Wednesday, 27 May 2015

My piece on Dave Forshaw who died in April this year.

Last month I did a piece on the passing of Dave Forshaw but I had some notes that Dave gave to me when I last saw him and I thought I would update the eulogy I wrote.

I think we're hoping to do something similar for all the people I've given so much to Labour Party in some commemorative format.

I'll be doing one on Pam Barton soon following the speech I gave at St James's Church at her funeral. He is the updated one on Dave Forshaw

Dave Forshaw RIP

It it was really sad to hear that a great comrade of Hyndburn Labour, Dave Forshaw has recently passed away. We lost Jack Grime recently and last year Colin Feeley and Sardar Ali. (And very recently Pam Barton)

I can hear Dave even today in his gruff working class accent talking about taking the fight to the Tories and how we must stop them. Anyone who knew Dave would recognise his voice. They would also recognise his passion for the Labour party which was ever present in anything he said or did.

I went to see Dave about 12 months ago and it was sad to see him struggling but he was happy enough in his own way. Battling on as Dave always did. It was great to have a conversation with him about old times but Dave was just as interested in the future as well. He said he was frustrated he just couldn't get out of bed to come out and campaign apologising for his ill health and the fact that his comrades were out knocking on doors and he wasn't there to help. That was Dave. Always thinking about taking the fight to the Tories and standing alongside his comrades.

We went knocking on doors many many times together. Dave was always great company, always ready to go to that extra door, always wanting to campaign, make the argument, always passionate. Forever Labour.

He would ring me up to ask how things were or just to make sure that we were doing everything we could to defeat the Tories. I remember the 2004 Rishton ward election where Dave was Labour's candidate. I remember going over many times to Rishton to campaign with him and discuss the election. Just to be out and about and around him was fun. Everyone loved campaigning with Dave. He gave those around him a lift with his energy, enthusiasm and passion. He was funny too with a great sense of humour. We lost that election but it didn't dampen Dave's commitment, enthusiasm or his passion to 'beat them next time'.

When he wasn't fighting Tories he was generally laughing, drinking or talking or all three at once! I recall those days and that particular election very fondly and now with a great degree of sadness knowing that Dave has passed away. If Dave was campaigning in Rishton I was over there straight away. He was such great company and we got along so well.

Dave wasn't arrested know though his home was Great Harwood. He spent a lifetime campaigning for Labour Party in great Harwood and served as a counsellor for the Overton ward in Great Harwood. It was almost as if he knew everyone there. He wants told me (unfortunately I wrote it down) that he'd be gone campaigning for the Labour Party in Great Harwood back in 1948/9. He recalled leafleting for Jimmy Dunn, Bill Slynn, George Monkland and Frank Ainsworth both for elections to Lancashire county council and Great Harwood when it was an urban council. He smiled when he recalled that he was given two bags of coal at the end of the elections for his effort.

He had loads of energy and every day was a campaigning day in which he loved to meet people and make the case for Labour.

I used to see him at the Rishton events too where we would always have a good natter. He rang me up one day saying he had loads of videotapes of Rishton events from the past and that I was on one or two of them. He asked me if I would look after them and transfer them to DVD. I said I would. He had a passion for the future but a fondness for the past too.

He was a great and well known Rishtoner. How can anyone forget Dave's gruff voice, his strong working class East Lancashire accent and mannerisms. He was a man of the people, a typical working-class Labour man. No nonsense. The Tories were for the rich and Labour the workers Dave would repeat. Great days.

Dave, you'll be missed mate but you'll never be forgotten.