This record is held by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of CR159
Reference: CR159

Minutes books, press cuttings

Date: 1879-1964
Held by: Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Chester Liberal Association

Physical description: 31 files
Publication note:

For an account of the 1906 election in Chester from the Liberal standpoint, see the biography of Chester's Liberal M.P. from 1906-1910. H. Bolitho, Alfred Mond, First Lord Melchett, 1932.

  • Chester, Cheshire
Administrative / biographical background:

The present Liberal Association was formed in 1879 on the pattern of the Birmingham Liberal Association's 'Caucas' system. Each polling district (later each ward) elected representatives to the Liberal 240'. The addition of 60 co-opted members elected by the 240 to their number formed the '300', from whom were chosen the executive and finance committees. The 300 endorsed the selection of parliamentary candidates by the executive and formed the nucleus of ward organization at elections. This system continued with only minor modifications to just after the First World War. For evidence of the early operation of this organizational structure in combination with older patterns of electioneering, see CLC/2, Report of the Commissioners appointed under Her Majesties royal sign manual to enquire into the existence of corrupt practices in the city of Chester, 1881. In the post-1920 period, annual meetings of all active members and a more informal method of appointment to committees have replaced the earlier system.


In addition to the central organization and constituent wards, the autonomous Women's Liberal Association was formed c.1906 and the Chester League of Young Liberals followed during the 1920s. During the war years 1939-1945, a co-ordinating committee for all three bodies was formed to maintain the party organization during the wartime politic truce and to plan policies for the post-war political revival. A Liberal Club was established in 1883, originally situated in Foregate Street but from c.1890 at 28 Watergate Row North. Both the association and the club have occupied 18 Nicholas Street since 1926.

Link to NRA Record:

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