Muskett, Dick

First name/s: Dick
Last name: Muskett
Known names / nicknames:
Date of birth: 18/09/1942
Year of birth: 1942

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth 18 September 19452, Bexhill, Sussex
Work I worked as a labourer from age 15, then joined the army in 1962, serving for 6 years. When I came out I joined Coventry Fire Brigade and became active in union, political and community things.
Politics/Trade union activity

Various FBU (Fire Brigades Union) positions at local level incl. Area Secretary, managed to be both in the LP and Coventry IS (International Socialists). I was living in Hillfields when the CDP arrived and was involved in a variety of local projects through the CDP. (CDP was the Wilson Government’s Community Development Programme)

Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin) ~ other Trade Union

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin 1972-74 (left before completing course for both political and personal reasons

Source of funding TUC scholarship, small grant from the FBU and LEA grant
Campaigns/political activity Very little to do with Oxford student politics as in common with most Ruskin students at the time, fairly contemptuous of stuff like the occupation of the Schools. But closely involved with St Anns strike over NUPE recognition, and the wider political concerns the TU movement had – Shrewsbury pickets trial etc. Also very involved with debates over adult/mature student education and the formation of links with Coleg Harlech, New Battle, Fircroft, Hillcroft etc – was student rep on Ruskin Board and irritated them by our insistence that we were delegates from the RSA (student Association) and therefore had to report back before taking decisions!
Subjects studied at Ruskin Labour History (Raphael Samuel), Industrial relations and Industrial Sociology
Dissertation None
Qualification None

Life after Ruskin

Education MSc in Public Policy at Bristol in the 90’s
Work After Ruskin worked in engineering in Midlands until made redundant when the industry started to go down the pan. Then worked as a community worker and via that into Local Government, mainly in community development and then policy, plus a couple of periods of working for community campaign projects. I had a side interest in event and festival organisation and ended up working at that fulltime for a number of years, though prior to actually finally retiring, was back in local government and then at the Young Foundation. Had a very brief stint as an advisor to Hazel Blears but quickly quit! Now in retirement work as a volunteer for SERTUC.
Politics/trade union activity Shop steward and various Branch posts in whatever union was appropriate where I worked; very involved with trades council work and through that (and not unconnected to a job I had at the GLC) spent a lot of time on developing TU Resource Centres and building a network of these. Generally active in usual campaigns – anti-racism, fighting local cuts and closures etc. Was elected twice as a Labour Councillor in Battersea in the 1980s. Was a founder member of the Workers Beer Company, set up by Battersea & Wandsworth TUC as a fund-raising arm. Still active in LP in Islington and through my Unite retired members branch and still involved with the organisation of the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs festival
Family 3 daughters, plus grandchildren, long time partner was a St Ann’s student I met during the college strike in 1973
Place & date of death  Tufnell Park, London, N19 – no plans just yet

Date of death:
Year of death: 0

Achievements / Publications

Lucky enough to have experienced more than most people and remain standing

Material in archives or already published articles

Nothing of any significance


Notes on Image/s

Comment of contributor/s and sources


Dick Muskett

created 26/10/2013 at 1:24 pm, updated 13/10/2014 at 5:25 pm

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