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Arthur C Simpson
Born on 21st November 1916 in Simla, India, he and his parents returned to England in 1920. His father, George, was a knighted meteorologist (who had accompanied Captain Scott on his last Antarctic trip) and his mother, Dorothy, a gifted artist, related to Virginia Woolf. In 1934, he worked on an uncle’s farm in Australia before attending SydneyUniversity to study for a BSc in agriculture, specialising in genetics. In 1939, he returned to Britain and began a second degree in zoology at UniversityCollegeHull, specialising in fisheries.
During the second world war, he worked for the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge. In 1941, Arthur joined the Communist Party, remaining committed to it all his life. This year, he also became the Secretary of the National Union of Students Science Faculty Committee, even though he was no longer a student. In the course of NUS work, he met Reni (Renate Kuczynski born 17th November 1923), who was NUS Secretary at the LSE and would join the NUS Executive. They would marry in 1945 and go on to have three children together.
In 1944, Arthur moved to work for Pest Control Ltd, near Cambridge, and became Chair of the local branch of the Association of Scientific Workers and a delegate (from 1943) to the Trades Council. In 1946, he and Renate moved to Lowestoft, when Arthur began work at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on the population dynamics of fish. For three years from 1953, they resided at Conwy, where Arthur was engaged in an experimental fisheries station, before returning to Lowestoft. From 1958, he was Director of a MAFF laboratory in Essex.
Arthur was the senior government scientist advising on oil spill problems arising from the TorryCanyon tanker catastrophe in 1967. From 1970, he worked as the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation representative at a fisheries research centre in Cuba. For four years, he and Renate lived there before heading to the Phillipines for the UN FAO on SouthChinaSeas’ fisheries matters. Arthur retired from full time work in 1976, having written over a hundred significant scientific papers in his field; he and Renate moved to Maldon, Essex.
They became active in local progressive movements; Arthur becoming the membership secretary of Maldon CND in 1978. He was also involved in the resuscitation of MaldonMuseum from 1968 and researched and wrote about much local history, becoming President of the museum in 1997. Both Arthur and Renate were both active in Chelmsford Communist Party before moving to London in 1984. For a decade Arthur ran his own Morning Star round in the locality. (In his younger days, he made wooden toys and jams for sale at Daily Worker bazaars!) He also became active in Camden-based local parks and gardens campaigns, tree preservation and development work and environment and planning issues. He died on 20th January 2002.
Source: memorial booklet produced by family and friends (2002)