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Wilde Terry and Arthur

Terry and Arthur Wilde

Arthur Wilde was a miner and a member of the Communist Party from 1926, who lived in Rossington, near Doncaster. Arthur and his long-time comrade, Jock McKenna, both beavered away at local elections as Communist candidates for decades from 1932, when they both started work at the local colliery and moved into the village. They were intimately involved in producing local Communist pit papers.

Later, Arthur served on the Rossington Parish Council as representative of the local National Union of Mineworkers in the late 1930s and was active in starting the campaigns for electric lighting, a public library, and a swimming pool. A member of the branch committee of the NUM and delegate to Doncaster Trades Council, Arthur was involved in local campaigns such as those against pollution and increased rents and was himself a lifelong tenant.

Left: Terry Wilde c1970?

Terry Wilde is the eldest son of Arthur Wilde and has lived in Rossington all his life. As an apprentice, he served on the Junior Workers Committee of the AEU. Later his work led him to become an activist of the Post Office Engineering Union (later part of the Union of Communication Workers) and was a regular delegate to its annual conference. He became a branch secretary of his union and Chair of its Regional Committee in which capacity he sat on its national occupational committee. A member of the Communist Party from 1951, he was a sometime member of its Yorkshire District Committee. An active opponent of high rent and high cost housing policies, he was much involved in representations on behalf of Rossington tenants against the Coal Board and took part in similar campaigns across the Yorkshire Coalfield. Terry was a firm supporter of the Rossington Tenants Association, and long campaigned against restrictive local authority housing policies.

The Wilde connection laid the basis for local electoral support for Communist Party candidates that never quite faded. Father and son contested Rossington Rural District Council elections in the early 1970s with some success. Terry maintained support for the revisionist leadership of the Communist Party during the 1980s and membership of the CPGB until the bitter end. In later years, he took the label Democratic Left Independent and, after that formation also dissolved, simply `Independent'. He still sits as a councillor in Rossington.