spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All People subcategories:

International figures

Labour Party figures

Lefts

* Miscellaneous

Nationalists

Other UK politicans

Socialist Party and CWI public figures

Tory figures

Trade union figures

Transport

Writers and artists


Miscellaneous keywords:

Bakers (53)

Birmingham Six (2)

Conlon (1)

Evictions (63)

Kelvin McKenzie (1)

Leveson (8)

Mark Duggan (7)

Michael Crick (3)

Obituary (60)

Obituary (60)

Queen (27)

Royal Family (8)

Royals (5)

Stephen Lawrence (22)

Suffragettes (3)

Teachers (477)

Travellers (6)

Obituary


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1033, 13 March 2019: Weak Tories must go. General election now!

Search site for keywords: Obituary - Women - Militant - Labour - Miners - Labour Party - Lancashire

Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter

One of Joan's banners displayed on the national women's demo in support of the miners in August 1984, photo The Miner

One of Joan's banners displayed on the national women's demo in support of the miners in August 1984, photo The Miner   (Click to enlarge)

Nikki Wilson

An active supporter of Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party) in Lancashire in the 1970s and 80s, Joan Beale sadly passed away last month. Although her health had not been good in recent years, her death was sudden and unexpected.

Persuaded by Militant's Marxist ideas and programme, Joan joined Chorley Labour Party in 1974 and was politically active for the next 12 years at both branch and constituency levels.

In the early 1980s she became secretary of Chorley Labour Party Women's Section, working closely with Susannah Jackson (Equal Opportunities Commission staff member), Virginia Jones (NHS trade unionist and today a leading activist in the Chorley Hospital Campaign) and Rita Aspinall (well-known 'Miners' Wives' organiser in Lancashire). Together they built a fighting organisation of working class women in central Lancashire.

Joan often spoke at local and regional Labour Party meetings on behalf of the local Women's Section, which played a decisive role in setting up the Chorley and Coppull Miners' Support Committee in May 1984. The latter's main aim was to supply striking miners' families with weekly food parcels throughout the many arduous months of the 1984-85 national miners' strike. It raised 26,000 for this purpose in 12 months.

During this time, Joan with others strongly supported the newly-founded Chorley Well Women's Centre - still going strong today and now known simply as the Chorley Women's Centre.

She also put her excellent dress-making skills to use by making some impressive labour movement banners. These included: Chorley Constituency Labour Party, Chorley Labour Party Women's Section, Chorley and Coppull Miners' Support Committee, Chorley and Coppull Miners' Wives, and the Trades Union Councils of Chorley, Preston and Lancaster.

After the 1984-85 miners' strike an attempt was made to expel Militant supporters from Chorley Labour Party, including Joan. Although it failed, any further effective involvement in the Labour Party by Joan or the others was no longer possible - and disgracefully Chorley Labour Party disbanded its women's section not long after this!

Although Joan's political activity covered a relatively short period of her life, she nevertheless had a significant impact on the labour movement in this part of Lancashire in arguing for a genuinely democratic socialist society, in supporting striking miners and their families, and in campaigning for the rights especially of working class women. Such important contributions of the kind Joan made, and in difficult and demanding circumstances, must not be forgotten.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999