Graham Walmsley, Husband, Father, Trade Unionist & Friend

Graham Walmsley, UNISON Bolton Branch Chair, Bolton College Convenor, and friend has suddenly passed away.

Graham collapsed without warning on the evening of Saturday 5th of June, he was taken by ambulance to hospital where, after a short battle to keep him with us passed away at 6.30am on Sunday morning 6th with his wife Steph’ and daughter Leanne by his side. Graham and Steph’ had just recently celebrated 38 years together. He was also proud to coach his daughters football team! 

It has left activists in the branch, completely shocked and devastated.

Graham has been a lifelong union member, his membership in Unison commenced via the merger of Nalgo, NUPE and CoHSE in 1993

Graham worked at Bolton College and was the branches most senior activist at Bolton College and Bolton University making a formidable team with the stewards there Becky Davidson, Rachel Web and Nicki Ainsworth. They have campaigned and lobbied on local and national issues. Graham was the key link in negotiations with the Bolton University merger.

He has held various elected positions in the FE and HE Sector regionally and nationally.  

Graham recently became the Branch Chair, a move from being the Vice Chair. Graham prepared meticulously for meetings, researching and cross checking anything he was unsure about.  He was, a true professional.

Graham represented Bolton Unison branch as a delegate to Bolton Trades Council and to various conferences often speaking at conference on behalf of our members on pay, service conditions and pensions. He was due to attend Unison National Conference on the 15th June as part of the branch’s delegation.

For Graham socialism wasn’t just a word it was how he lived his life day in and day out. He was a loyal trade unionist and passionate about Further Education and the betterment of young people. UNISON has lost one of its finest activists. We are proud to have had him in our branch, and prouder to call him a friend.

You were my mentor, and guide. Helping so many people, with a wealth of knowledge – you leave a void in my life – Becky Davidson, Bolton College Steward, Fellow colleague, and friend.

My Conference buddy! We’d burn the oil both ends; those speeches don’t write themselves!! – Jayne Clarke, Assistant Branch Secretary

A life cut short in his prime. Our movement has lost one of the best – Bernie Gallagher, Ex Branch Secretary

A chair’s role is challenging, you have to get the balance of keeping everyone in order AND everyone happy! You did it with such ease. You will be so deeply missed. Our hearts are truly broken.  Comrade your shift is over, Rest In Peace – Andrea Egan, Branch Secretary

It has been agreed with Steph’, that the branch banner, activists and members will line the route to his final resting place. We will let you have the details when they are confirmed.

No Justice, No Peace 14th June

On the 4th anniversary of the Grenfell fire which killed 72 people we bring together 4 campaigns denied justice for too long to demand justice

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Hillsborough Justice Campaign

Sheila Coleman currently works for Unite the Union where she is the North West Region Community Coordinator. 

Sheila acts as spokesperson for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign having researched and campaigned,since 1989, all aspects surrounding the killing of ninety six Liverpool supporters and the subsequent cover up. She has a particular interest in encouraging different social justice campaigns to find common ground and work collaboratively in order to secure truth and accountability.

A former academic, she continues to guest lecture on Miscarriages of Justice and State Corruption.

Shrewsbury 24 Campaign

Terry Renshaw was one of 24 men arrested and charged with over 200 offences including unlawful assembly, affray, intimidation and conspiracy to intimidate, five months after the ending of a bitter strike in the 1970’s.

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

MIKE JACKSON is one of the key activists in the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign,  regularly representing the OTJC at meetings, rallies and events. He is one of the founder members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners set up in the 84/5 miners’ strike and recently portrayed in the film Pride. LGSM campaigned and raised money to support miners and their families. He also campaigns and fundraises to honour the memory of LGSM co-founder Mark Ashton. Mike along with many of LGSM now work to support the OTJC and other political campaigns and to ensure the LGBTQ+ community and the labour movement work together. 

Joe Delaney is a member of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG), which played a central role over many years in campaigning for residents’ right to decent, safe housing. The group highlighted the great dangers to the safety of Grenfell Tower’s residents as a result of the callous indifference by the authorities, including during the 2016 refurbishment in which the entire building was surrounded in highly flammable cladding

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Chair of Police Chiefs, Martin Hewitt, gave evidence to a parliamentary cmte scrutinising the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Police Chiefs believe that more legal pitches are necessary for travellers