Foster Frank

Frank Foster

Frank Foster (pictured left in 1946) was born in South London in July 1914, into an active socialist family, and joined the Labour Party in his youth. He joined the Communist Party in 1939 and lived at South Road, Southall. He spent the war years at Fairey Aviation working in the tool room, along with John Mansfield. He was involved with “the Propeller” (the Communist party’s journal for aviation manufacturing workers) and was elected Fairey convenor of stewards for the engineering union.
He won much acclaim when he tried to improve production during the war and, according to John Mansfield, “turned over management” to such an extent that Stafford Cripps MP came down to investigate. His leadership led to the CP having a membership of 20 out of the 75 staff employed in the toolroom at Fairey. Later he moved to Feltham where he was also elected convenor. “He hardly ate a thing but smoked heavily”, said Peter Pink about him.
Foster, along with Bob Good (EMI union convenor), was considered the driving force of the local Hayes Communist Party. He was very popular choice as full time West Middlesex Communist Party District Secretary
in the 1950s. He regularly stood for election at local and national elections for the CP and was Hayes & Harlington parliamentary candidate in 1959.
Foster was married with two children and ended up living on a barge on the Thames but died relatively young.
Michael Walker

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