Barnsley SWP is mourning the loss of Maurice Skidmore, who has died in Penistone just before his 83rd birthday.
We met Maurice at a Stop the War Coalition meeting in Penistone, at what was the largest political meeting there in living memory, just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
From that point on Maurice became a stalwart of the Stop the War movement. He attended Barnsley SWP meetings regularly and got involved in all of our activities, from challenging Barnsley’s Nazis to canvassing for Respect in the local elections.
Maurice was born in Attercliffe, Sheffield, and was apprenticed as an engineer. From an early age he became an active member of the AUEW engineering union. He continued to attend union branch meetings until ill health stopped him.
He was the AUEW convenor at Snows Engineering in Sheffield for many years and a member of the AUEW district committee.
Maurice led a long though ultimately unsuccessful strike at Snows against redundancies in 1981. He lost his job as a result, moving to Barnsley a few years later to study at the Northern College.
It is only in the last three years that his involvement dropped away as a result of his battle with cancer. But he never lost his commitment to working class struggle.
Maurice’s spirit of resistance, combined with a deep compassion for his fellow human beings, was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.
Right until his death he continued to rage at those figures in the Sheffield labour movement that he felt had betrayed their principles.
We will miss him.