The National Association of Operative Plasterers was formed in 1860, probably by the amalgamation of a number of local societies. Apart from a period between 1921 and 1932, when it was renamed the National Association of Plasterers, Granolithic and Cement Workers, it remained independent with this name until 1968, when it merged with the Transport and General Workers' Union.
It admitted only plasterers and plasterers' labourers and had branches (called districts until 1926) throughout Great Britain and Ireland. It absorbed the Belfast Operative Plasterers' Protective and Friendly Trade Society in 1933, the Belfast Operative House and Ships' Plasterers' Association in 1934 and the Scottish National Plasterers' Union in 1967.
The main sources of genealogical information are two series of reports. The annual reports are bound by themselves, 1873-1931, 1942-1946 (MSS.126/OP/4/1/1-57), and with the quarterly and monthly reports, 1932 (MSS.126/OP/4/2/45), the quarterly reports, 1933-1941, 1947-1964 (MSS.126/OP/4/3/1-26), and the half-yearly reports, 1965-1967 (MSS.126/OP/4/4/1).
Full lists of members
The annual reports contain full lists of members by district from 1876 to 1883 and 1886 to 1924, with name, age (if newly joined), date of entry (if newly joined) and notes as to whether the member has moved from or to another branch, has emigrated, been expelled, etc.
An 1881 census of membership (MSS.126/OP/4/6) also lists all current members by district, with name, age at entry, date of entry, district originally joined, and marital status.
New members are listed in the annual reports from 1879 to 1885, 1904 to 1906 and 1925 to 1933, with name, age, branch, date of joining (until 1906) and marital status (1882-1906). They are also listed in the monthly and quarterly reports from 1886 to 1939, with branch, name and sometimes age.
Deceased members and their wives are listed in the annual reports from 1873 to 1967, with name, branch, age (from 1877) and cause of death (from 1877). They are also listed in the monthly reports from 1886 to 1928, with name, branch, age (from 1899) and date of entry (from 1907).
Obituaries of prominent members appear in the monthly and quarterly reports, sometimes with photographs.
Members transferring from one district to another are listed in the annual reports from 1878 to 1881, with name and districts transferred from and to.
Expelled, excluded and resigned members
Listed in the annual reports from 1897 to 1885, 1904 to 1906 and 1925 to 1933 and the monthly and quarterly reports from 1886 to 1939, with name and branch only.
Superannuated (pensioned) members are listed in the annual reports from 1882 to 1906, with district and name only, and from 1907 to 1933, with branch, name, date of and age at entry and date and age of superannuation. They are also listed in the monthly reports from 1886 to 1928, with branch and name only.
New applicants for superannuation benefit are listed in the quarterly and half-yearly reports from 1952 to 1967, with branch, name and date of and age at entry.
Members travelling around the country looking for work and claiming travelling benefit in other districts are listed in the annual reports from 1882 to 1884 and 1904 to 1912. From 1882 to 1884, they are listed by the district paying them benefit, with name, home district and date. From 1904 to 1912 only the names are listed. They are also listed in the monthly reports from 1886 to 1912, with home district and name.
Sick and accident benefit
Members claiming sick and accident benefit are listed in the annual reports from 1882 to 1933 and the monthly reportd from 1886 to 1928, with branch and name only.
Accident claims are listed in the quarterly and half-yearly reports from 1954 to 1967, with branch, name and date and nature of accident.
The names and addresses of branch secretaries are listed in the annual reports from 1877 to 1878 and 1941 to 1948 and the monthly, quarterly and half-yearly reports from 1886 to 1940 and 1949 to 1967. The names and addresses of club house presidents are listed in the monthly reports from 1890 to 1908.
'The Old Brigade'
Members with fifty or more years of membership are listed in the annual reports from 1951 to 1967, with name, branch, date of entry and date of superannuation (if applicable).
The annual report for 1945 contains a list of all members of the union and their wives killed on active service or by enemy action during the Second World War, with name, branch and service (Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force). The annual reports for 1946 and 1947 contain some additions to this list.
The full lists of members in the annual reports during the First World War indicate if a member is on active service.
London District Fine Book
This volume (MSS.126/OP/X/9) lists members fined from 1920 to 1932, with date, name and reason.