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Born in 1921 (by his own account), Dowd was demobbed early in the war and became heavily politicised when he made engine parts for aeroplanes in the war at Ford’s Barton Bridge, Manchester, factory where he joined the Urmston branch of the Party. There he became a shop steward for the NUGMW union.
In 1952, he became a miner and a full-time NUM branch secretary, known to all as “Red Dowdie” and was certainly still engaged in this in the mid-60s, as well as being a central figure in the Party's work in Wigan.
He, his wife Theresa and his ten children lived in Norley Hall Avenue on a council estate. Jimmy was a contender for Pemberton North ward in Wigan for the Party a dozen times or so; the first time polling 68, in 1963 he managed 159 votes but no less than 20 of them joined the Party!
Source `Comment’ August 17th1963