Newcastle upon Tyne TUC was founded in 1873.  Ever since, the Trades Council has been working to unite trades unionists across the City.

In 1890, it was the Trades Council which responded to the international campaign for the Eight Hour Day, and organised Tyneside's first May Day.

In the 1970s, it was the Trades Council which set up Britain's first Centre Against Unemployment , leading to a national network, supported by the Trades Union Congress.

For much of its history the Trades Council was without a home.  But in 1986, with support from the wider trade union movement, we acquired our own city-centre building in the Cloth Market.  This now houses the Centre Against Unemployment, and acts a focus for labour movement activity in the City.

For its centenary, the Trades Council published a history in pamphlet form.  In due course this will be added to this web site.  More recent history is contained in the Annual Reports presented to the Annual General Meeting held every February.  Several are included here, together with the list of delegates who have held the role of President, Secretary and Treasurer, as far back as can be remembered. 

We also cherish the memory of stalwart members of Newcastle TUC who have sadly passed away.  Follow the link Roll of Honour to read their biographies. 


Centenary History


The history of the Trades Council was written for the anniversary of the Centenary, about forty years ago.

During the coming weeks & months we will be adding pages covering the first hundreds years of Newcastle upon Tyne Trades Union Council.

1 Formation and early years.

"A very enthusiastic meeting assembled at the Flying Horse Inn, Groat Market, on Saturday, 18th January 1873 and the Newcastle and Gateshead Trades Council was formed. A Patternmaker named Gibson was Chairman and G.L. Atkinson, a printer, became the first secretary. The printers were playing a prominent part and two others were members of the committee, Kidd and Hudson. The only others we know of were a baker named Gladstone and one Brown, a co-operative smith" 

N.B.: Gateshead now has a seperate Trades Union Council.

2 Politics and the Trades Council up to about 1900.

3 1900 – 1917.

4 Years of struggle and depression. 1918 – 1939.

5 War and its aftermath.

6 The nineteen fifties.

7 The last decade.

8 A retrospect.

Annual Reports 

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Officers of The Trades Council in living memory are listed below, by the year in which they were elected:

 Year President   Secretary   Treasurer 
 2016 Martin Levy (UCU)  Jim Simpkin (Unite)  Alan Lubbock (Unite)
2015 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
2014 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
2013 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
 2012 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
 2011 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
 2010 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
2009 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite) Alan Lubbock (Unite)
2008 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Unite-Amicus) Alan Lubbock (Unite-Amicus)
2007 Martin Levy (UCU) Jim Simpkin (Amicus) Alan Lubbock (Amicus)
2006 Martin Levy (NATFHE) Jim Simpkin (Amicus) Alan Lubbock (Amicus)
2005 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Jim Simpkin (Amicus)  Alan Lubbock (Amicus)
2004 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Jim Simpkin (Amicus)  Alan Lubbock (Amicus)
2003 Martin Levy (NATFHE)   Peter Burnett (Amicus-MSF) (res)    Alan Lubbock (Amicus-MSF) 
     Jim Simpkin (Amicus-MSF)  
2002 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Peter Burnett (Amicus-MSF)  Alan Lubbock (Amicus-MSF)
2001 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Peter Burnett (MSF)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
2000 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Peter Burnett (MSF)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1999 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Joe Scurfield (EQUITY)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1998 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Joe Scurfield (EQUITY)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1997 Martin Levy (NATFHE)  Maureen Foster (MSF)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1996 Maureen Foster (MSF)  Ron Taylor (NATFHE)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1995 Maureen Foster (MSF)  Jimmy Barnes (GPMU) (res)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
     Norman Anderson (UNISON)   
1994 Maureen Foster (MSF)/  Martin Spence (BECTU) (res)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
  Margaret Sharkey (MSF)  Jimmy Barnes (GPMU)  
1993 Margaret Sharkey (MSF)/  Martin Spence (BECTU) (res)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
  Maureen Foster (MSF)    
1992 Maureen Foster (MSF)/  Martin Spence (BECTU) (res)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
  Margaret Sharkey (MSF)    
1991 Martin Spence (BECTU)  Peter Burnett (MSF)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1990 Martin Spence (ACTT)  Ken Ternent (MSF)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1989  Berit McFadden (NUT) (res)  Steve Manchee (NALGO)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
  Martin Spence (ACTT)    
1988 Tommy Gardner (EEPTU)  Steve Manchee (NALGO)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1987 Ron Taylor (NATFHE)  Steve Manchee (NALGO)   Alan Lubbock (MSF)
1986 Ron Taylor (NATFHE)  Steve Manchee (NALGO)  Alan Lubbock (MSF)


Roll of Honour

Throughout the history of Newcastle upon Tyne TUC, many delegates have made an outstanding contribution to the Trades Council and the wider labour movement.  Their passing caused us deep grief,  but the greatest tribute we can pay is to carry on. What we build now depends strongly on the foundation which they laid for us.  To cherish their memory, and learn from their example, we record some biographies here.  We hope, in the fullness of time, to add many more to this list.

Dave Atkinson - Read More about Dave

Berit McFadden

Terry Rogers

Joe Scurfield - Read More about Joe

Ron Taylor


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Newcastle Trades Union Council

– known, more colloquially, as “Newcastle TUC”, “Newcastle Trades Council” or simply “The Trades Council”. This is our newly redesigned web site and we shall gradually be adding more material to it as time progresses. The Trades Council is the link between the trade union movement and the wider community in the City of Newcastle.

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