Born around 1915, John Turner was involved in anti-fascist activity in the east end of London in the 1930s, including being at the Battle of Cable Street. Like so many, this led to his joining the Communist Party. During his work as a carpet fitter for the firm of Arding & Hobbes in Clapham, John was given the unpleasant job of laying carpets at the home of British Fascist leader, Oswald Mosley. This was not a task that, in the hungry ‘30s was easy to refuse but, out of the experience, John Turner was able to form the estimate of Mosley that he was "an arrogant man".
John Turner’s membership of the Clarion Cycling Club was also always important to him. Indeed, it was cycling that brought John and his wife Grace together. They met in 1937 when he called into a cafe in Chiswick where Grace was working, and spotted her Clarion Cycling Club badge – and they got talking. Grace’s family had also taken part in the Battle of Cable Street.
Soon they were sharing a tandem together, and in 1938 they got married. As the family grew, a sidecar was added for the children, until they were able to ride their own bicycles. Their cycling trips took them far afield. Grace had originally came from the Forest of Dean and they would regularly ride down there for holidays. After the war, they moved there, until they settled in Lydney, continuing cycling as long as their health allowed and retaining support for Clarion.
In later life, John Turner joined the Lydney branch of the Labour Party. In retirement, he was involved in the pensioners’ movement as well as the University of the Third Age. He died on October 16th 2008, at the age of 93.