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Garner Ray and Alan
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Ray and Alan Garner
Ray Garner and his identical twin brother Alan were born fifteen minutes apart on the 5th June 1929 at the Bath Road Nursing Home, Wolverhampton. They were easily distinguishable to those who knew them well, but easily mistaken, especially by those who knew only one of them.
In the 1945 General Election, the twins became actively involved in practical politics. Their main function was to carry the "soapbox" - in this case an aged kitchen chair - from street corner to street corner for Charlie Morey, the Communist candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Wolverhampton West. The election was won by Labour’s Billy (Herbert Delauney) Hughes, without the Communists opposing him in the end.
Alan joined the Labour League of Youth in 1946 and Ray joined the Young Communists in 1946. Unlike his twin, Ray failed his medical that governed his National Service call up, due to a broken nose sustained by falling off the back of a lorry belonging to a railway company where he was working.
Ray moved from working on the railways, which his brother stayed with, to the Midlands Electricity Board.
Ray must have left the Communist Party sometime in the 1950s, since he later represented his union on the Constituency and Borough Labour Parties and became a Labour councillor.
Alan also later entered Labour politics, along with his wife, Mary, and died in 1996.