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British Weights and Measures Association

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Title: British Weights and Measures Association  
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Subject: Metrication in the United Kingdom, Metrication opposition, British society, UK Metric Association, Political pressure groups of the United Kingdom
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British Weights and Measures Association

British Weights and Measures Association
Abbreviation BWMA
Formation 1995
Type Advocacy group

The current British Weights and Measures Association, or BWMA, is an advocacy group established in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1995, founded by Vivian Linacre.[1] The current body was established in 1995, but there had also been a predecessor organisation, also called the BWMA, that was established in 1904, and lapsed after the First World War.


  • Aim of the BWMA 1
    • Campaigns 1.1
    • Opposition 1.2
  • Patrons and honorary members 2
    • Patrons 2.1
    • Honorary members 2.2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Aim of the BWMA

The BWMA's stated aim is to uphold the freedom to use the Imperial system and to oppose the compulsory imposition of the metric system in the UK. By the time of the modern BWMA's founding in 1995, British schoolchildren had been educated using only metric measures since 1974 (earlier in some places), and British industry had changed to using metric tools and equipment during the 1980s and were in most cases manufacturing to metric standards since about that time.


  • BWMA maintain that people should be free to use the metric system if they want, but that it should not be forced upon them.[2] and specifically, the Association campaigns for freedom for traders to serve their customers in whichever measures both parties find most convenient.
  • BWMA campaigns against the metrication of road signs[3] and in 2009 published their response[4] to a consultation hosted by the UK's Department for Transport which discussed a proposal to require compulsory dual Metric/Imperial signage of height limits and width limits. BWMA's responded that dual-units signage should not be made compulsory, and that the legal provisions (from the 1980s) allowing voluntary dual-units signage should be repealed so that only Imperial units could be displayed. This, the BWMA claimed, was to "avoid confusion."
  • BWMA support the Metric Martyrs – a group of traders prosecuted for their defiance of the Weights and Measures Act[5] and the Price Marking Order.[6]
  • BWMA gives detailed advice on how traders can circumvent regulations mandating metric weights and measures.[7]
  • BWMA members have published a number of books arguing for customary measures. These include The General Rule by BWMA President Vivian Linacre (Squeeze Press) and About the Size of It by Warwick Cairns.
  • The BWMA has published a "rogues' gallery" of those they label "Metric Culprits." These include a long list of individuals and bodies that have advocated or supported metrication, including the Irish Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen, who metricated road signs in Republic of Ireland in 2005.[8]


Patrons and honorary members


Honorary members


  1. ^ "Database of archives of Non Governmental Organisations – BWMA". DANGO. 17 April 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  2. ^ "British Weights & Measures Association – Annual Awards" (Press release). 21 May 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  3. ^ BWMA/Transport – De-metricated signs
  4. ^ Yardstick: Dec 2009
  5. ^ Results within Legislation – Statute Law Database
  6. ^ Results within Legislation – Statute Law Database
  7. ^ BWMA/Business Issues – Survival Guide to Metric Law
  8. ^ BWMA/Metric Culprits
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "BWMA Patrons and Honorary members". British Weights and Measures Association. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Letter to Prime Minister". British Weights and Measures Association. 16 April 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  11. ^


  • Cairns, Warwick (2007). About the Size of It: The Common Sense Approach to Measuring Things, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-230-01628-6
  • Linacre, Vivian (2007). The General Rule: A Guide to Customary Weights and Measures , The Squeeze Press, ISBN 978-1-906069-01-8

External links

  • BMWA's official website
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