London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the London Electricity Board and predecessors, 1883-2003. This collection contains a wide variety of material including minute books, staff records, technical reports, engineers' log books, photographic and printed material (including newsletters, magazines and leaflets and booklets on electricity services) of the LEB (1948 - 1990) and LEB inherited material from a large number of undertakings operating in the pre-vesting period (1882 - 1948).

    For detailed summaries of the records held in this collection see the introduction to LMA/4278/01 and for the LEB see the introduction to LMA/4278/02 in the catalogue.
Extent: 34.81 linear metres
Classification: BUSINESSES
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The London Electricity Board (LEB) was responsible for the supply of electricity, and retail and development of electrical appliances to domestic customers and businesses in the London area from 1948 to 1990. Although the LEB's geographical area of 250 square miles was the smallest in the country, it was the most densely populated, having over 20,000 inhabitants per square mile (1950s). The Board had resulted from the nationalisation of electricity which had brought together a large number of undertakings that had developed in a piecemeal fashion since the 1880s.

    The LEB predecessor undertakings with records in this collection comprise:
    Saint Pancras Metropolitan Borough Council
    Hammersmith Metropolitan Borough Council
    Islington Metropolitan Borough Council
    Poplar Metropolitan Borough Council
    Leyton Municipal Borough Council
    Walthamstow Urban District Council
    Battersea Metropolitan Borough Council
    Barking Urban District Council
    Fulham Metropolitan Borough Council
    Barnes Urban District Council
    Chislehurst Electric Supply Corporation Ltd
    London Electric Supply Corporation Ltd
    Dartford Urban District Council
    East Ham County Borough Council
    Ilford Municipal Borough Council
    Willesden Urban District Council
    Bethnal Green Metropolitan Borough Council
    Erith Urban District Council
    Marylebone Electric Supply Company Ltd
    Bermondsey Metropolitan Borough Council
    County of London Electric Supply Company Ltd
    Woolwich Metropolitan Borough Council
    The Metropolitan Electric Supply Company Ltd
    West Kent Electric Company Ltd
    Wimbledon Municipal Borough Council
    Beckenham Urban District Council
    Central London Electricity Ltd
    London Associated Electricity Undertakings Ltd
    City of London Electric Lighting Company Ltd
    Foots Cray Electricity Supply Company Ltd
    South London Electric Supply Company Ltd
    South Metropolitan Electric Light and Power Company Ltd
    Southwark Metropolitan Borough Council
    Notting Hill Electric Lighting Company
    Stepney Metropolitan Borough Council
    London Power Company Ltd
    Bromley Rural District Council
    Hampstead Metropolitan Borough Council
    Shoreditch Metropolitan Borough Council
    West Ham County Borough Council
    Hackney Metropolitan Borough Council

    For detailed histories of these undertakings see the introduction to LMA/4278/01 and for the LEB see the introduction to LMA/4278/02 in the catalogue.
Creator: London Electricity Board
Custodial History: The records were originally held at the LEB's Head Office, New Broad Street, City of London. They were then transferred to Old Brompton Road Main Sub-station, Kensington, where they were still held in 1997 in very poor semi-derelict conditions. In 1998 the collection was removed to City Road Drawing Office Archive, London Electricity plc, Islington. 'Watts under London' (1999) by Ian Beament, Managing Director of London Electricity (see LMA/4278/02/149), proved to be the catalyst for the saving of this collection.
Copyright: Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London
Source of Acquisition:
  • Donated in accessions received in 2000, 2003, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2019.
  • B00/036
  • B03/066
  • B10/055
  • B10/146
  • B13/005
  • B13/122
  • B14/059
  • B19/069
Access Restrictions: Most records are open to public inspection, although some LEB record series in LMA/4278/02 are closed for 50 years

Access to closed items only by written authority from the successors of London Electricity plc Legal Department.
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: The records are arranged in two series:
LMA/4278/01 Pre-vesting Undertakings containing records of electricity companies mainly prior to 1948
LMA/4278/02 Post-vesting Undertaking London Electricity Board, containing records of the LEB after 1948.
Most additional records to the main deposit archived at London Metropolitan Archives have been given a number and letter file reference in order to insert them in the appropriate place in the catalogue. For example 'LMA/4278/01/570B'.
Related Material: For further records relating to the LEB at London Metropolitan Archives see:


- London County Council (reference LCC) records of electricity supply 1882 - 1942 (LCC/CL/HIG/01), London electricity minutes 1912 - 1928 (LCC/MIN) and the Special Advisory Committee on London Electricity Supply 1923 (LCC/PP/SLE).

- records of Greater London Council (reference GLC) relating to Dover Radial Route road work plans affecting the London Electricity Board (GLC/TD/PL/05).

- financial and administrative records of the London Electricity Consultative Council (1949 - 1990) (ACC/2802).

- records of London Hydraulic Power Company: General Hydraulic Power Company (B/GH/LH) held at London Metropolitan Archives.

For national records see the Electricity Council collection held at Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester.
Appraisal: Some material, mainly duplicates and reports of Electricity organisations operating outside the London area, were not considered worthy of long-term preservation and have therefore not been retained