Jack Jones remembered


Jack Jones is dead. I’d almost completely forgotten about him. I interviewed the old union trooper back in 1974 for the Scottish Sunday Post. What few realise is that his love of the water – watching the Mersey flow to the sea – led him into his first job in engineering at the docks.

From these early beginnings he became a passionate believer in the rights of the working man. He fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War and was wounded in one famous battle.

And, of course, became the general secretary of the giant Transport and General Workers Union, which is when I was despatched to interview the great man.

As a cub reporter I was a trifle nervous and arrived at the TGWU HQ early. I got lost in its precincts and stumbling through corridors went eventually through several doors until I opened one which was a Gentleman’s loo.

There was Jack Jones, trousers round his ankles, on the throne, reading a copy of the Daily Telegraph spread out on the floor below him.

‘SSSorry” I said and backed off. The interview went well and he never once asked me not to mention he was reading a Tory rag.