Middlesex County Council

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Middlesex County Council
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms of the Middlesex County Council
Established1 April 1889
Disbanded1 April 1965
Preceded byMiddlesex Quarter Sessions
Succeeded byGreater London Council
SeatsCouncillors and aldermen
Last election
Meeting place
Middlesex Guildhall, Westminster

Middlesex County Council was the principal local government body in the administrative county of Middlesex from 1889 to 1965.

The county council was created by the Local Government Act 1888, which also removed the most populous part of the county to constitute the County of London.

Elections and political control[edit]

The county council consisted of elected councillors and co-opted county aldermen. The entire body of county councillors was elected every three years. Aldermen were additional members, there being a ratio of one alderman to three councillors. Aldermen had a six-year term of office, and one half of their number were elected by the councillors immediately after the triennial elections.

The first elections were held in January 1889. The first meeting of the "provisional" county council was held on 14 February 1889 at Westminster Town Hall. Although the council did not use political labels, among the aldermen elected were members of the parliamentary Conservative Party.

From 1919, the scarcely political composition of the council was challenged by the election of members of the Labour Party.[1] The 1922 and 1925 elections were, for the most part, not run on party lines.[2] In 1928, the majority of the council were described as "Moderate", with Labour forming an opposition.[3] Labour continued to make advances at the 1931 election, and this led to the formation of a Middlesex Municipal Association "representative of all anti-Socialist members". The association was supported by the various Conservative Party organisations of the county although it was not officially affiliated to the party, and controlled the council until 1946.[4]

In 1946, Labour took control of the county council for the first time. Following this, the Conservative Party contested elections to the county council, winning control in 1949 and holding it at the 1952 and 1955 elections.[5][6] In 1958 Labour regained control.[7] At the elections held in 1961, the Conservatives were returned to power.[8] These were to be the final elections to the county council: under the London Government Act 1963 the elections due in 1964 were cancelled, with the elections to the shadow Greater London Council being held instead.

Chairmen of the Middlesex County Council[edit]

The chairman of the county council chaired its meetings and also represented it in a ceremonial manner, in a similar fashion to the mayor of a borough. Twenty-nine people served as chairmen over the council's existence.[9]

Years Chairman Notes
1889–1908 Ralph Daniel Makinson Littler Companion of the Bath 1890, Knighted 1902[10]
1908–1909 Montagu Sharpe Knighted in 1922
1909–1919 William Regester
1919–1924 Cecil Fane De Salis Made a Knight Commander of the Bath in 1935.[11]
1924–1927 Benjamin Todd
1927–1930 Charles Pinkham OBE Knighted 1928[12] Former MP for Willesden West 1918–1922
1930–1933 George Marlow Reed
1933–1936 Howard Button Knighted 1936. Former MP for Wrekin 1922–1923[13]
1936–1937 Sir William Prescott Created a baronet in 1938. Former MP for Tottenham North 1918–1922
1937–1940 Forrester Clayton
1940–1943 Sir Gilfrid Gordon Craig
1943–1946 William Reginald Clemens
1946–1947 Bernard Harry Rockman
1947–1948 Frederick Messer First chair for Labour. MP for Tottenham South 1929–1931, 1935–1950 & then Tottenham to 1959. Knighted 1953.[14]
1948–1949 William John Irving
1949–1951 Albert Henry Farley
1951–1953 William Josiah Grimshaw Knighted 1953 "for political and public services in Middlesex"[15]
1953–1954 Sir Archer Hoare
1954–1955 Albert Noel Hansel Baines
1955–1956 Stanley Graham Rowlandson Knighted 1956[16]
1956–1957 Christopher George Armstrong Cowan Knighted 1958[17]
1957–1958 William Rendel Myson Chambers
1958–1959 Thomas Henry Joyce
1959–1960 George Albert Pargiter MP for Spelthorne 1945–1950, Southall 1950–1966, whereupon elevated to the Lords.[18]
1960–1961 Muriel Rose Forbes
1961–1962 Sir Joseph Haygarth
1962–1963 James Henry Knaggs
1963–1964 Frances Timpson
1964–1965 John Wilfred Barter MP MP for Ealing North

Functions, powers and responsibilities[edit]

Middlesex County Council's main responsibilities were:[19]

Principal officers[edit]

The principal officers of the county council over its 76 year existence were:[20]

Clerk of the County Council[edit]

  • 1889-1909: Sir Richard Nicholson
  • 1909-18: Walter George Austin
  • 1919-35: Ernest Walter Sidney Hart (knighted 1935)
  • 1935-54: Clifford Walter Radcliffe (knighted 1953)
  • 1955-65: Kenneth Goodacre - became Deputy Clerk of the Greater London Council 1964.

County Engineer and Surveyor[edit]

  • 1889-98: Frederick Hyde Pownall
  • 1898-1920: Henry Titus Wakelam
  • 1920-32: Alfred Dryland
  • 1932-49: William Henry Morgan
  • 1949-65: Henry Stuart Andrew

Chief Education Officer[edit]

  • 1945-52: Thomas Benjamin Wheeler
  • 1952-65: Cecil Ernest Gurr

Chief Officer of Fire and Ambulance Service / Chief Fire Officer[edit]

  • 1948-63: Alfred Wooder
  • 1963-65: Frank Stephen Mummery


The number of homes in Middlesex, an area static in size, rose from 236,266 to 665,347 in the forty years to 1961.[21] The chart of this rise, which tapered off, shows that by 1951 Middlesex formed part of the London conurbation, and in 1965 the council was abolished on the creation of the Greater London Council. All but four electoral divisions of the council's closing 87 became part of the brand-new Greater London; the rest were transferred to Surrey as to the two parts of Staines plus Sunbury-on-Thames, or to Hertfordshire as to Potters Bar. These were three urban districts.


  1. ^ "Middlesex County Council. Elections Next Saturday., Cinema Trade And Sunday Opening". The Times. 3 March 1919. p. 6.
  2. ^ "Redistribution in Middlesex". The Times. 2 March 1925. p. 15.
  3. ^ "County Council Elections. Further Results". The Times. 9 March 1928. p. 11.
  4. ^ "Party Basis of Councils". The Times. 22 March 1949. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Middlesex held by Conservatives. Majority of Five". The Times. 4 April 1952. p. 4.
  6. ^ "Labour Losses in London. County Council Elections". The Times. 21 April 1955. p. iv.
  7. ^ "Middlesex changes hands. Conservative defeat". The Times. 17 April 1958. p. 5.
  8. ^ "Conservatives Win Back Middlesex 16 Seats Gained". The Times. 14 April 1961. p. 14.
  9. ^ "Clerks Department: Chairman of the County Council". AIM25. London Metropolitan Archives. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  10. ^ C. E. A. Bedwell rev. Eric Metcalfe (2004). "Littler, Sir Ralph Daniel Makinson (1835–1908)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  11. ^ "No. 34166". The London Gazette. 31 May 1935. p. 3594.
  12. ^ "Obituary: Sir Charles Pinkham". The Times. 8 March 1938. p. 18.
  13. ^ "Obituary: Sir Howard Button. Public Life in London and Middlesex". The Times. 20 August 1943. p. 8.
  14. ^ "No. 39904". The London Gazette. 3 July 1953. p. 3677.
  15. ^ "No. 39863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 June 1953. p. 2941.
  16. ^ "No. 40829". The London Gazette. 13 July 1956. p. 4076.
  17. ^ "No. 41313". The London Gazette. 14 February 1958. p. 1030.
  18. ^ "No. 44015". The London Gazette. 9 June 1966. p. 6669.
  19. ^ The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex 1889-1965. Westminster: Middlesex County County Council. 1965. pp. 28–41.
  20. ^ The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex 1889-1965. Westminster: Middlesex County County Council. 1965. pp. 51–53.
  21. ^ Middlesex AdmC through time : Housing Statistics : Total Houses, A Vision of Britain through Time, GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/unit/10061441/cube/HOUSES
New creation County council
Succeeded by