Friends of Labour Loan Societies have been overlooked in analyses of mutual self-help organisations and working class organisations. Starting around 1851, on the initiative of a Chartist activist, these grew to comprise a major section of loan societies granted legal status since 1835 and which were later to come under the oversight of the Registrar of Friendly Societies. Many survived into the early decades of the 20th century and some even into the period when the modern credit union movement began to attract attention. Sean Creighton outlines their history drawing on material at The National Archives, the British Library and from specialist newspapers and journals.
Sean Creighton is an independent historian whose interests range over the labour movement, mutuality, popular politics, social action, Black Britain, slavery and abolition, South West London, the North East and aspects of culture. He publishes small books under the imprint History & Social.