There is an interesting point to consider - I remember a conversation somewhere, where it was suggested that the Superintendent Registrars of Staffordshire had explored the possibility of sending their historic registers to Staffordshire RO. (I don't say it was legal, I just say they explored it!) Apparently when the RO asked about the physical size of the theoretical acquisitions, they blanched and said, "Thanks but no thanks". (Many Staffs historic registers are now at Newcastle under Lyme's Registrar instead).
Yes many record offices considered the option in or around 1975; some were in favour some against
Some were worried about space implications; some were worried about how certified copies could be supplied to comply with the laws in place others thought they should proceed carefully to ensure all the legalities were in place before approaching the Registrar General who was seen as an obstacle to overcome.
With the advent of digitisation the majority of the objections have been overcome and the possibility of a share of licence fee forms a good incentive.
The registrars could still produce certified copies, for those who need them, via digital images. The public could have the choice of a free access at the record office or archive or pay to view access online.
junkers wrote:Nice idea about using the salt mines, but as they are not public records they could be sent there. I agree it makes no sense to hold the 100 plus years records, but it needs the political will to do something. Interestingly the quarterly returns were once destined for the Public Record Office but were returned.
Yes there is no bar on the National Archives accepting records that are not classed as Public Records.
If we are being really pedantic the salt mines could even be classed as part of the GRO simply by sending the GRO copies there. Under current legislation any place the GRO copies are held is automatically classed as part of the GRO.
The Board (the entity who have inherited responsibility for civil registers from the registrar general) have almost unlimited powers
Statisticts and Registration Services Act 2007 (c.18) section 26
26 Ancillary powers
(1) The Board may do anything which it thinks necessary or expedient for the
purpose of, or in connection with, the exercise of its functions.
(2) Anything required to be published by the Board may be published by it in such
manner as it thinks fit.