Born Jennie Alexandra George on 1st December 1914, but always known as Jean, she married George Charles Pavett, born 10 April 1907, in 1933. Jean was involved in the West London Theatre Group from at least 1936 and the following year joined the Communist Party. She was active in the Co-op Women’s Guild in the 1930s and in the Co-operative movement generally all her life.
At the outbreak of war In September 1939 a National Register listing the personal details of every civilian in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was used to issue identity cards and organise rationing. According to this register, the Pavett household was at 20 Barons Court Road, Fulham and Jean’s parents, Bill and Lil George lived with them at this point. Previously, the Pavetts had advertised their spare room for board and lodgings in the Daily Worker.
Jean was employed as a Bookshop Assistant and George was listed as being a “Master Bookseller”. It is more than likely that these roles were with a Communist Party connected body. The bookshop at 16 King Street, called the Workers’ Bookshop from 1927, had been supplemented by a wholesale outlet at Clerkenwell Green in early 1934 in one of the buildings that would be combined with others to make up Marx House. Noreen and Clive Branson were core to these developments but the drawing in of the Pavetts into the inner circle of these developments at this tie suggest they were especially highly trusted.
Three years’ later this book business moved to 49 Farringdon Road and in 1938 described itself as a Wholesale & Export Booksellers & Publishers. The following year, Workers’ Bookshop was wound up and new company, Central Publications was set up, based at King Street, which was formed as Central Books Ltd in December, which was probably the Pavett’s employer.
It seems clear that the move to separate our bookselling was designed to provide a legitimate outlet for the Party in the event of being banned. In a similar way, Marx House was made even more obviously a legally unconnected private and unregistered charitable institution. Whilst another Party business, Lawrence & Wishart had been formed in 1936, through the merger of Martin Lawrence, the Communist Party’s then wholly owned press, and Wishart Ltd, a family-owned anti-fascist publisher, similarly diluting the open nature of the Party’s publishing.
It seems that the Pavetts moved out of London during the worst of the blitz, probably due to the expected birth of their son, David E Pavett, who was born towards the end of 1941 and daughter Ann L Pavett in 1943, both in Cambridgeshire.
During the 1950s, Jean and George were members of the Brook Green branch of the Party, covering Hammersmith, when Jean was a full-time party worker as the West London Area Organiser. She was also a member of the London District Committee and held various Branch and Borough positions.
David Pavett was active in the Communist Party in the 1970s, especially on philosophical questions and became a noted educationalist. Ann Pavett played a key role in the Acton Community Theatre at the West London Trades Union Club.
The Pavetts’ long term address in the post-war era was 12 Elers Rd, W13 9QD.
For a time in the 1970s, Jean was the secretary of the Britain-Cyprus Committee, whilst in the 1980s, she was the Secretary of the British Peace Committee, sometimes known as Assembly. This became highly significant at a time of international nuclear tension.
Jean worked closely with Irene Brennan (see separate entry) on organising the Moscow-Vienna peace march in August 1992, which went via Kiev, using trains to carry participants between various towns en route.
George Pavett died in 1998 and Jean Pavett in 2004.
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