A former North Somerset CLP member who stood for the seat in the 1987 general election has published a three-volume autobiography with the help of the Communication Workers’ Union.

Dave Chapple, who was born in Clevedon in 1951 and spent nine years as a postman in the town. He also served for four years as a retained firefighter in Clevedon, as well as working for a short time at the Hales cake factory.

The three books, collectively entitled ‘Somerset Working-class’ focus on different aspects of Dave’s life and his political and trade union activities.

‘Bristol, 13 Miles due East’ looks at how Clevedon’s proximity to the west country’s biggest city influenced Dave’s life as he grew up: in sport, in music, in trades unionism and socialist politics. Remember a trip to Bristol on that green double-decker bus No. 362?

‘Protest and Deliver: Clevedon Postman, 1978 to 1987’ is a detailed account of Dave’s nine years walking Clevedon’s streets from his Post Office workplace, the Six Ways Salaried Office. Dave remembers his workmates, how his local Post Office functioned in the community, his trade union activities, and, last but not least, how the Post Office missed several golden opportunities to sack him — a mistake they much regretted after he transferred to the Bridgwater Royal Mail Sorting Office in October 1987!

‘Local, Loud, Left-wing and Proud’ is the story of Dave’s campaign as Labour’s North Somerset candidate in the 1987 general election. The story also takes a detailed look at what sort of society North Somerset then was: one on the verge of an almost complete de-industrialisation, the middle-class take-over of many villages, the last remains of ‘Traditional working-class Labour’ in the Somerset coalfield villages, and, last but not least, the terrific battle undertaken by trades unionists at the Purnell printing plant at Paulton in 1986 against Robert Maxwell.

Dave joined Clevedon Labour Party in 1976 and while he is no longer a party member, he says he hipes his stories can can encourage other Somerset working class women and men -especially trades unionists, footballers, DJs and cyclists – to put pen to paper.

All three volumes are of A4 size, profusely illustrated in B&W and colour, thoroughly documented, and beautifully designed by former print trades unionist, now South West TUC Secretary, Nigel Costley.

Each individual volume costs £5, plus £2 postage and packing. The three volume set costs £15, plus £5 postage and packing. Direct bank payments welcome: e-mail for details. Please make any cheques out to “D. T. Chapple” and send to 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU. Please send all enquiries to Dave direct on davidchapple2020@gmail.com    Phone 07707869144.

 

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