Alison Macleod, TV critic for the Daily Worker was born 12 April 1920. She was the daughter of Winifred Fairfield, one of three suffragette sisters (Dr Letitia Fairfield and Cicily Isabel Fairfield – better known as Rebecca West, who was thus Alison’s aunt). Always having the ambition herself to be a writer, Alison was educated at Westcliffe High School for Girls and then at various art schools, before joining Unity Theatre in 1938 and then the Communist Party. During the war she successively joined the Women’s Land Army, became an ambulance attendant for Bristol civil defence and, in 1942, a shipyard welder.
In 1944 she joined the staff of the Daily Worker and remained there for 12 years. The story of her disillusioned parting with the paper in 1956 is written in her book, `The Death of Uncle Joe’; she also left the Party after almost two decades of membership
Under the name Alison Macleod, she was later the author of six historical novels: `The Heretics’ (, 1965); ‘The Trusted Servant’ (1972); `No Need of the Sun’ (1971); `The Muscovite’ (1971); `The Jesuit ‘(1972) and `The Portingale’ (1976). She later worked on the Times Business News and Euromoney.
Her first marriage to James Hackshaw in 1945 was brief but her second to Jack Selford in 1950 lasted and she has lived in retirement as Mrs Selford for some decades now; she had one daughter to each husband.