London On-line Local Authorities


Below are scans of original documents plus OCR versions, all in PDF format. They open in a new, but the same, tab. For an overview of those early years from 1968 to 1975 and some technical insight to the database design, read the last document dated 2021.

Document Date Scan OCR
Your Computer [LEO], - 3pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

A layman’s guide to the new LEO computer installed at Southgate Road, Hackney. Describes Programs, Files, Data, Printed Results, Documentation.

est. 1967 Scan OCR
London Borough of Haringey Long Term Computer Study - A First Report, H. J. Dive, Director, London Borough's Management Services Unit - 13pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

This report was produced for the London Borough of Haringey in order to make more widely available a concise statement of the origins and aims of its long-term computer study which it commissioned from the LBMSU.

June 1968 Scan OCR
Report on the Initial Study, Long Term Computer Project for the London Borough of Haringey [The Yellow Report], H. J. Dive, Director, London Borough's Management Services Unit, ISBN 0902603000. 66+60pp.

This was Haringey's comprehensive stategic study into it's future computing requirements covering nearly all aspects of the council's operations. This report was made available widely to entice other London Boroughs to join the venture. 66 pages with a 60 page appendix of detailed statistics/requirements.

January 1969 Sections A-J


Appendices 1-6


Request for Quotation for North East London Computer Scheme, H. J. Dive, Director, London Borough's Management Services Unit - 16pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

This is the tender document requesting quotations for hardware and software to realise the ambitious requirements set out in the above Report on the Initial Study. The document was issued for the existing North-East London Computer Scheme as it was their LEO III computer that would be replaced.

27 March 1969 Scan OCR
Staff Instructions [for new staff], Administrative Officer, LBMSU - 6pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

A document explaining the LBMSU Background, Joining Instructions, Gradings, Hours of Work, Leave, etc. etc. The first LOLA staff were employed by LBMSU until LOLA was formally created.

1 February 1970 Scan OCR
LOLA Adverts for Staff x4, LBMSU

Provided by Martin Jackson x3 &

4 job adverts (1 recreated) seeking programmers and analysts at various levels from junior to principal. 2 undated are believed to be 1970. Two refer to the name LOLA.

28 May 1970 &
28 September 1971
Report from the Working Party on Purchase Control & Creditors Procedures to the Chief Officer's Steering Panel, LOLA; ref. WP/CREDITOR

Provided by Keith Callaghan

January 1971 Scan

[cover page]

Accountancy and Budgetary Control System Specification, LOLA; ref. LOLA/71/1

Provided by Martin Jackson

26 April 1971 Scan

[cover page]

PL/1 Module Tester, Alan Cooper, Noel Sant, Joe Stansbury, LOLA

Provided by Martin Jackson

This manual describes how to use the PL/1 Module Tester. This was a test harness that simulated terminal inputs and outputs. It allowed a programmer to test their on-line transaction without the need to book a display terminal (of which there were few due to their costs) and to have to key in the data. It also allowed a set of tests to be easily repeated.

July 1971 Scan

[cover page]

Transition from LEO to LOLA's IBM, Ray Smith, former LBJCC, LBMSU & LOLA Programmer (1pp)

A short article written in April 2021 recalling a hair-raising event of March 1972 when converting the LEO Rates data to a format readable by the IBM computer.

March 1972 / April 2021 PDF
London boroughs 'on-line', Derek Schartau, Head of Computer Services, LOLA (London On-line Local Authorities), Municipal and Public Services Journal.

Reproduced with permission of the Bitish Library Board © (ref. 012413130)

Outlines the creation of LOLA, the cost justification, the data conversion aspects and the next phase. Photos of a video-display unit in operation at Haringey rates office and an operator at the IBM 360/50 console.

29 December 1972 Scan OCR
LOLA Sports & Social Club miscellanies . c60pp.

Provided by Martin Jackson

A potpourri of papers from two folders pertaining to activities of the Sports & Social Club from 1973 to 1984.

1973 to 1981 Scan


1975 to 1984 Scan


LOLA Brochure, LOLA

A professionally created brochure about LBMSU, LOLA, the LEO lll and IBM 360/50 computers, and the benefits the new system will deliver to the participating Borough Councils. (8pp)

Provided by John Alridge

1973 Scan


Experiences in using IMS/2 for a consortium of Local Authorities, A. J. O'Brien [Tony O'Brien], Technical Services Manager, LOLA (London On-line Local Authorities), presentation to PATRAC. 7+2pp

Outlines the development of the first Rates application, the data base design and the technical challenges arising from using the new IMS software. Includes the presentation's 8 slides of database structures (2pp)

22 March 1973 Scan OCR
LOLA Computer Hardware & Network diagram, Operations, LOLA.

Provided by John Alridge

Shows the mainframe and network components following the installation of the IBM 370/158.

OCR version has additional notes about the various devices and a generic photo.

1 September 1973 Scan OCR

[with notes]

IMS/2 at LOLA, K. W. S. Lewis [Ken Lewis], Database Manager, LOLA, presentation to NCC Database Software Conference, Bristol, UK. 8+5pp

Outlines the development of the first Rates application, the data base design and the technical challenges arising from using the new IMS software. Includes the presentation's 18 slides (5pp).

November 1973 Scan OCR
London Boroughs On-line rating system, S. Wood, Computer Liaison officer, Haringey, Local Government Finance, journal Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, 1973, Vol 77, July pp. 246-252 - 5+3pp.

Describes how the work processes have changed and drastically speeded-up in the Rates office following the move to the LOLA on-line real-time system. Appendix A list the 9 Rates transactions and the functions they perform.

July 1973 Scan OCR
LOLA's Database Rules, A. E. Cooper [Alan Cooper], Database Administrator, LOLA - 1pp n/k but c1972 Scan OCR
Memorandum to Staff Changing Offices re Change of Accommodation, - 3pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

1 page outlines arrangements and 2 pages of floor plans. Some rooms have staff names or job titles.

11 August 1972 Scan
Bowling Averages as at 30 Oct 75 [computer printout], LOLA Sports & Social Club- 1pp

Provided by Martin Jackson, who maintained the program at one stage.

From the early days the Sports & Social Club had a Ten Pin Bowling group that initially played at the Hoddesdon Bowl (until that burnt down). A program was written to run on the mainframe to maintain a players’ league together with statistics.

30 October 1975 Scan
Jackson on Jackson, Martin Jackson, Senior Programmer, LOLA

Provided by Martin Jackson

A report on Infotech Course SG6: Structured Program Design as advocated by Michael A. Jackson and known as JSP.

October 1976 Scan

[first page]

Why only LOLA appears to be succeeding, Roger Green, Computing magazine

Reproduced with permission of Computing ©.

Compares the success of LOLA with the less ambitious London Boroughs Joint Computer Committee’s (LBJCC) approach and decline.

24 March 1977 Scan OCR
JCL Punch Cards x3, - 1pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

Three odd punch Job Control Language (JCL) cards, found amongst Martin's papers, to instruct the Operating System. In the 1960 & 1970s these were ubiquitous, being the standard method of inputting data to computers as Visual Display Units were very expensive.

est. 1980 Scan
LOLA Forward Planning - Work Programme, Keith Callaghan - 4pp

Provided by Keith Callaghan

Sets out the work of the FP Division focusing on the increasing use of APL; supporting boroughs in evaluating mini-computers, local printing, distributed computing, word processing and the need for a mainframe upgrade.

13 February 1980 Scan OCR
Case Study London On-line Local Authorities, Open University, ISBN 0335140041. 34pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

This LOLA case study was written to support the Open University's module M352 Computer-based Information Systems, part of the Mathematics course. It focuses on the Rates Application.

Part 1 sets out the background including the Haringey Long Term Computer Study. Part 2 covers the data requirements and part 3 the database design in quite some detail. Part 4 is the implementation.

A video to support the case study is mentioned below.
Note: Amazon link is out of stock as a Sep. 2021.

March 1980 Amazon
L.O.L.A. case study [video], Open University

A video to support the case study mentioned above. Two LOLA staff present the case study: Derek Leveridge, Senior Systems Advisor and Derek Pasmore, Data Base Manager. From the London Borough of Hillingdon, Bruce Wells, their Chief Rating Officer, is interviewed and there is footage of the Rates system being used on a VDU. Derek talks about IMS and the database design.

The link takes one to the OU Archive where there is 600 word description (click on + Show more... at the bottom left).

9 March 1980 OU website
Letter from D Wood, Chief Executive, London Borough Hackney re Manpower Budget APL Facility, LB Hackney

Provided by Keith Callaghan

Letter praises the benefits of the APL facility in analysing manpower costs.

20 August 1980 Scan
LOLA Cricket Newsletter, No. 1, 22/6/81, Alan Blanks, Programmer, LOLA - 2pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

First two pages (the other 2 pages are player stats) of the first Cricket Newsletter written in very neat handwritting by the very affable Alan Blanks.

22 June 1981 Scan
LOLA Personal Computing, Vol 1, No 1, Personal Computing Group, LOLA

Provided by Keith Callaghan

First edition of the Personal Computer newsletter. It's aims were to inform users of new developments in personal computing, including microcomputers, and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experience between users.

September 1981 Scan

[cover page]

Personal Computing - The Future Role and Organisation at LOLA, Keith Callaghan, LOLA - 43pp

Provided by Keith Callaghan

Outlines the history of personal computing at LOLA, the current state of the PC Support Group, inhibitors for future growth, organisational implications, and recommendations.

November 1982 Scan OCR
IBM Perspective - Information Centre Managers Forum, Issue 83-04 - 2pp

Provided by Keith Callaghan

News report on a two day 8th meeting of the Forum with some 50 IBM customers. Keith was in the chair. Topics include: the role of the then new PC, linking mainframe computers to modern telephone exchanges, demonstration of videotex and Prestel, and PC E&T for users.

April 1983 Scan
LOLA Personal Computing Service (overview), Personal Computing Support Group, LOLA - 8pp

Provided by Keith Callaghan

Describes the Personal Computing Service support to end users, the budget for 1983/84, and how most end users could avoid programming directly in APL by using 'A Departmental Reporting System' (ADRS2) or 'APL Data Interface' (ADI).

c1983 Scan


The Evolution of LOLA's Information Centre, Keith Callaghan, LOLA

Provided by Keith Callaghan

Describes the events which led up to the formation of LOLA's Personal Computing Group, how it has evolved since its inception and what problems it has encountered during its growth.

1984 Scan

[cover page]

Gullible’s Travels, Steve Barfield, LOLA - 11pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

A handwritten paper together with 6 example printed screen shots comparing how LOLA transactions allow users to update information, either by directly changing a data field (over-typing) or by entering the changed data into a new field (old value/new value).

9 March 1984 Scan OCR
LOLA Re-Organisation – Meeting of Staff - 24th May, 1984, LOLA - 2pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

A draft report listing the outstanding issues, with alternative courses of action, arising from the Working Party reviewing the proposed organisation changes.

24 May 1984 Scan OCR
Retirement Letters to all LOLA Staff, Derek Schartau, Director of IT, LOLA

Retirement letter from Derek Schartau to all LOLA Staff, 12 June 1985; DS’s key career dates from LOLA News No. 85 June 1985; Post retirement letter from Derek Schartau to all LOLA Staff from LOLA News No. 86 December 1985.

12 June 1985 &
11 December 1985
Scan OCR
LOLA News No. 85, June 1985, LOLA Sportsd & Social Club - 20pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

An example LOLA News, the staff magazine. This issue contains a tribute to the Director, Derek Schartua on his retirement.

June 1985 Scan
LOLA Computer Services, LOLA - 16pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

An A5 booklet briefly describing 16 applications plus 7 packages and other technical and support facilities available to LOLA customers. Back page lists the departments within the Computer Division.

est. 1986 Scan OCR
LOLA, LOLA - 12pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

An A5 booklet that describes What is LOLA?, The Facilities, The Administration, The Computer, Statistics, The Organisation, Applications, Planning and Consultancy, Computer Division, Staff and location map.

March 1986 Scan OCR
Application Reference Cards, LOLA

Provided by Martin Jackson

A series of fan-folded cards were produced as an aide-memoire for users. Each card listed all the on-line and batch transactions for one or two particular applications together with flowcharts. So far 7 cards covering 9 applications have been found. Are there more?

1988/89 Application
Cards page
Sale of London computer consortium sparks battle, Dan Jelllinek, publisher not known - 1pp

Provided by Martin Jackson

Magazine article concerning the bids from Capita and CFM to purchase LOLA.

est. 1992 Scan
Business Consultancy & Development Organisational Chart

Provided by Martin Jackson

A chart produced after a reorganisation and re-naming of the Applications Division. This was after LOLA was outsource to CFM.

10 May 1994 Scan OCR
A Virtual LEO, Alan Cooper, LEO Newsletter, LEO Computer Society - 2pp

About the formation of LOLA and the emulation of the LEO Payroll system on LOLA's IBM computer.

Spring 2019 PDF
List of LOLA Staff from 1970, as recalled by Martin Jackson - 9pp

List is by department or role in roughly starting order.
All these names are included in the Staff page.

February 2021 PDF
Application Notes

The following notes provide more details of the applications. The documents are also referenced by the Applications page.

1972 Rates System (3pp) Alan Cooper 2 June 2021 PDF
1972 Property Information & Progressing System (PIPS) (1pp) Philip Brown 10 May 2021 PDF
1982 Rent Rebate and Rate Rebate System (2pp) Philip Brown 10 May 2021 PDF
1988 Housing Benefits System (3pp) Philip Brown 10 May 2021 PDF
1990 Community Charge System (1pp) Martin Jackson 1 July 2021 PDF
1990 Community Charge Benefits System (2pp) Murali Vidyadharan 22 May 2021 PDF
1993 Council Tax Benefits System (2pp) Murali Vidyadharan 22 May 2021 PDF


The Scan and OCR links all link to PDF versions. These will open in the same window/tab as this page. The OCR versions were proofed and corrected and notes added; diagrams were redrawn.

Copyright: Both LOLA and LBMSU have now closed and I have been unable to locate the current intellectual owners. If you are the copyright holder of any of these articles then please contact me at the email address below.

If you have any more documents then please contact Alan Cooper at network@ + this page's domain name or via my Linkedin page.