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Obituary: Ken Shaw, 1920-2016

My father Ken Shaw died in October this year aged 96. He joined the Socialist Party in the mid-seventies and was to remain a party member for the rest of his life.

Along with a few others he was instrumental in forming the West Yorkshire branch, which, though short-lived, had some success staging and attracting audiences to a series of public meetings in his home town of Bradford.

When younger, Ken had been a member of the CPGB. Marriage to a catholic girl from Italy inevitably meant occasional visits from the local parish priest, whose disgust he incurred by leaving copies of the Daily Worker lying around the house.

Ken became disillusioned with the CP and for a number of years switched allegiance to Labour. Then, in the 1970s, he started reading the Socialist Standard and soon became convinced about the case for socialism. He quickly succeeded in getting a few others interested and the formation of the branch soon followed.

On my return visits home I would always find the latest issue of the Socialist Standard in prominent view somewhere around the house. I later discovered that this had been with the express intention of getting me interested – which eventually it did.
Ken spent his working life in the photo-litho department of a local printing firm. He was a talented amateur painter and photographer and has left a wealth of examples of his work.

ROD SHAW