"MAY, 1928" wrote Alan Bullock in his book, `The Life and Times of Ernest Bevin', "saw the realisation of another of Bevin's dreams, the opening of Transport House. To the passer‑by, cutting across Smith Square and turning a curious eye towards the bombed ruins of the eighteenth‑century church of St. John, Transport House is a large, not very distinguished brick building at the corner of Dean Bradley Street. Bevin saw it with different eyes. He remembered the shabby terrace house in Princes Street, Bristol, where he had joined the Dockers' Union; to him it was nothing short of marvellous that a working men's organisation, with a subscription of 6d. a week, could rise from renting a house in a back street to building, at a cost of well over £50,000, an eight‑storey office building of its own, within a stone's throw of the House of Lords.
"It was a triumph which even the most disgruntled of his critics would find it hard to grudge him, for if ever a building was due to the determination of one man, it was Transport House. Since his visit to America in 1915, Bevin had had in his mind a headquarters equal to the status which he claimed for the trade union movement. No other union in the country up to that time had built offices of anything like the size or spaciousness of Transport House, which was designed to house the national offices, not only of the Transport and General Workers' Union but of the Trades Union Congress and the Labour Party as well. He had the imagination to grasp the psychological as well as the practical advantage to the Movement of an impressive building of its own‑with the political
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