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Thora Driver

Thora Senior, as she was born at the turn of the century, came from a mining family - the oldest of seven children. Married to fellow Communist, Tom Driver, for very many decades, she was in her own right a significant activist in the locality of South Yorkshire. Thora organised in the Sheffield steel mills during the war to organise women in a campaign demanding the right to join the AEU. When this was granted in 1943, she was amongst the first to apply.
 
In the early 1950s, as campaigners for the Women’s Peace Assembly, then led by the sadly now semi-anonymous “Mrs Silcox” and “Mrs Johnson”, Thora and her friends, all Communist women, Betty Kane, Enid Hyde and Madge Siddall, spent an inordinate number of hours collecting signatures for the Stockholm Appeal to outlaw nuclear wars, by knocking on doors and standing in market places.
 
An early volunteer at Wortley Hall, the stately home outside Sheffield taken over by a collective of, mostly, Communist trades unionists in the post war period, she helped out in the kitchen and by sewing torn sheets and was an active member of the Co-op Women’s Guild in both Barnsley and Doncaster. 
 
A particular friend in the 1940s and 1950s was Marian Jessop (Ramelson), author of the `Petticoat Rebellion’ and later on, Blanche Flannery, long time a President of Sheffield Trades Council. Thora died 9th March 1985, aged 71 years.