Arts Council of Great Britain: records, 1928-1997


Series description

Series title: Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts: Correspondence, Regional, 1942-1956
Reference: EL3
Extent: 126 items

Context

During the Second World War, after the creation of twelve self-contained civil defence regions, one each for Scotland and Wales and ten for England, the Commissioner for Civil Defence in each region nominated a member of his staff to act as liaison for CEMA activites in the region. Between 1942 and 1944 CEMA itself took over this responsibility, setting up offices in all these regions, excluding London, which it was felt was adequately covered by its headquarters.

The function of these regional offices was to plan CEMA activities, working out as far as possible a consecutive programme for each area and to make these activities known to those who were interested as far in advance as possible. They were expected to keep district inspectors informed of all concerts, plays and exhibitions in their districts. They also developed into advice bureaux for matters concerning the arts.

The 12 regions covered the country thus: Region 1 -Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire (North Riding); Region 2 -Yorkshire (East and West Ridings); Region 3 -Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutlandshire; Region 4 -Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk and Suffolk; Region 5 -London and Middlesex; Region 6 -Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire; Region 7 -Cornwall, Devonshire, Gloucestershire, Somersetshire and Wiltshire; Region 8 -Wales; Region 9 -Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire; Region 10 -Cheshire, Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland; Region 11 -Scotland; Region 12 -Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The decision by the Arts Council to leave the provision of music, opera and drama to self-governing non-profit making companies made it reconsider its regional administrative structure. In 1946, the Arts Council had taken over the regional offices from CEMA to handle the considerable direct provision which had been undertaken during the war and which continued to develop after the war. As the Arts Council decided to phase out direct provision, the need for the regional offices, as agents of direct provision, decreased.

In 1952 the number of offices in England was reduced from 9 to 6 (London, region 5, had already been incorporated into region 12 in 1949). These new regions were: Eastern -Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex (North), Hertfordshire (North), Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Rutland and Suffolk; Midlands -Derbyshire (South), Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire (South), Warwickshire and Worcestershire; North Eastern -Durham, Northumberland and Yorkshire; North Western -Cheshire, Cumberland, Derbyshire (North), Lancashire, Staffordshire (North) and Westmorland; South Eastern -Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex (South), Hampshire, Hertfordshire (South), Isle of Wight, Kent, London, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex; South Western -Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Somersetshire and Wiltshire.

The number of offices was further reduced in 1953 to five, when the Eastern office was closed and Lincolnshire and Rutland were transferred to the Midlands office and the others to the South Eastern office. The main reason for this reduction in offices was to tighten up the workings of the regions and to induce a stronger sense of purpose and discrimination among regional officers.

In 1955, as a result of an even greater decline in the Council's involvement in direct provision, the remaining five offices were closed and the Council made other arrangements for maintaining its contacts with the provinces. Three mobile officers, specialists in music and familiar with the regions, were appointed to take care of the Council's relationships with its associated orchestras and other music-making bodies. Three other officers were appointed to be concerned with the visual arts and to liaise with art galleries and societies. Apart from the role of administering the Council's policy in the regions, these directors advised headquarters on the merits of grant applications in their respective regions and kept headquarters informed about the range and quality of regional needs.

In the summer of 1946, the first Arts Council regional conference was held in Newcastle upon Tyne. These conferences became regular events in the regions and provided opportunities for discussions with representatives from arts clubs and other local societies, the local authorities and secretaries of orchestras and theatre companies.

Special recognition had always been given to Scotland and Wales by the Arts Council, though regional offices and advisory committees and finally (under the second charter of 1967) through executive councils.

From April 1947 the Scottish committee (and office) took charge of a grant for all purposes in Scotland with the duty of accounting to London headquarters for the details of its expenditure. The grant, calculated on the 'Goschen formula' for the proportionate allocation of Exchequer funds in Britain, was 36,000. It was, however, to be administered within the framework of the Council's national policy.

The closing down of the Arts Council's regional offices contributed indirectly to the formation of the first Regional Arts Association in the South West. If the Arts Council would not maintain an office in their part of the country, local societies would band together for mutual benefit and, in 1956, the South West Association for the Arts was formed. Its main function was the planning and co-ordination of a wide range of tours in the region by professional companies and artists. It received a grant from the Arts Council and within ten years a network of independent regional associations was firmly established.

Scope and content

This series contains CEMA and Arts Councilfiles concerning the work of the regional offices set up under CEMAand later administered by the Arts Council.

All the files in this series contain varied correspondence concerning the work of the regional offices in promoting artistic events within the region. There is also extensive correspondence with local authorities and arts societies.

In addition to the correspondence files there are six files of regional directors' circulars, with both a numerical and an alphabetical list (EL3/2). These circulars were sent to all regional directors giving a wide range of policy information and administrative detail. References to them are common in the correspondence files. They also contain notices, agendas and summaries of discussion of the regular meetings of the regional directors.

The correspondence files with Scotland and Wales in this series of records relate mainly to the organisation of events within the regions. For policy files and more detailed information on the running of the committees see EL2 and EL5.

The correspondence files have been arranged chronologically within region. The regions are arranged chronologically (1-12) for files up to 1952 and then alphabetically for files between 1952 and 1956.

Access

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Restrictions on access

Access to unpublished material less than 30 years old may be restricted and requests for access can take up to 20 working days to be processed. When applying for access, it is helpful if you can quote the reference number, title and covering dates of the file(s) in question. For very large requests you are advised to contact us to discuss your requirements. All requests should be sent by e-mail to archive@vam.ac.uk or by post to Victoria and Albert Museum Archives (ref. ACGB), Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, London W14 0QX.


Detailed catalogue

Reference Description Dates
EL3/1 Regional Directors' reports 1942-1944
EL3/2 Numerical list and subject index to Regional Directors' Circulars 1943-1956
EL3/3 Regional Directors' Circulars 1-62 1943-1946
EL3/4 Regional Directors' Circulars 63-100 1946-1948
EL3/5 Regional Directors' Circulars 101-150 1948-1949
EL3/6 Regional Directors' Circulars 151-200 1949-1951
EL3/7 Regional Directors' Circulars 201-250 1951-1953
EL3/8 Regional Directors' Circulars 251-277 1953-1956
EL3/10 Region 1 - Newcastle 1943
Director - Helen Munro.
EL3/11 Region 1 - Newcastle 1944
Director - Helen Munro.
EL3/12 Region 1 - Newcastle 1945
Director - Helen Munro.
EL3/13 Region 1 - Newcastle 1946
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/14 Region 1 - Newcastle 1947
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/15 Region 1 - Newcastle 1948
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/16 Region 1 - Newcastle 1949
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/17 Region 1 - Newcastle 1950
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/18 Region 1 - Newcastle 1951-1952
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/19 Region 2 - Leeds 1943
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/20 Region 2 - Leeds 1944
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/21 Region 2 - Leeds 1945
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/22 Region 2 - Leeds 1946
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/23 Region 2 - Leeds 1947
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/24 Region 2 - Leeds 1948
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/25 Region 2 - Leeds 1949
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/26 Region 2 - Leeds 1950
Director - Douglas Fayers.
EL3/27 Region 2 - Leeds 1951-1952
Director - Douglas Fayers. A note on the file indicates that after this time the Newcastle and Leeds offices were amalgamated and moved to York.
EL3/28 Region 3 - Nottingham 1943-1944
Director - Frederic Lloyd.
EL3/29 Region 3 - Nottingham 1945
Director - Frederic Lloyd.
EL3/30 Region 3 - Nottingham 1946
Director - Frederic Lloyd.
EL3/31 Region 3 - Nottingham 1947
Director - Frederic Lloyd.
EL3/32 Region 3 - Nottingham 1948
Director - Frederic Lloyd.
EL3/33 Region 3 - Nottingham 1949
Director - Frederic Lloyd.
EL3/34 Region 3 - Nottingham 1950
Director - Keith MacGregor.
EL3/35 Region 3 - Nottingham 1951-1952
Director - Keith MacGregor.
EL3/36 Region 4 - Cambridge 1942
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/37 Region 4 - Cambridge 1943
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/38 Region 4 - Cambridge 1944
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/39 Region 4 - Cambridge 1945
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/40 Region 4 - Cambridge 1946
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/41 Region 4 - Cambridge 1947
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/42 Region 4 - Cambridge 1948
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/43 Region 4 - Cambridge 1949
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/44 Region 4 - Cambridge 1950
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/45 Region 4 - Cambridge 1951
Director - W. R. Fell.
EL3/46 Region 5 - Headquarters 1942-1944
EL3/47 Region 5 - Headquarters 1945-1946
EL3/48 Region 5 - Headquarters 1947
EL3/49 Region 5 - Headquarters 1948
EL3/50 Region 6 1943-1945
EL3/51 Region 6 - Southampton 1946
Director - Helen Munro.
EL3/52 Region 6 - Southampton 1947-1948
Director - Helen Munro.
EL3/53 Region 6 - Southampton 1949-1950
Director - Helen Munro (dec. July 1950). Gerald McDonald.
EL3/54 Region 6 - Southampton 1951-1953
Director - Gerald McDonald.
EL3/55 Region 7 - Bristol 1942
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/56 Region 7 - Bristol 1943
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/57 Region 7 - Bristol 1944
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/58 Region 7 - Bristol 1945
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/59 Region 7 - Bristol 1946
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/60 Region 7 - Bristol 1947-1948
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/61 Region 7 - Bristol 1949
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/62 Region 7 - Bristol 1950
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/63 Region 7 - Bristol 1951
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/64 Region 8 - Wales 1944
EL3/65 Region 8 - Wales 1945
Director - M. Ogwen Davies.
EL3/66 Region 8 - Wales 1946
Director - Huw Wheldon.
EL3/67 Region 8 - Wales 1947
Director - Huw Wheldon.
EL3/68 Region 8 - Wales 1948
Director - Huw Wheldon.
EL3/69 Region 8 - Wales 1949
Director - Myra Owen.
EL3/70 Region 8 - Wales 1950
Director - Myra Owen.
EL3/71 Region 8 - Wales 1951
Director - Myra Owen.
EL3/72 Region 9 - Birmingham 1943
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/73 Region 9 - Birmingham 1944
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/74 Region 9 - Birmingham 1945
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/75 Region 9 - Birmingham 1946
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/76 Region 9 - Birmingham 1947
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/77 Region 9 - Birmingham 1948
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/78 Region 9 - Birmingham 1949
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/79 Region 9 - Birmingham 1950
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/80 Region 9 - Birmingham 1951-1952
Director - T. Harrison.
EL3/81 Region 10 - Manchester 1942-1943
Director - Peter Crossley-Holland.
EL3/82 Region 10 - Manchester 1944
Director - Peter Crossley-Holland.
EL3/83 The Arts in War-time in the North-West of England: A report sent by the Regional Officer to the Secretary-General for submission to the Council Nov 1944
EL3/84 Region 10 - Manchester 1945
Director - Peter Crossley-Holland.
EL3/85 Region 10 - Manchester 1946
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/86 Region 10 - Manchester 1947
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/87 Region 10 - Manchester 1948
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/88 Region 10 - Manchester 1949
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/89 Region 10 - Manchester 1950
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/90 Region 10 - Manchester 1951
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/91 Region 11 - Scotland 1941-1942
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/92 Region 11 - Scotland 1943
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/93 Region 11 - Scotland 1944
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/94 Region 11 - Scotland 1945
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/95 Region 11 - Scotland 1946
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/96 Region 11 - Scotland 1947
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/97 Region 11 - Scotland 1948
Director - S. Shirley Fox.
EL3/98 Region 11 - Scotland 1949
Director - Dr George Firth.
EL3/99 Region 11 - Scotland 1950
Director - Dr George Firth.
EL3/100 Region 11 - Scotland 1951
Director - Dr George Firth.
EL3/101 Scotland - Edinburgh 1952-1953
Director - Dr George Firth.
EL3/102 Region 12 - London 1943-1944
Director - Alice Lidderdale.
EL3/103 Region 12 - London 1945
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/104 Region 12 - London 1946
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/105 Region 12 - London 1947
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/106 Region 12 - London 1948
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/107 Region 12 - London 1949
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/108 Region 12 - London 1950
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/109 Region 12 - London 1951
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/110 Region 12 - London 1952-1953
Director - Anne Carlisle.
EL3/111 Eastern Region - Cambridge 1952-1953
Director - Gerald McDonald.
EL3/112 Eastern Region - Cambridge 1954
Director - Gerald McDonald.
EL3/113 Midlands Region - Nottingham, Birmingham from 29/9/52 1952-1953
Director - Keith MacGregor.
EL3/114 Midlands Region - Birmingham 1954
Director - Keith MacGregor.
EL3/115 Midlands Region (Birmingham) 1955-1956
EL3/116 North-Eastern Region - York 1952-1953
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/117 North-Eastern Region - York 1954
Director - Donald Mather.
EL3/118 North-Eastern Region (York) 1955-1956
EL3/119 North-Western Region - Manchester 1952-1953
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson.
EL3/120 North-Western Region - Manchester 1954
Director - J. L. Hodgkinson. G. McDonald from Sept.
EL3/121 North-Western Region (Manchester) 1955-1956
EL3/122 South-Eastern Region (London) 1954-1956
EL3/123 South-Western Region - Bristol 1952-1953
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/124 South-Western Region - Bristol 1954
Director - Cyril Wood.
EL3/125 South-Western Region (Bristol) 1955
EL3/126 Wales - Cardiff 1952-1953
Director - Myra Owen.
EL3/127 Wales - Cardiff 1954
Director - Myra Owen.