For more than forty years, Bob made a significant contribution to the labour movement, in Leeds and elsewhere. This meeting is intended for all those who wish to remember him and to honour what he fought for.
Saturday 8th February 1997, 1 p.m. The Grove Inn, Back Row, Holbeck, Leeds (ten minutes from Leeds station)
who worked with Bob in Leeds in the fifties
author of a pamphlet on the Blue Union in the Hull docks
For further information phone 0113-271 -4172
Bob Pennington died in a Brighton hospital in September last year, following a stroke.
He was born in Walkden, near Manchester, in 1927. At one time a mineworker and a member of the Young Communist League, he moved from Blackpool to Leeds in the early fifties, where he worked on the buses. Shortly after arriving in Leeds, he was persuaded to join the Trotskyist "Club" by Mary Archer.
Not long after. Bob became a full-time organiser, and shared his time between Leeds and Liverpool. When dockers in Hull, Birkenhead, Liverpool and Manchester broke away from the TGWU to the more open and militant NASDU (the so-called Blue union), they received the enthusiastic backing of the original Socialist Outlook, with which Bob was associated. In consequence, Bob was appointed as a full-time organiser for NASDU.
By the seventies Bob had moved to London and joined the International Marxist Group at the height of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign. A few years later, as a central leader of the IMG, he successfully convinced many of its members to leave and join the Labour Party, during the surge to the left in the Benn years.
International, a journal of marxism in the Labour Party, was launched in 1985 with Bob's participation and he was a frequent contributor. Two years later, when International merged with Socialist Viewpoint and the name Socialist Outlook once more appeared. Bob Pennington was again a common by-line.
Sadly, the pressures of political and personal life took their toll in Bob's later years, and he ended his days in relative obscurity on the Sussex coast.
His massive contribution should not be forgotten, and this meeting will attempt to both remember Bob and assess his political legacy.