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
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


LOLA Job Advertisement for Systems Staff, The Daily Telegraph

Text from

The PDF link is to a modern recreation.

28 September 1971 PDF
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 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
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
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
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 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]

Retirement Memo to all LOLA Staff, Derek Schartau, Director of IT, LOLA 12 June 1985 Scan OCR
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
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
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

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 as at the foot of this page.

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