizers' Protective Society. It was initially known as the North and North East Lancashire Amalgamated Tape Sizers' Protective Society.
By 1894, ten local unions held membership of the amalgamation, although as all were very small, it represented a total of only 910 workers. Early in the 1900s, it added "South Lancashire" to its name, probably in the hope of persuading the rival Amalgamated Tape Sizers' Friendly Protection Society to affiliate, although this Ashton-under-Lyne based union did not do so.
Affiliates of the union were:
|Accrington and Church||1860||64||Merged into Nelson, Colne and District 1984|
|Blackburn||1865||277||Merged into Association of Preparatory Workers 1990|
|Bolton and District||1877||79||Merged into Association of Preparatory Workers 1986|
|Burnley and District||1879||120||Merged into Association of Preparatory Workers 1986|
|Bury and District||1861||104||Merged into Nelson, Colne and District 1978|
|Darwen||1852||112||Merged into Blackburn 1964|
|Great Harwood||1860||70||Dissolved 1965|
|Haslingden and Rossendale||1877||1882||80||Merged into Nelson, Colne and District 1985|
|Nelson, Colne and District||1887||82||Merged into Association of Preparatory Workers 1986|
|Preston||1867||133||Merged into Nelson, Colne and District 1980|
In 1908, the union became the Lancashire Amalgamated Tape Sizers' Friendly Society, and it was later renamed as the Lancashire Amalgamated Tape Sizers' Association. Membership rose slightly to 1,157 in 1910, falling slightly when the Great Harwood union left, although it later rejoined. Membership in 1955 was still 955, but it then began falling rapidly, to only 496 in 1968. Affiliates began merging with each other, although there was a small boost to membership in 1979 when the Amalgamated Tape Sizers finally affiliated. By 1990, only two affiliates remained: the Amalgamated Tape Sizers and the Association of Preparatory Workers.
In 1991, the union changed its organisation, so that all members would hold dual membership with the Association of Preparatory Workers. The Tape Sizers would conduct all trade union business, while the Preparatory Workers would only deal with matters relating to property. Membership continued to decline, and in 1993 the union merged into the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.
- as of 1896: R. Walkden
- 1913: John W. Ainsworth
- 1920s: W. Wallwork
- c.1930: J. Ormerod
- 1930s: W. Burnett
- 1974: Harry Howorth