Socialist Worker

Norah Rushton, 1929-2018

by Liverpool SWP
Issue No. 2623

Norah Rushton (left) protesting in Nice in 2000

Norah Rushton (left) protesting in Nice in 2000


It is with deep sadness that we have to inform comrades of the death of Norah Rushton.

Norah was born in 1929 in Merseyside. Her dad, an active trade unionist, taught Norah what “scab” meant at an early age. In the hungry 1930s Norah’s dad spent time at home looking after Norah after his hours at work had been slashed.

Norah’s mum would be out organising on the estate to stop people being evicted.

While young Norah had longed to become an actor. But the financial cost meant her dream was put on hold.

In 1948 she started work at the Stork factory, part of the giant Lever Brothers empire. Norah began organising against the poor working conditions.

Norah was accused of being a sympathiser of the Communist Party (CP) and was sacked. Norah wasn’t a member but joined shortly afterwards.

She organised a campaign against her victimisation and won her job back.

In 1949 Norah joined the left wing Merseyside Unity Theatre. The theatre had performed around the country raising money for medical aid during the Spanish Civil War.

Classics

They used songs and plays to tell working class history and performed the classics from different angles.

Norah married Stan, a fellow Communist Party member, in 1953 and had two sons.

Norah and Stan left the CP in 1956 after the “socialist” regimes crushed the Hungarian workers’ revolution.

Norah went back to college in 1981 as a mature student and read books by Tony Cliff and Chris Harman.

She left the Labour Party and joined the Socialist Workers Party after the Labour leadership betrayal of the Miners’ Strike.

She was active in fighting attacks on abortion rights.

Norah was a class fighter and a wonderful warm and engaging human being.

She made new members of our branch especially welcome and valued their contributions.

Our thoughts are with Norah’s sons Steve, Phil and family. Phil has set up a Facebook page “Norah Molyneux Rushton” celebrating Norah’s life.

A celebration of Norah's life will be held on Friday 28 September, 10.30am, Landican Cemetery, South Chapel, Arrowe Park Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH49 5LW. 

Article information

Obituary
Tue 25 Sep 2018, 15:07 BST
Issue No. 2623
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