Barnes Wally

Wally Barnes

William Walter Barnes was a member of West Ham Trades Council and a Communist party activist in that locality during the 1950s.

When he stood as a Communist Party local government election candidate, aged 39, in May 1953 he was living with his family in a Nissen hut. This was a prefabricated steel structure made from a half-cylindrical skin of corrugated steel. They were widely employed during the World War II by to build army camps and airbases.

It was concluded, in the Party’s propaganda, that the fact of his housing conditions meant that Wally knew “housing problems at first hand. He is looking forward to the day when he can get up at a Borough council meeting and speak up for Livingstone and Stanley Road tenants.”

It is highly likely that this is the Wally Barnes who was the full-time caretaker at the Party’ s King St headquarters in the 1970s.

Michael Walker

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