Born into a socialist background in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, Ted’s father was a victim of the Boer War, finding shoe making the only outlet for his war disabilities. Ted began working life 1922 in brass foundry and became a lifelong member of Communist Party and a long-standing council candidate.
He worked both at Avery and Lucas, which were the target for the Communists’ organisational drive amongst skilled workers. Along with Eden, George Hanson, Len Marsden, Doctor Mary Barrow leadership of Great Rent Strike of 1939. His personal home became the base for R P Dutt’s candidature in 1945 general election. Ted was an office-holder for some 40 odd-years in the AEU in various offices, including Chair of Birmingham No 16 branch and membership of Birmingham East DC of the union, for many years its Chair.
The Chair of the Communist Party’s Midlands Cultural Committee for many years, Ted was heavily involved in work to transform empty Trinity Church into a community cultural centre and the first trades unionist to be appointed to Midlands Arts Council.
Sources: Ted Baker letter to Times 12.1.78; FW oration 7.9.84; GS personal knowledge
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