- Hits: 5781
Harold Goodwin (centre in pic) was born into a Jewish
Harold was sent to join the JLB (Jewish Lads Brigade - part of the Boys Brigade) but, as he laconically put it, it was "not to my taste". So he joined the Communist Party’s own children section, “The Young Pioneers” in Stoke
Before World War Two, Harold was an apprentice in the building trade, then adopting his slogan “have tools, will travel". Just before the War, he joined the Merchant Navy, sailing out of
Harold was also a regular visitor to the Communist Party offices in Liverpool, when in port and regularly spoke with the great Liverpool Communist organiser, Frank Bright, who regaled Harold with stories about his time on the Moscow Soviet and his help in beating sabotage in the mines of the newly established Soviet Union.
After the War Harold returned to the building trade, working in the British Film industry at Pinewood, Isleworth and Shepperton studios, building sets. At this time, he rekindled his friendship with Alfie Bass (1920-1987) the actor, who was the "quintessential cockney character" in 60 films including the Lavender Hill Mob set in Battersea. Bass was certainly a Daily Worker supporter, and may well have been a Party member according to Harold. (Ed: Harold is not by any means on his own in thinking that Alfie Bass was a long-term Communist Party member. Aubrey Morris, another east end Jewish communist of the 1930s, writes in his autobiography, Unfinished Journey, that Bass was one of his contemporaries. Many participants in Unity Theatre, which Bass was long associated with, recall his support for the Party, the 1960s Morning Star certainly interviewed him in the context of his support for the Party and, finally, Alfie was also a frequent visitor to the social scene at the Highgate home of the Communist Party’s Seifert family.)
As a member of the building trade, Harold was an active member of the Woodworkers Union ASW, NATKE (the cinema technicians union), and later UCATT.
Harold arrived in Uxbridge in the early 1950s and soon became active in the local Uxbridge Communist Party. The Party met at the Mission Halls, Uxbridge. However Harold was often allocated into a workplace branch of the Communist Party. He was also active in Hillingdon Trades Union Council and for many years lead the high profile Hillingdon Pensioners Association.
He was joint Chair of the famous
Harold, I believe, had a very special disdain for Party members (and others) who considered themselves to be "intellectuals" and therefore above the mundane hard graft of Party and trade union work!
In later years Harold retired from