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Tributes pour in for former Civic Mayor and member of Pentonville Five

PUBLISHED: 17:42 07 January 2013 | UPDATED: 17:43 07 January 2013

Vic Turner in his robes while serving as ceremonial Mayor of Newham 1997/8.

Vic Turner in his robes while serving as ceremonial Mayor of Newham 1997/8.

Archant

Former Civic Mayor of Newham and “champion of the working classes” Vic Turner passed away on December 30 at the age of 85.

In addition to serving as a councillor, Vic, from Custom House, was famously one of the Pentonville Five, a group of shop stewards jailed in 1972 for disobeying a court order to stop picketing the Chobham Farm container depot in Stratford.

They were released a week later but the incident led to the Trades Union Congress calling an unofficial general strike and Vic was presented with the Transport and General Workers Union Gold Medal for his work.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “Vic was a champion of the working classes, a stalwart of the trade union movement and someone who always stood up for what he believed in.”

Peter Smith, who co-founded the Newham Joint Trade Union Committee with Vic, said: “The tribute to Vic Turner is that he took the lessons from the London Dockers’ struggle to help the workers and residents of his birth place to publicly campaign for a better future through developing a unique local community campaign not repeated anywhere else in the country.”

Vic Turner’s funeral will take place on Friday January 18 at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium in Manor Park.

Mike Law, who was an elected representative alongside Vic for the Royal Docks ward, said: “Vic loathed injustice and his art was in seeing before most where organisations – be it commercial or public – ride roughshod over the rights and wellbeing of those they have influence over, either through employment or by way of civic responsibility.

“Vic never balked at bringing the perpetrators to task.

“He threw himself into representing his constituents with the same enthusiasm he had for protecting workers’ rights.”

Vic Turner’s funeral will take place on Friday January 18 at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium in Manor Park.


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