Les Says - Blog No. 1

Friday 20th Apr, 2018

Formation of the Credit Union

Les Says

Well aren’t we becoming modern, my very first blog. Where do I begin? I’m probably blogging to a select few at the moment so I’ll go back to the beginning of the Credit Union.

In 1982 I was working in Mock Up Department in 1 hangar at British Aerospace in Warton. Our current President, John Geraghty, showed me a newspaper article about Credit Unions and thought “this sounds like a good idea shall we start one?” I think I was going through a period where I would join anything so I said yes. It was easy in those days, you just needed to get 21 people to sign a commitment form, then send that off to the Registry of Friendly Society and you were up and running.

In June 1982 British Aerospace Employees (Warton Division) Credit Union was born, Registration number 60c. A committee to run the Credit Union was formed and I became Treasurer. In the distant days of 1982 we were still being paid in cash every Thursday. The routine then was to follow the Littlewoods Pools man (I told you it was distant past). As he took money for the pools we would take members savings contributions.

Our offer of reasonably priced loans was an immediate hit with our initial members, but the problem was we had to build up the savings pot first before we could loan money out. So the answer was to take the money and go into hiding telling people the loans officer had just left, or was on holiday or his grandma had just died (again!). Imagine doing that and people still trusting us each week with their hard earned cash, a slightly different world in those days. Our first loan was for £250 for a holiday. You could travel a long way in those days for £250!

So how did we manage to grow to where we are today, from let’s say a dubious start, and how did we avoid getting the sack?

Watch out for blog number 2.

Les

p.s. that's me on the right hand side shaking hands with our Chairman of the Board, Martin.

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