Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists

ASWS badge.

Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists badge.

The Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists took its name in 1877, having grown out of the Birmingham and District Mill Sawyers and Planing Machine Workers Trade Society.

The Birmingham society had been founded in 1866 by a group of 80 sawyers. By the time it changed its name, it had more than 250 members, and by the end of the century it had grown large enough – partly through absorbing other local societies – to appoint its first full-time secretary.

By the turn of the century the union had changed its name once again, becoming the Amalgamated Society of Mill Sawyers and Woodcutting Machinists. The name would be changed back again within a few years, and after 1919 settled into the form of words shown on the badge pictured here.

In 1971, the society merged with the National Union of Furniture Trade Operatives to form the Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union (FTAT). FTAT itself merged with the GMB in 1993.

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9 Responses

  1. Trying to find info of 1960s members in Tottenham,North London.My grandfather was Secretary of ASWM at Bruce Grove, Tottenham.

  2. I was a member of the Bolton branch in the late 60s. I have just come across my membership card for 1969,when I was an Apprentice, Iam still woodmachining today.

    • bill clarke ive retired now but was a woodmachinist all my working life was i n warrington branch of a.s.w.m in 1961 would like to find a badge from same period as i lost mine in the 80s

    • Anybody know when the Bolton Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists started. I collect Bolton Badges Tokens and Medals and have just bought the Badge in the form of a Medallion with a loop on top. On the back it says the maker is Thomas Fattorini Bolton.

  3. FTAT merged with GMB in 1994. a Construction, Furniture & Timber section was created. That section has now closed and by the year 2009 had disappeared. A general manufacturing section was created and former FTAT members lost their industry and craft identity as happens following many mergers.

  4. can I claim compensation for sawdust in my system I worked as a machinist for about 25yrs without wearing a mask as they were not compulsory I am now suffering with shortness of breath I am 74yrs old

  5. I was a machinist for 25yrs working without a mask as they were not compulsory I am now 74yrs old and suffering with shortness of breath I mainly worked on band re-saws could I claim compensation for dust

  6. How is it possible to upload a few photo’s to this site.

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