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Party Machine Wheels Beginning to Turn for General Election

May 1970

South Yorkshire Times, May 23rd, 1970

Wheels of Party Machines Are Already Beginning to Turn for General Election

Arriving back in this country on Monday after a ten days tour of Turkey, Mr. Edwin Wainwright M.P. for Dearne Valley for the past eleven years, was greeted with the news that Prime Minister Mr. Harold Wilson was shortly to announce the date of the forthcoming election.

Instead of waiting in London, however, he made his way North, and had arrived home when the news was given at 6pm. “Before leaving Turkey we had been expecting an announcement” he said, “because we had been receiving English newspapers a day late”.  A party of eight M.P.s, all members of the Anglo-Turkish group in the House of Commons had been entertained on a cultural tour of Turkey,

We saw a great deal of Turkey, and thoroughly enjoyed the visit Mr. Wainwright told a “South Yorkshire Times” reporter.

Adoption tomorrow

What of the forthcoming campaign?  Mr. Wainwright, who is due to be formally adopted at a meeting of Dearne Valley Divisional Labour Party to be held at Strathmore House, Wath, tomorrow (Saturday), said “I am keenly looking forward to an interesting campaign – lots of hard fighting involving politics rather than personalities.”  At the last General Election Mr Wainwright had a majority of over 30,000.

Mr. Wainwright, who figured in the honours list in 1957, was born at New Scarborough, Wombwell, son of an old mineworker. He attended Darfield Council School, and the age of 14 started work at Darfield Main Colliery where, with the exception of ten weeks at Dearne Valley Colliery, he remained until leaving for his parliamentary career.

He was Secretary of Darfield Main N.U.M. branch for 11 years, and before that had served on the committee and was for five years delegate. As a member of the miners’ National Executive, he made tours of several countries, including Yugoslavia and Germany.

Agent for Mr. Wainwright at the last General Election was Coun. B. G. Goddard, who is secretary of Dearne Valley Divisional Labour Party.  It is expected that he will be reappointed to that office tomorrow.

Liberals in field?

It is possible that for the second successive General Election there will be a three-cornered fight in the Dearne Valley Division.  Some time ago the Liberals intimated that they would like to put up a candidate and a meeting is to be held at the earliest possible opportunity to make a definite decision and to name their candidate.

If in fact the Liberals decide to stand, hot favourite for the nomination is Coun. Peter Hargreaves (34), of 59, Lundhill Road, Wombwell who recently gained a seat on Wombwell Urban Council.

On Tuesday the Dearne Valley Divisional Party were contacted by the Liberal Party headquarters in London asking them to convene a meeting as soon as possible to make a decision on whether or not to contest the seat.  The difficulty was that the new secretary, Mrs. Jennie Matthews, is at present on holiday and is not due to return before the week-end. “So, the earliest date on which we can hold a meeting will be next Saturday,” said Coun. Hargreaves this week.

Coun. Hargreaves contested the Dearne Valley division at the last General Election, as an Independent.

Public Meetings

Conservative candidate for the Dearne Valley constituency is Mr. Barry Cowl, of Slingsby Grove, Tadcaster Road, York.  Married, Mr. Cowl (44) is manager of an export and investment organisation and an expert in trade union affairs.  He is Chairman of York Conservatives’ Trades Union Committee and Vice-Chairman of the area committee.

A meeting to plan Mr Cowl’s campaign will be held at Wombwell Conservative Club net week, and it is proposed to hold public meetings in all parts of the constituency,

The Party’s headquarters will be at Wombwell Conservative Club and Mr Cowl’s adoption meeting will be at Wath Church Hall on a date still to be fixed.

A spokesman for the local Conservative Party said they had not yet decided what local issues would feature in the election.