It is with great sadness that we record the passing of Bryan Jones who died on 3rd February this year at the age of 90 years. Bryan was a stalwart of the local Labour party for over 25 years and a lifelong supporter of the socialist cause. I am indebted to Philippa for providing information about his life.
Bryan was influenced by the values of his father, a headteacher, which focussed on fairness, equal opportunities and the need for social change to address poverty and deprivation. Professionally Brian rose to the post of director of personnel for the Health Service in Redbridge, what we would now refer to as human resources. After he retired he was invited to join Thames Valley business school where he lectured over a seven year period on management and human relations.
Bryan and Philippa married in 1974 and moved to Berkhamsted after Bryan’s retirement in 1994. Prior to this Bryan had been involved with the local labour party in Amersham and Chesham. He soon joined the party in Berkhamsted where he undertook a range of roles, including Chair and, for the CLP, secretary and treasurer. He oversaw the coming together of Berkhamsted with Tring and Bovingdon to form one Labour group. Bryan was a council member of the Socialist Medical Association, later called the Socialist Health Association, for a number of years. He published their quarterly newsletter which Philippa edited. He was also chair of the Dacorum Patients Forum and then vice chair of the West Herts Patients Forum
Bryan had a rich political history. He worked on behalf of Barbara Castle in Blackburn for her election campaigns. He was instrumental in getting Arthur Davidson elected in Accrington. Bryan himself stood for parliament in High Wycombe in 1970, when he was invited to Chequers by Harold Wilson. He turned down this invitation saying he was too busy canvassing! Unfortunately he failed to get elected.
Bryan was an inspirational and extremely knowledgeable labour supporter who, for many years, helped by a few other likeminded activists, kept the local party going. His interests ranged over a very wide area including Health, Transport, especially the railways, timetables and foreign travel.
Bryan will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues in the local party and much further afield. His contribution to socialism should not be underestimated. We are saddened to lose a colleague of such integrity and commitment.