Historic Sheffield railway site to be marked

Circular plaque marking the founding place of TSSA for TSSA's 125th anniversary

The Sheffield site where a rail trade union was formed 125 years ago will receive an official plaque this coming Monday, 5 December. 

Trade unionists from the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will unveil a plaque at the Wicker Pharmacy, Sheffield, on Monday 5 December to mark the spot where the rail union was formed 125 years ago this year. 

TSSA was founded on 9 May 1897 at the Wilberforce Café, Sheffield. On 5 December 2022 a plaque will be unveiled at the Wicker Pharmacy, the building that now stands on the site of the Wilberforce Café, to mark the 125th anniversary of the union. 

Where:              Wicker Pharmacy, 55 The Wicker, Sheffield, S3 8HT  

When:               14:30, Monday 5 December 

Who:                 Past and present TSSA leaders and members 

TSSA Interim General Secretary, Frank Ward, said: “This is a historic year for our union and the unveiling of this plaque will mark the close of a year of celebrations. There aren’t many unions that can trace their history in this way so we’re very proud of our record on this front. 

“The beautiful plaque will be a lasting addition to Sheffield’s rich trade union and labour history and we hope it will be a site of interest for generations to come.” 

On 9 May 1897 the first formal meeting of National Association of General Railway Clerks (renamed RCA in 1899) took place at the Wilberforce Café, Sheffield. Charles Basset-Vincent became the first General Secretary.

The National Association of General Railway Clerks became the Railway Clerks’ Association in 1899; then, in 1951, following the changes that took place in the transport industry during the post-war period, the current title of TSSA was adopted. 

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