RAY THOMPSON20 December 1931 – 15 December 2021
Heather Thompson (daughter) has agreed for the following to be shared
Announce death of (red) Ray Thompson of Castleside.
He started at CIC as an apprentice electrician around 1946 when he was 14, working alongside many women who continued their wartime service at the works in the years immediately after the end of World War 2.
Apart from a period of broken service in the 1960s while he built his beloved house at Castleside, he worked at British Steel till the closure in 1979, serving as electricians’ convenor and Union rep for the EEPTU.
A staunch socialist, Ray could be uncompromising and sometimes did not see eye to eye even with other union men, especially if he felt their views were not aligned with the will of the people, from whence he derived his mandate.
Ray retained his socialist principles to the end, preferring to die at home rather than unnecessarily costing his beloved NHS the unnecessary expense of an ambulance.
Despite multiple serious illnesses, blindness and deafness he never once complained. And he fought bravely to the last.
He spent his last minutes with his daughters and grandchildren, finally at peace and pain free – a good death for a good man.
Image taken by Peter Brabban
Val Boyle wrote the following on the HCSW Facebook group and has agreed for it to be added to this post
What a wonderful man he was. I feel lucky to have met him and privileged to have worked with him on Tales of Derwentdale.
If it wasn’t for Ray, I’d never have found out about J.W.Fawcett, and his campaign to get a gravestone for one of his heroes was typical of this lovely, principled, clever, funny man.
Ray, you’re a hero of mine too.
on reply to me asking if ok to share
Yes, of course, thank-you Richard. It’s an honour to be associated with him at all.
Here’s another photo from the speech he gave at the launch of the book in the Lodge at Blackhill Park.
Ray at a Book Launch- Here’s another photo from the speech he gave at the launch of the book in the Lodge at Blackhill Park. shared by agreement thanks to Val Boyle