Ida Hackett remembered

by Mike Fletcher

TRADE Unionists and other progressives in Nottingham held a memorial meeting for Ida Hackett last Sunday.

Ida was born in 1914. The memorial meeting included members from the labour movement, including Ian Lavery MP, former president of the NUM.

Ida Hackett was involved in the labour movement for many years. She was active in helping her father in the General Strike in 1926; he had been blacklisted by the pit owners.

In the 1930’s she was employed as a hosiery worker in Mansfield and helped organise the unions in the factories.

Ida joined the Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War and campaigned for the democratic forces in Spain.

She was a loyal friend of the Soviet Union, and a seller of the Soviet Weekly.

When I was a boy in the Young Communist League she told me about the devastated cities of Stalingrad and Leningrad and admired the Soviet people for re-building their cities after the brutal invasion by Nazi Germany.

During the miners’ strike she helped support the women’s support groups nationally at the age of 70.

In the late 80’s I was employed as a psychiatric nurse at Highbury hospital. I was suspended for organising strikes in the NHS.

Ida immediately convened a district meeting of the NUM, and called a strike of the miners in the East Midlands. The hospital also went on strike as well as the factories in the Nottingham area, organised by the trades council. I was immediately reinstated within 24 hours of the strike.

Ida Hackett was a remarkable woman who spent her whole life fighting for the rights of the working class. She will be sadly missed, and to me she was a true working class hero.