Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hayes & Harlington UDC 1950

Labour candidates 1950

East Ward
Stanley George Chilton, 66 Hollywood Gardens
R.M. Smith, 23 Shaftesbury Waye
A.Smith, 138 Church Road

South Ward
Ossie Garvin, 44 Church Road,
Mr Fippard, Gordon Crescent

West Ward
Ernest Kirby Harding 62 Central Avenue
H. Blackburn, Bushey Road, Harlington
F.W.D. Rosser, 94 Tudor Road

Harlington Ward
M. Wheeler, 9 St Dunstans Close, Harlington

Prior to the 1950 Council elections the Hayes & Harlington UDC consisted of 24 Labour Councillors and 2 Conservatives.

It is expected that after the election Labour will hold all 26 seats and be 100% Labour council

Councillor R. Bristow (Labour) and Councillor W.W. Chubb (Labour) are standing down this year

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lesbian & Gay Miners Support Group 1984-85

Before the miners' strike it would have been very hard to imagine a miners' minibus running around Dulais Valley in South Wales with the slogan on its doors and dashboard saying, This vehicle was donated by the Lesbians' and Gay men's miners' support group.'

In fact by February 1985 there were eleven lesbians' and gay men's miners' support
groups all over the country. Six of them replied to our survey.

By December 1984 the London group alone had collected over £11,000 by a mixture of pub, club and street collections, benefits, parties and other events. The highlight event was undoubtedly the 'Pits and Perverts' gig at the Electric Ballroom where Bronski Beat headed the bill; it raised £5,650. At the benefit David Donovan, a South Wales miner, said: 'You have worn our badge, "Coal not Dole", and you know what harassment means, as we do.

Now we will pin your badge on us, we will support you. It won't change overnight, but now 140,000 miners know that there are other causes and other problems. We know about blacks, and gays, and nuclear disarmament. And we will never be the same.' The existence and activity of the various groups proves that many lesbians and gay men do support the miners. As the Southampton group remarked in their response to our survey:

'Our best personal experiences were meeting miners who came to the city from Abercynon. After coming down here repeatedly and meeting politically active socialists, seeing them collect money, food and clothing and generally working in support of the strikers, their attitudes were forced to change just by their own experiences, because they know we are just ordinary people, and people who support their struggle .. . They've had to change a lot of their attitudes and as is said so often, things will never be the same again.'

Formation and Activities

The Lesbians' and gay men's miners' support groups responding to our survey were formed later than the other groups were. The London group was the first to be set up in July 1984, and started with 11 members. Six months later it had grown to 50. Responding to our questionnaire they said that the formation of the group was 'one of the most important positive developments in London's Lesbian and gay community in 1984.'

The Lothian Lesbian & Gay Miners Support Group was set up two months later in September 1984 with 12 members raising £40 a week for the White Craige strike centre in East Lothian.

Lesbians Against Pit Closures, London, followed in November 1984, involving more than 20 women. They collected £50 a week for the Rhodisia Women's Action Group, Worksop, and said: 'Women's activities in the strike are obviously a major influence on us.' The lesbians' and gay men's support for the miners has received a fair amount of good coverage in the left-wing and trade union press. At the lesbians' and gay men's 'fringe meeting', attended by some 250 people, at the October 1984 Labour Party conference, the NUM. who dominated the conference, sent the

following message of support:

'Support civil liberties and the struggle of lesbian and gay people. We welcome the links formed with South Wales and other areas. Our struggle is yours. Victory to the miners.' And the Notts Women's Support Groups, to whom the London Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners Group gave £250 in December 1984, wrote:

'I am writing on behalf of the Notts Women's Support Group to express to you our gratitude for the support and solidarity you have shown in forming the Lesbians & Gay Men Support the Miners Group. We also extend to you our total solidarity and support in your struggle against all forms of oppression and prejudice on the grounds of sexuality. Our struggles are part and parcel of the same fight. In particular

we are deeply grateful that you have consistently kept us informed as to your activities and have materially contributed to support groups in order that the dispute can continue to victory.'


Labour Research Department "Solidarity with the Miners

Hillingdon Miners Support Group raised £12,000 pounds (about £50,000 today) during the 1984-85. based at the West Drayton Hillingdon Trades Council Offices above a bike shop on the High street.

Steve Clare Secretary

Mothers Pride Bakery, Bakers Union members gave 50p a week levy

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cuba 3 Britain 2,

So Ended a football match on 11th December 2001 between a team of veterans of the Cuban national squad and a British Ambassador's eleven. The match was commemorating the first ever 'international' football match on Cuban soil on December 11th 1911 between a local team Hatuey and a team of British sailors called Rovers. It was also celebrating a new collaboration aimed at developing Cuban football, one of the few sports which Cuba is not (yet) very good at.

Later in December a decorated double decker bus was due to arrive from Britain to be used by the Cuban national team. It, together with 1600 footballs for use in clubs and schools, had been donated by the Salud International trade union project working with the English Football Association. Salud aims to send 1500 footballs every year and is negotiating to get a major English or Scottish club involved in sending trainers and perhaps even paying a visit.

The new British ambassador Paul Hare is involved in the project and is keen to develop a two way exchange - British football coaches in return for Cuban baseball coaches.

Luis Fernandez, President of the Cuban Football Association, (who scored the winning goal) commented that Cuba was particularly keen to develop football because it was the most international of all sports. His hope is to see Cuba in the World Cup finals by 2010. Raul Castro is also reported to be very keen on it for fitness training in the Cuban army since it requires much more energy that Cuba's traditional national sport of baseball. But baseball is not being forgotten.

In November the Cuban squad retained its world championship crown, winning 5-3 in the final against, most sweetly, the United States.

Phil Lenton - Salud


Cuba were the first Caribbean team to make it to the World Cup, which they did in 1938. There, they defeated Romania a replay 2-1 after tying them 3-3. They were then eliminated in the second round by Sweden.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The first London to Aldemaston march was held on the 31st March 1958

The Uxbridge Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was established at a meeting at St Andrew's Hall in May 1958.

The Uxbridge CND officer elected officers for 1958 being
Chairman: Rev K.J. M. Boggis
Secretary: R. Armstrong
Treasurer Mr Wakefield
Rev H. Booth, Mr Smith, Mr Stanford-Francis, Mr Cox, Mr Lockton, Mr Wells, Mrs Cooley, Mrs Stack, Mrs Goodwin and Mrs Ellis (must be Peter Smith)


Mr Robin Fior, the Harefield student barrister, who has stood for Uxbridge Council on behalf of the Labour Party, was one of five students questioned by Scotland Yard men on Tuesday 20th May 1958, when leaflets headed "Official Secrets" were distributed at the House of Commons during the lobbying against the H-Bomb.

The leaflets were a reprint of an article which recently appeared in the Oxford University magazine "Isis" which is the subject of a prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.
MrRobin Fior, who was taken first to Cannon-row Police Station and then to Scotland Yard, said he was a member of the organising committee of the mass lobby.

Other members of the Ux
bridge nuclear disarmament campaign committee, were among the 3,000 people who lobbied against the H-bomb yesterday.

The Rev. K. J. M. Boggis chairman of the Uxbridge committee, was to have joined the group of Anglican clergy who paraded from St. Martin's in-the-Fields to the Cenotaph, but he arrived too late to Join the procession.

Middlesex Advertiser Friday 23rd May 1958

CND nationally had been established on 17th February 1958.


Mary Tyson was a Yorkshire women who moved to Hayes in 1948. Mary Tyson and her husband took part in the first Aldermaston march in 1958.

By 1961 Mrs Mary Tyson had established Hayes & Harlington CND in November 1961 (Mr Tyson was secretary of Hayes & Harlington CND

"The number of young people supporting the cause is gratifying"..."contrary to the public image, these are not a lot of long-haired beatniks looking for a way in which to make themselves conspicuous. They are young and hopeful that they can safeguard their future by bringing about the discontinuation of tests and ceasing of Britain to hold nuclear arms at all"

Hayes & Harlington CND meetings are held weekly at Townfiels School, Hayes

They send representatives to places all over the country to attend other demonstrations such as at Holy Loch (Scotland) earlier this year

Mary Tyson with Joyce Miller established a group for women called Hayes Women for Peace and Mrs Tyson was picked to attend as a delegate to the World Disarmament Congress in Moscow. The group even made a record at EMI with a message of friendship to a similar group in a Soviet town with which it is hoped to set up a link

It is hoped to get as many women in Hayes as possible to send a postcard to Mr MacMillan (Prime Minister) to arrive on the same morning.

Mrs Mary Tyson teaches part time at Hammersmith County Girls School, teaching fifteen and sixteen year olds, she has two sons of her own aged 14 and 10.

The little wife who stays at home glued to her sink is a popular Image, and although there are more and more women shading their aprons to take a vital and important part in social and national problems, there are not enough prepared to take on the responsibilities they should.

But Mrs. Tyson does not belong to this group, she is one of the rare women who have sincere and positive beliefs and acts upon them. She is prepared to travel as our representative and to act as an informal ambassador to other women fighting for their children's future. In the cause of world peace. There must be many in Hayes like me who wish her every success and are thankful for her leadership and initiative."

Hayes Chronicle 15th September 1962

Hayes & Harlington CND part of West Middlesex CND
organised march from the Grapes, Hayes to Ealing Green September 1962
Prof A.C. Offord

obin Fior, I believe this is the famous Harrow school educated designer, who designed CND posters, was a supporter of the Committee of 100 (split from CND) was involved in design work on the radical paper "Black Dwarf May 1968 and 1972 and later moved to Portugal (after the Revolution)

April 1962

Nurses from Hillingdon Hospital and Northwood (Mount Vernon Hospital) were represent in a march through Uxbridge on Good Friday.

The nurses who carried a banner saying "Devotion, remuneration ? - 2.5%" marched up and down the Uxbridge High Street for over one hour.

"We propose to hold these protests weekly" one of the campaigners said "we want the public to realise the true position regarding nurses pay and gain support"

"We hope that the marches will snowball and that we will get more and more marching with us as the weeks go by"

"We cannot strike we must remain anonymous because of our profession"

The march was with the sanction of the police

Photo COHSE national nurses demo 29th April 1962 Trafalgar Square


Rule 14

In no circumstances shall the Council co-operate with or subscribe to funds of the Communist or Fascist parties, or any subsidiary organisation of these parties, or any industrial organisation which has been proscribed by the TUC General Council.

The Council shall refuse to accept the credentials of a delegate from an affiliated branch if the delegate in question is a member of the Communist or Fascist Parties or any subsidiary organisation of these parties, or a member of an organisation proscribed by the TUC.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


We shall overcome became the anthem of the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland.

It was first sung at the end of the initial Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (estb January 1967) march from Coalisland to Dungannon, County Tyrone on Saturday 24th August 1968.

The person to orchestrated and lead the march in singing of this song was a protestant trade unionist and Chair of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, Elizabeth Sinclair.

According to Austin Currie book "All hell will break loose" Betty Sinclair, as Chairperson of NICRA, concluded(The meeting in Dungannon) by leading us in singing "We shall overcome", the first to my knowledge, that the American civil rights anthem had been sung on any public platform in Northern Ireland. it was significant that the editorial in the next days(actually 26th August 1968) Irish News was headed "We Shall Overcome"

We Shall Overcome, was a spiritual song dating back to around 1903, had been made popular by the Folk artist Pete Seeger and was soon adopted by the Afro-American civil rights movement in America in the mid 1960's.

Local Uxbridge Labour MP John Ryan was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement and attended the next (second) Northern Ireland Civil Rights march in Derry on October 5th 1968 and witnessed the brutal attack by the RUC.

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome some day

Elizabeth Sinclair (1910-1981)

Elizabeth or "Betty" Sinclair was born into a working-class family in the Ardoyne area of Belfast in 1910. Her father was a worker in the Harland and Wolff shipyard and a “Walkerist” (pro-unionist) socialist; her mother was a reeler in Ewart’s mill. After leaving school at the age of fifteen she became a millworker alongside her mother. As an active trade unionist she was elected on behalf of her union to the Belfast and District Trades Union Council, of which she was secretary from 1947 to 1975.

In 1931 she began to attend meetings of the Revolutionary Workers’ Group (forerunner of the CPI) and in 1932 she became a member.

The same year she played an active part in the leadership of the outdoor relief (unemployment assistance) strike and the demonstrations by tens of thousands of unemployed workers. Huge non-sectarian workers’ demonstrations shook the Unionist regime to its foundations. Demonstrations were banned and a curfew was declared. Two demonstrators were shot dead by the British army; another demonstrator who was arrested and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment died later from his mistreatment.

These were the first large-scale non-sectarian political demonstrations in the North, and the last until the advent of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in the 1960s (in which Betty Sinclair was also to play a leading part). Some of the strikers’ demands were met, after which the Stormont regime intensified its promotion of sectarian division.

From 1933 to 1935 she attended the Lenin School in Moscow. In 1940 she was arrested after the CPI paper Unity published an article allegedly sympathetic to the IRA, and she was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment. The same year she became a full-time party worker in Belfast. In the 1945 election for the Northern Ireland Parliament she stood as a CPI candidate and received 4,000 votes.

She was a founder-member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in 1967 and its first chairperson but resigned from this position in 1969 after the organisation had been sabotaged by ultra-leftists and pushed into provocations that would result in further sectarian divisions.
After 1969 she travelled throughout eastern Europe and in the 1970s lived in Prague as the Irish representative on the international editorial board of World Marxist Review. She died in 1981 after a fire in her flat in east Belfast.

Betty Sinclair deserves so much more acknowledgement for her role in trying to combat sectarianism in Northern Ireland.

Thanks to the CPI for information on Betty Sinclair

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Order of Industrial Heroism
The Workers V.C

The 'Daily Herald' instituted the Order of Industrial Heroism in 1923 to recognise the ‘deeds of valour' of those workers who had saved their fellow workers from danger or death and became known as the "Workers' V.C.". Many of the 440 awards were posthumous.

The award helped focus attention on workplace hazards. The award continued to be presented until 1964 when the Daily Herald closed to be replaced by the 'Sun'.

The medal for the Order of Industrial Heroism was designed by the sculptor, Eric Gill (of the type face fame) born Brighton 22.2.1882 died 17.11.1940 Uxbridge), who chose the image of St Christopher bearing the Christ Child for his main theme.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008



On Saturday October 29 1938 the International Brigaders held their farewell parade in Barcelona, an event deeply etched in the memory of all who were present.

In the presence of many thousands, mainly women and children, Dolores Ibarruri,

"la Pasionaria", one of the most beloved of the leaders of Spanish democracy, spoke for the Spanish people when she said:

"Comrades of the International Brigades!

Political reasons, reasons of state, the welfare of that same cause for which you offered your blood with boundless generosity, are sending you back, some to your own countries and others to forced exile. You can go proudly. You are history. You are legend. You are the heroic example of democracy's solidarity and universality. We shall not forget you, and when the olive tree of peace puts forth its leaves again, mingled with the laurels of the Spanish Republic's victory comeback!"


Wednesday 7th December 1938

From News Chronicle, December 8 1938

When it was all over and the station was almost quiet again, the oldest porter to be found was asked if he had ever seen anything like this. "No", he said, "I saw nothing like it even at the end of the last war" Replying to speeches of welcome to the returning Brigaders, Sam Wild, Commander of the British Battalion said:

"We intend to keep the promise we made to the Spanish people before we left — that we would only change our front and continue to fight in Britain for the assistance of Spain "These extracts from "newspapers of the time convey the atmosphere as the Brigaders returned home:

From the Daily Worker, December 8, 1938

At last the train steamed into Victoria Station;, and from its windows there waved the flags of fifty-two nations. Even before it stopped, mothers and sons, wives and husbands were re-united.

As they left the train, headed by Battalion Commander Sam Wild, Political Commissar Bob Cooney and Quartermaster "Hookey" Walker, they were welcomed by Mr Attlee, leader of the Labour Party. With him were Will Lawther of the Miners Federation, Mr William Gallacher, M.P., of the Communist Party, Mr J. R. Squance, Railmen's Union Leader, Sir Norman Angell, Lord Strabolgi, Sir Stafford Cripps and Tom Mann."

From the evening paper Star December 8 1938

Led proudly by their wounded comrades, the men marched into London. With them marched the spirit of Byron, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Chartists, Keir Hardie ... Britain's bravest fighters for liberty through the centuries. Behind and around them marched twenty thousand British democrats- Men as well as women wept and cheered alternately; It was no political affair for all parties were represented, both on the platform and in the crowd. It was British democracy spontaneously expressing its abhorrence of Fascism and its appreciation of bravery.

These men have made history, by forming part of the greatest international democratic army the world has ever known. They have inspired the world by their example.

Something of this seemed to enter into everyone who was at Victoria last night, and the memory of it will never be eradicated"