Tributes to Welwyn Hatfield Labour stalwart and TUC official

TRIBUTES have been paid to Roy Jackson, a former senior official of the TUC and chairman of Welwyn Hatfield Labour Party.

Mr Jackson, of The Ryde, Hatfield, died last month. He was 82.

His funeral, on Thursday, was attended by more than 100 people, including Lord Speaker Baroness Hayman, former MP Melanie Johnson, and councillors past and present including Colin Croft, Maureen Cook, Ray Little, Mike Hobday, Paul Turner and Bill Couzens.

Cllr Cook first knew Roy when they worked on the campaign trail together 30 years ago, in the old Hatfield East ward.

She said the father-of-three had a great “faith and belief” in the Labour party.

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Cllr Cook said: “He was the kindest man I’ve ever met. He was always willing to help anybody who was standing as a Labour councillor or anything like that.

“His main strength was helping and training people; he was very wise and he had a great power to motivate people.”

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Cllr Cook added: “Roy was very, very much respected and was just a wonderful man.”

Mr Little, a former leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council, said: “He was a very diligent campaigner. His whole strength was his organisational and campaigning skills.

“He was a leading light in the TUC, but never in the limelight. Roy was the one at the back, but always conducting; the organiser, the strategy man.”

Mr Little added: “Even when not that well in health, he was still there driving the party on. He was a great man and will be very sadly missed by the party.”

Roy was born in Paddington, London, and, after National Service in the Royal Navy, studied at Ruskin College, Oxford, on a trade union scholarship, gaining a distinction in political science.

He went on to Oxford’s Worcester College, where he obtained a BA in philosophy, politics and economics.

He joined the TUC Education Department in 1956, becoming director of studies eight years later.

In 1968, Roy played a major role in the production of a report entitled Training Shop Stewards, which revolutionised teaching methods for trade union education.

In 1984, Roy became Assistant General Secretary of the TUC, a post he kept until his retirement in the early 1990s.

His funeral, at West Herts Crematorium in Garston, was followed by a wake at Hatfield Social Club.

Roy leaves wife Lily, whom he married in 1956, their three daughters Carol, Sally and Helen, and six grandchildren.

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