It is sad to have to write about the death of Reg Taylor, who was 93 years old.
He was a lifelong socialist and proud member of the SWP.
Reg was born in West Hartlepool and worked as an electrician.He was in the RAF in the Second World War.
I first met Reg in 1990 when he joined the local anti poll tax campaign in Hever in Kent. He campaigned with us throughout Kent and the South against the poll tax, always proudly selling the paper at meetings.
He was a member of the Croydon branch of the SWP and would drive to London from Hever for demonstrations and picket lines. He was actively involved in everything from the Wapping printworkers’ strike to the Miners’ Strike, and from Grunwicks to Welling.
He lived in a tiny village with his wife, Marion. She was a lifelong Labour Party member and as politically active as he was. They raised goats and grew their own vegetables while leading lives of political activity.
In the early 1990s they moved to London where Reg was a regular volunteer in the Anti Nazi League (ANL) office. This was just after the election of the first Nazi BNP councillor in Tower Hamlets in east London and the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Well into his 70s he was loved by all the young volunteers and activists.
On one anti-Nazi demo he was sent to follow the Nazis to find out where their meeting was. He went undercover—which for Reg meant carrying a copy of the Daily Telegraph.
He was later a member of Darlington SWP and South West London SWP and was a regular on paper sales.
Even up until a couple of years ago he was to be found every Wednesday at the SWP centre stuffing envelopes.
Reg was not just the most committed socialist I met. He was also a loving, kind and modest man. He never really appreciated the influence he had on those he inspired.
Our last discussion was about his booking for Marxism 2016. He was surprised when I raised concerns about him driving down from Darlington.
He will be sadly missed by his children Judith and Kenneth, his grandchildren and many comrades.