Alan Barrow
Alan Barrow

Hugely respected, straight-talking, working-class fighter

Alistair Tice, Sheffield Socialist Party

Sad to report that Alan Barrow from Sheffield died on 19 August after suffering from multiple health issues. Alan was a leading member of Militant (now the Socialist Party) in Sheffield in the 1980s.

He built a Militant branch on his estate, the Manor, where the first anti-poll tax union in the city was set up. From there, Alan was elected as secretary of Sheffield Against the Poll Tax, which organised 20 coaches to the huge demonstration in London in 1990.

He recruited to Militant, and was mentor to, Ken Douglas, who went on to become the Socialist Party national treasurer. Ken tragically died in 2020.

While, in his own words, Alan felt “burned out” after the poll tax battle, he continued to be a supporter, but largely due to health issues not in an active way.

The last time I saw Alan was in April when he signed my nomination paper to be a candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). And he put a ‘Vote TUSC’ poster up in his window. He made a £20 donation to the Socialist Party fighting fund and, in typical blunt Alan fashion, told me: “Don’t be mythering me”. Alan was hugely respected on the left for being a straight-talking working-class fighter. He will be greatly missed by his family – wife Iris, children Saffron and Effran, and five grandchildren.