Born in 1915, Shaw joined a union when aged 14 years when working in Lancashire textile mills. Some time in the 1930s, he joined the Communist Party.
Shaw became Assistant Secretary of the Nelson Weavers in 1949 and Secretary in 1957. A member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Lancashire Textile Unions in 1960, he was Vice-President of the Amalgamated Textile Workers on the creation of formal unity of the trades in 1974.
Source: A and L Fowler “History of the Nelson Weavers” (1984)