British Credit Union Historical Society
BILl Murphy 1918- 1999
Bill Murphy was a pioneer of the credit union movement in the United Kingdom. He was one of the founders of Mossend & district Credit Union Lanarkshire in 1972.
He first heard about Credit Unions in the 1940s. Two to of his brothers returned
on holiday from Canada and told him they could only afford the trip because of a loan they had from their local Credit Union in Canada. Bill thought this was a great idea and set about learning more. He made contact with the North American credit union movement
and the Irish League of credit unions.
In 1978 he was elected to the board of the Credit Union league of Great Britain. He had various positions in the league such as secretary, treasurer and in 1981 he was elected Vice President of the league. The
Pope presented him with a Benemerenti Medal, in recognition of his work for the community.
Rose Dorman 1930 to 2006
Born: 27 November 1930, in Dalmuir, Dunbartonshire. Died: 14 January 2006, in Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, aged 75.
ROSE Dorman discovered credit unions in the 1970s, and her efforts on her native Clydeside created Dalmuir Credit Union in 1977
with her Husband John.
Rose recognised credit unions as a means of alleviating and eliminating poverty.
Her efforts both taught people how to save, and how to manage their money better.
Rose was secretary, treasurer and
president of the credit union, retaining the last position until her death, and quickly became involved in the national and international credit union movement.
Rose was awarded an MBE in 1998 and later the World Council of Credit Union's distinguished
More about rose on the link
Alan Thorpe 1930-2010
ALAN SADLY DIED PEACEFULLY ON MARCH THE 25TH AT HIS HOME IN HEATON MOOR AFTER A PERIOD OF ILNESS. ALAN FOR MANY YEARS WAS TREASURER OF ST CATHERINES CREDIT UNION UNTIL ILL HEALTH FORCED HIM TO GIVE IT UP.
ALAN WAS ONE OF A GROUP OF
LOCAL PARISHIONERS ALONG WITH FATHER FAY PARISH PRIEST OF ST CATHERINES PARISH CHURCH DIDSBURY IN THE LATE 70’S WHO FORMED THE STUDY GROUP TO SET UP A CREDIT UNION FOR THE PARISH.
ST CATHERINES CREDIT UNIONS STARTED OPERATING IN 1980 AND WAS THE
FIRST CREDIT UNION IN MANCHESTER. HIS FUNERAL TOOK PLACE AT ST CATHERINES CHURCH DIDSBURY ON WEDNESDAY 31ST MARCH. FOLLOWED BY INTERNMENT AT SOUTHERN CEMETERY, MANCHESTER. ALAN AND HIS FELLOW PIONEERS CONTRIBUTION TO THE LIVES OF THE MEMBERS SHOULD NOT BE
FORGOTTEN. THEY HELPED BLAZE A TRAIL FOR US ALL TO FOLLOW AND THEIR MEMORY WILL LIVE ON.
Blair Greaves 1937-2013
Blair served on the Board of Directors of Hornsey co-operative Credit Union for all of the 50 years and was President for over 25 years. This was Britain’s first credit union, formed in 1962 by a group of new immigrants from the West Indies, because
there had been a lack of financial services for people new to the country.
Over time the credit union, that remained close to its roots in the Ferme Baptist church, grew and even bought a property in Drylands Road, Hornsey, which became a meeting place:
a vibrant community center, bar and registered office. Hornsey Credit Union in 2013 has now merged with London Capital Credit Union.
a saying that from small acorns mighty oaks grow. Hornsey Co-operative Credit Union was the acorn for the British credit union movement,” and Elaine Blairs daughter follows in his footsteps as a Director of the now London Capital Credit Union.
June Smith 1952 to 2013
June became involved in credit unions towards the end of the 1980s. A group of local volunteers, she pioneered the setting up of West End Credit Union, which operated in an area of high social and economic deprivation in Tameside, and she served on
its board of directors for several years. She was a prime mover in the creation of Dukinfield Credit Union, established to serve the town where she and Chris lived. June was a leading light and promoter of the Greater Manchester Chapter, and its chair. In
those days, the Chapter played a major role in training provision and in embedding credit union ideals and principles in the hundreds of volunteers now engaged in the movement. June was a major player in developing the Credit Union for Tameside Employees,
now Cashbox, where she was the part-time manager for two years, both up to and consequent to its registration. In 1998, she became the full-time manager of Moneyspinner Credit Union, which had been created through the merger of Hattersley and Dukinfield credit
unions. June remained as manager of Moneyspinner Credit Union until the onset of her illness in 2006. In October 2012, Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, at Manchester Town Hall, on behalf of Manchester Credit Union, presented June with
a lifetime achievement award as a pioneer of the credit union movement in Greater Manchester. We will never forget the impact June had through her work in credit unions on the lives of thousands of people throughout Greater Manchester.
Ann Steel 1952-2014
Ann passed away on the morning of Sunday, 10th August at her home in Great Sankey, Warrington. A passionate credit union activist and NACUW stalwart for many years, Ann Steel was appointed Company Secretary in July 2010 having previously
been a NACUW Director and, before that, a member of the NACUW training team. Her main interest and contribution to the work of NACUW, was the support and development of consultancy and training. Specifically, Ann undertook an extensive training needs
analysis of the credit union sector to identify training needs for the new NACUW financial inclusion training programme. Her experience and skills were particularly invaluable when funding programmes and applications were developed.
Bill Hudson, NACUW
Chair, said: "Ann was a highly respected and valued member of the Board who gave many years of unselfish voluntary support to NACUW. News of Ann’s passing has come as a massive shock both individually and collectively. She will be sadly missed by all
Brian Rees 1938 - 2015
President of Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union
Brian made an enormous contribution not just to the credit union movement but also the Co-operative movement as well.
He was involved with credit unions for more than 20 years. He was
a founder director and secretary of Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union (BLSCU) and served as President for many years.
He served on the ABCUL Board from 2000 to 2009 and continued to contribute to national work after that time - including a major review
of the democracy of the Association.
The credit union movement in Bridgend, across Wales is stronger thanks to Brian’s hard work and commitment,
Mr Kirit Patel 1949 to November 2015
Treasurer of NFRN Credit Union LtdKirit Patel served as a Director of NFRN Credit Union and as an Officer of ABCUL's London and South East Forum until his death in November 2015.
Kirit was always known to have been a very diligent, hardworking and reliable member of the NFRN and NFRN Credit Union.
In memory of Kirit, an award for Outstanding Contribution to an ABCUL Forum was supported by the National
Federation of Retail Newsagents, the NFRN Credit Union and ABCUL's London and South East Forum.
The award is to be presented via nominations from the forums to people who have made a significant positive difference for credit unions through
their local ABCUL Forum by 31 January 2017.
Lord Roper 1935 to 2016
Lord Roper, the pioneer of British credits union legislation, who has died at the age of 80.
In May 1972, when he was the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Farnworth in Greater Manchester, John Roper sought to introduce a Private
Member’s Bill “to make provision for the registration, incorporation and administration of credit unions by applying with modifications and amendments the provisions of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 – 1968 to them.”
Lord Roper played a crucial role in putting credit unions on the British legislative agenda. Having caught the ‘credit union bug’ as a student in the USA, he was a passionate advocate for the sector and a true friend to the movement for many
years. He will be fondly remembered for his contribution to the history and development of Britain’s credit unions.”
More about Lord Roper on the link
Julian Waldron 1958 - 2016
Julian Waldron was a key founder of Metro Rochdale Employees Credit Union, later to be come Metro Moneywise. He began the roll of secretary back in 1987 as member No. 3. He was also a voice for Kirkholt Credit Union from around
that time. Julian served as the secretary for many years and Director. A lot of the history and documents of Metro Moneywise Julian had saved and are on the Credit Union’s History page.Julian always saw the value in credit unions working together,
and so he helped set up the Greater Manchester Chapter (now the ABCUL North West Forum) and also served as its secretary. He was a key organiser of the Forum’s training, education and development programme, including the first weekend school in Blackpool
in 1993, which has gone from strength to strength as the Forum’s annual WOW weekend. Memorable photos of the stalwarts that were around in the early years having a drink after chapter meetings can be viewed on the chapter page under the
TAB asscoiate training
Chair of Metro Moneywise Credit Union Roger Baldry paid tribute to Julian, saying: “He was a good friend to everyone he met and anyone he met always warmed to him. “His friends at Metro Moneywise will miss
him greatly, and I in particular have lost a long time friend – but have happy memories of the many things we did together over the years up and down the country. “His passing has left us with a big hole in our hearts.
are the thoughts and memories of Chris Smith Co_op Credit Union
Our dear friend and credit union colleague Julian Waldron has died and many of the original pioneers of the North West credit union movement will remember his loyalty and hard
work. He was a permanent fixture at promotional and training events; always helping, encouraging and co-operating with the many tiny credit unions that were springing up at the end of the 1980's and early 1990's. He was a very quiet and humble character but
passionate about co-operation and credit unions. He became an excellent organiser of the alternative celebration at the Blackpool Credit Union Conferences. Julian ensuring that members could make an affordable party instead of the posh events at the conference
established the famous ‘Blackpool Credit Union Beer Trail’. The distance of the beer trail was measured in 'Julian's'. The distance between pubs was known as a 'Standard Julian'. His humour and good spirits, hard work, co-operation and enthusiasm
will always make him remembered as true friend to the now successful credit union movement with over a 1.2 million members. Thanks Julian you will never be forgotten by the fellow pioneers.
Marie Gray Lodge lane
I'm so sad to hear of the death of Julian. I know that most of you knew him. Was pleased to see him at ABCUL AGM this year...but not looking very well. Remembering early 90s when Merseyside and Manchester Chapters worked together on the Managing
Growth Working Party, with Peter Kelly, David Buttle and others. Julian Waldron RIP.
Roger Baldry President Metro Moneywise a Eugolgy
Dr Andrew Wakefield 2016
CroydonPlus Credit Union Chair Rev Dr Andrew Wakefield passed away on Wednesday, October 26. He was vicar of St Andrew's in Herbert Road a well-known figure in the Merton community and had recently been made an honorary doctor of divinity from
the University of Roehampton for his 30 years of service to the borough. His personal commitment had encouraged and inspired many local people to change their communities for the better. In recent years Andrew played a key role in leading the credit union
with a mix of leadership, guidance, creativity and ambition. He was well respected by everyone who knew him and he always gave comfort to those who needed it in times of crisis. He will be sadly missed.
Lou Gildea 2018
Lou Gildea on the 14/12/2017 passed away peacefully. Lou and his wife Mary were the founder members of Nelson Community Credit Union. Lou was President for the first 21 years and remained a director for a further four years. He continued to keep
attending board meetings until his health deteriorated in 2016.
Lou had worked as a Credit Union Developer for Burnley Borough Council until his retirement and helped set up local credit unions.
To all, in the now Pennine Community Credit Union
he was an inspirational man who worked tirelessly for Credit Unions, setting strong foundations to build on and was well respected in the credit union movement. He was awarded the Pioneer Award at the ABCUL Conference in 2014. He was extremely proud
to receive the award. Without Lou and Mary, the Pennine credit union we have today would not exist.
Unfortunately, only two and half months after Lou died, his wife Mary Gildea passed away on the morning of the 5th February 2018. Mary as the first Treasurer a position she held for 20 years and Lou as President lead Nelson Credit Union through many
years of development, working all hours and showing total dedication and commitment, developing a strong base on which Nelson Community Credit Union, then Pendle Community Credit Union in 2005 and latterly Pennine Community Credit Union in 2012 have flourished.
Both Mary and Lou were pioneers of not just Nelson credit union but North West Credit Unions in general. Their contribution can never and should never be under estimated. They were a devoted couple who had been married for over 60 years and rarely spending
time apart. It hardly seemed right that one was left without the other. It is comforting to know they are back holding hands together. There will always be a special place in what is now Pennine community credit union for Lou and Mary.
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