Sunday, October 08, 2006

Frank Foster - Hayes Communist Party

Frank Foster

Frank Foster was born in Bermondsey, South London July 1914, into an active socialist family, and joined the Labour Party in his youth.
He joined the Communist Party in 1939 and lived at South Road, Southall. He spent the war years at Fairey Aviation working as an engineer in the tool room, along with John Mansfield. 

He was involved with the "Propeller” (the Communist Party’s journal for aviation manufacturing workers) and was elected Fairey convenor of stewards for the engineering union.

Chairman of Hayes No: 3 AEU and member of Southall District Committee

He won much acclaim when he tried to improve production during the war and, according to John Mansfield, “turned over management” to such an extent that Stafford Cripps MP came down to investigate. His leadership led to the CP having a membership of 20 out of the 75 staff employed in the toolroom at Fairey. Later he moved to Feltham where he was also elected convenor. 

“He hardly ate a thing but smoked heavily”, said Peter Pink about him
Foster, along with Bob Good (EMI union convenor), was considered the driving force of the local Hayes Communist Party. Foster became Secretary of Hayes Communist Party in April 1943. He was very popular choice as full time West Middlesex Communist Party District Secretary in the 1950s. He regularly stood for election at local and national elections for the CP and was Hayes & Harlington parliamentary candidate in 1950, 1955 and 1959.

Foster was married with two children and ended up living on a barge on the Thames but died relatively young.

Along with John Mansfield probably the most popular and influential Hayes Communist

Michael Walker