Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holmes & Steels Founders of the Labour Party

Railway workers found the combination of an 'ethical' socialism coupled with hard-headed policies on railway nationalisation an attractive mix.

It was a Doncaster signalman, Thomas Steels who moved the key motion from his branch to the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (ASRS) Executive calling for the formation of an 'independent party of Labour'.

This was accepted by the ASRS executive and James Holmes, a full time organiser for the ASRS, in the South West and Wales who moved the decisive motion at the 1899 TUC Congress held in Plymouth which led to the formation of the Labour Representation Committee.

Steels was a member of the ILP and a leading activist in the Yorkshire ASRS.

If your passing through Doncaster Station you can salute the plaque to Steels


Paul Salveson Yorkshire Ridings TSSA
Malcolm Wallace's 'Single or return? The History of the TSSA',