You are:

+ Share | Print page

general archive information

Midlands Region - General  Archive Material

 The general archive is stored at the Northamptonshire CC Record Office.  Click to see details of this record office, then delete the popup window to return.  Its reference numbers is: MA/M/MMAC

 

 Introduction to the Catalogue

In the geographical context, 'The Midlands' covers the seven counties of Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands Urban Conurbation. The catalogue of documents covers those lengths of motorway in the Midlands which are:-

M5; M6; M40; M42; M45; M50; M54; M69 and A38(M)

Each document (or in some cases groups of documents like press cuttings) is given a unique number denoted by the following:-

 

MA

Motorway Archive

M

The Midlands

M5

Motorway Number

I

Specific Item

 

For example, MA/M/M5/I is the executive summary for the M5 in the Midlands. The full executive summary of the Midland Region of the Motorway Archive contains examples and references with the aim of providing a flavour of the range of material in the Archive itself.

The respective list of documents for each length of motorway is placed in an appropriately labelled box in the Northamptonshire Record Office to enable ease of access.

In this respect, the Motorway Archive Trust is very grateful to the Northamptonshire Record Office for the safe-keeping of the assembled documents for the Midlands. It should also be stated that the Eastern Region Archive is also deposited in the Northamptonshire Record Office. Detailed access to the Record Office is appended to this introduction.

During the period 1967 to 1988, the Road Construction Units of the Department of Transport oversaw the building of the substantial part of the existing motorway network. As a result the RCU's built up a large and unique collection of documents, drawings, models etc covering all aspects of motorway development. It is very much regretted that during 1996/7 when a major down-turn in road construction took place, this unique collection was destroyed.

Despite this set back, the Archive has managed to assemble many thousands of documents which have been donated from the personal collections of those engineers and others who were directly involved in building the network.

Acknowledgements

The tracing, collection, sorting and cataloguing of documents relating to the Midland Motorways has been a drawn out and time consuming activity. Thanks must go to Sarah Bridges and Chris Smith of the Northamptonshire Record Office for their help and advice. I am particularly grateful to my old friends and colleagues John Blood and Dennis Bradley whose continuing help and support kept the show on the road.

THE MIDLAND MOTORWAY ACTION COMMITTEE (MMAC)

During the Summer of 2002, I received a telephone call from Dr David Van Rest whom I had known during the 70's and 80's through his anti-motorway activities. Dr Van Rest informed me that the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Aston was closing and the building that housed the department was being demolished. It appeared that in the department's administration section was a collection of documents built up over a period of some 20 years and largely dealing with the activities of MMAC. Dr Van Rest suggested that these documents be investigated quickly because otherwise they were destined to be incinerated. Dr Van Rest offered all the documents to the Motorway Archive without strings.

In due course the University allowed me access to their stores and I discovered a very large collection of documents dealing with MMAC's activities between 1971 and 1991.

It was readily accepted by the Board of the Motorway Archive Trust that any interesting and relevant documents should be included in the Midlands Archive. A lengthy sifting process was necessary. It was particularly interesting to read the many hundreds of documents opposing the building of motorways (and some trunk road schemes). It was also fascinating to read the lengths to which MMAC would go to undermine or discredit the Government's case.

A substantial proportion of the collection consisted of correspondence between MMAC, its local groups and individual objectors particularly in the run up to Public Inquiries. These have not been retained for obvious reasons, however, relevant correspondence between MMAC, Government Departments, Local Authorities and MP's have been retained where an opposing point of view is clearly set out. Also, official reports, statements of case, decision letters and legal challenges have been retained where these have been annotated by MMAC personnel. It is these annotations, which often give a clearer insight into MMAC thinking.

The Motorway Archive Trust are most grateful for Dr Van Rest's generous gift. It is to be hoped that these documents, which have been selected for inclusion in the archive, give a fair and objective view of the situation on behalf of those promoting the anti-motorway argument.

J M Carrington

List of material held in the Northamptonshire CC Record Office

For a list of Abbreviations used in this catalogue see below

Document Number

Document Description & Author

Publisher

Date

Miscellaneous

1

The Aston Expressway Story, Castledine & Johnston

MAT

2003

2

The Motorway Achievement', Volume III. Building the network the Midlands

MAT

2003

3

The Motorway Achievement', England - The Midlands 1st meeting brochure

JMC

Aug 97

4

The Motorway Archive Eastern Regional Catalogue

DOE

Jun 03

5

Motorways in Worcestershire D.B. Charnock

MAT

99

6

M1 Opening. Luncheon at Savoy Hotel. Table plan and guest list

Laing Tarmac

59

Midland Motorway Action Committee

1

M54 Public Inquiry into modified scheme and orders. Evidence by MA Sullivan on behalf of MMAC

MMAC

Jun-79

2

M54 Public Inquiry into SR and CPO. Draft evidence by MA Sullivan on behalf of MMAC ind traffic data

MMAC

Feb-76

3

M54 Article entitled "Adminsitrative Engineering" by MA Sullivan

Surveyor

Jan-76

4

M54 Public Inquiry into SR and CPO Statement by Telford Development Corporation

TDC

Feb-76

5

M54 Double Inquiry. Decision letter into SR and CPO

D & E & T

Feb-78

6

M54 CPO full publication of draft orders

Birmingham Post

Jul-75

7

M54 correspondence Sullivan to Cormack MP

Sullivan

Dec-80

8

M54 correspondence. Prime Minister to Cormack M.P.

Prime Minister

Sep-80

9

M54 Correspondence. Sullivan - Harrington (Dep Sec)

Sullivan

Oct-80

10

M54 Correspondece. Heseltine (S of S) to Langford - Holt MP

S of S Project

Jul-80

11

M54 Draft Notice of Mofiori to oHigh Court on behalf of G.H.M. Sankey

Sullivan

Oct-80

12

M54 Various papers, reports and legal advice by Woodhouse G.C. on decision to proceed

MMAC & Others

Jul-80

13

M54 Assorted press cuttings 1976-1978 compield by MMAC

Various Midland newspapers

76-79

14

M54 MMAC submission to Parliamentary Ombudsman claiming mal-administration by DOT

MMAC

Mar-78

15

M54 Letter from council on Tribunals re ombudman decision

D of T

Oct-79

16

M54 consultation document Telford New Town: population targets

DE

Jun-77

17

M54 Various correspondence on legal and related matters

Various Midland newspapers

Mar-Nov 77

18

Various papers on public inquiry procedures and tribunals

Various Midland newspapers

75-78

19

"Transport Report" monthly (91 issues) news sheet including much amusing and scurrilous writing against road builders

Transport 2000

Nov 77-Nov 86

20

"Motorway Monthly" (8 issues) amusing, satirical, scurrilous anti road musings

Transport 2000 CPRE

1977

21

M5 various documents on crawler lane construction and narrow lanes

Various

1977/1978

22

M54 Support Group. Publicity document.

M54 Support Group

Mar-78

23

M40 Warwick Area. Various documents on land matters

MMAC

74-79

24

Various Correspondence, Evidence & Rebuttals. M40 & M42.

MMAC

1973-76

25

Evidence to M40 / M42. Public Inquiry.

MMAC

1974

26

M40. Correspondence with Department of Transport. Traffic Statements etc.

MMAC

Feb-78

27

M40. Correspondence with Department of Transport. Procedures etc.

MMAC

1980-83

28

M40. Junction with A34 Hockley Heath. Correspondence with D.o.T.

MMAC/DoT

Apr-86

29

M40. Evidence to 1986 Inquiry.

M. Sullivan & D. Van Rest

May-86

30

M40. Correspondence (various) with D.o.T.

DoT/MMAC

Mar-86

Abbreviations used in the archived material catalogues:

BNRR

Birmingham Northern Relief Road

BWOR

Birmingham Western Orbital Road

CA

Concrete Association

CAMBBA

Carillion, Alfred McAlpine, Balfour Beatty, AMEC

DfT

Department for Transport

DoE

Department of the Environment

DoE&T

Department of the Environment and Transport

DTp

Department of Transport

GCC

Gloucestershire County Council

H&WCC

Hereford and Worcester County Council

HCC

Herefordshire County Council

HFA

Halcrow Fox Associates

ICE

Institution of Civil Engineers

IHT

Institution of Highways and Transportation

LAC

Landscape Advisory Committee

MAT

Motorway Archive Trust

MEL

Midland Expressway Limited

MOT

Ministry of Transport

MMAC

Midland Motorway Action Committee

MRCU

Midland Road Construction Unit

MWU

Motorway Widening Unit

NCE

New Civil Engineer

OAP

Ove Arup and Partners Limited

RPT

Rendel, Palmer and Tritton

S of S

Secretary of State

SOWP

Sir Owen Williams and Partners

SWKP

Scott Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners

TDC

Telford Development Corporation

WCC

Worcestershire County Council

WMRO

West Midlands Regional Office