Parker, Colin

First name/s: Colin
Last name: Parker
Known names / nicknames:
Date of birth: 15/12/1948
Year of birth: 1948

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth: the pit village of Crook in Co. Durham on 15th December 1948

Family: His father Martin was a miner

Work: apprenticed as a fitter-turner after leaving school at the age of fifteen. He worked a a fitter-turner in the local factory owned by Marshall Richards, a manufacturer of wire and tube making machines.

Politics/Trade union activity: With three of his brothers he joined the local Labour Party and was associated with the Militant Tendency within it. He and his brothers were expelled for confronting a local Labour Party official, Colin being the most vociferous of all. He subsequently joined the Communist Party.

Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin)

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin: commenced 1969

Source of funding: sponsored by his union

Campaigns/political activity:

Subjects studied at Ruskin:



Life after Ruskin

Education: After the end of the course at Ruskin he moved to London to study a politics degree at North East London Polytechnic. He then went to the London School of Economics and got an MA in politics in 1974. The following year he took a teacher training course

Work:  in 1976 became a teacher at Barking College of Further Education where he worked until his retirement in his early sixties

Politics/trade union activity: he left the CP and flirted with various Trotskyist groups including the Workers Revolutionary Party and Socialist Workers Party.

He began producing a duplicated magazine named Virus and subtitled For Militant Anarchism in 1984 during the height of the miners strike, He contacted the Libertarian Communist Discussion Group the following year and suggested that Virus become the mouthpiece of the Group. Regular meetings were held at Colin’s flat and a network of contacts was built up around Britain, leading to the founding of the Anarchist Communist Federation in March 1986. He was active in the ACF, subsequently renamed the Anarchist Federation, until his death.

He took an active part in support for the miners strike and then attended many demonstrations during the Wapping printers struggle. He threw himself into the struggle against the Poll Tax and refused to pay. He was arrested during an anti-Poll Tax demo and subsequently fined. He was a stalwart of the London group of the AF for many years.

Family: A son Martin

Place & date of death: After his retirement he returned to Crook. He died on January 22nd 2015.

Date of death: 22/01/2015
Year of death: 2015

Achievements / Publications

Started up Virus magazine in 1984 which became the mouthpiece of the Libertarian Communist Discussion Group.

Founding member of the Anarchist Communist Federation (subsequently renamed the Anarchist Federation) in March 1986.

Material in archives or already published articles


Notes on Image/s

scan of newspaper clipping captioned “19 year old apprentice Colin Parker operates a Broadbent Schofield lathe with a 4 ft. chuck.” at

Comment of contributor/s and sources

Sourced from Parker, Colin, 1948-2015 by Nick Heath


Steve Dowding

created 02/03/2015 at 11:04 pm, updated 03/03/2015 at 3:48 pm

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