British Credit Union Historical Society

From having the idea of setting up a credit union for colleagues in 1988, Voyager Alliance’s Martin Logan has gone on to become an integral part of the UK credit union movement.  Founder of the British Credit Union Historical Society and recognized as a leading Credit Union Historian, here we reflect on Martin’s contribution to the credit union community.

At the 1993 Industrial Conference in Leeds, Martin Logan, Rose Dorman and Paul Jones were concerned at the lack of historical knowledge regarding the origins of the British Credit Union Movement. It was agreed that it was important that a history should be researched and written.

In 2008 Martin Logan set up the (BCUHS). In 2014, ahead of the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of the British Credit Union Movement the British Credit Union Historical Society was relaunched by Martin Logan, along with James Clancy, Metro Moneywise Credit Union, and Frank Duffy, Fallowfield Credit Union. Its aims are:

  • to encourage the preservation of British Credit Union Heritage and History
  • to gather together the oral, photographic and written history of the British Credit Union Movement
  • To set up an archive where credit union historical records can be stored and used as a research tool.

Martin Logan compiled the A4 booklet “The First 50 Years” for International Credit Union Day 2013 at Sheffield Cathedral to celebrate the first fifty years in 2014 of the movement in Britain.

At the 9th edition of the annual Edward Filene and Joe Biden awards in November 2019 in Manchester, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the British Credit Union Historical Society, and its three founders – James Clancy, Frank Duffy, and Martin Logan. for having given unstinting and entirely voluntary efforts, to the credit unions sector.

The Society has gathered information and records from UK credit unions, credit union trade associations and individuals going all the way back to 1964. These records include documents, photographs, oral histories, video recordings and newspaper clippings. The archives are an important historical resource for credit unions, researchers and members of the community.

Speaking on behalf of the British Credit Union Historical Society, Martin Logan said: “It is a great honour to accept such an award and to have your efforts over many years recognised by one’s fellow peers.”

“It makes what we do at the Historical Society all worthwhile. The Society helps to provide the credit union movement with a past and an identity that everyone can be proud of.”

The work of the British Credit Union Historical Society was honoured at an online signing ceremony. Society founders Martin Logan (Credit Union Historian) and James Clancy (Treasurer and Website Co-ordinator) joined Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Chair of the Trustee Board of the Credit Union Foundation, and Credit Union Foundation Secretary Robert Kelly at the online event.

Lord Kennedy and Robert Kelly praised the officers of the Society for their considerable efforts and their many achievements.

The BCUHS has transferred ownership of the considerable collection, and the website it has developed, so that it can be combined with the work of the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Save and Sound Project. The transfer will safeguard the Society’s collection and aid the Credit Union Foundation’s aim of promoting credit union heritage and ensuring the work of credit union pioneers is not forgotten.

Credit: The British Credit Union Historical Society

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