Wilf Cannon was a Reading railway man, an active member of the National Union of Railwaymen and of the Reading Labour Party. He has been por­ trayed as a fine example of the politically active trade unionist - ‘a lean, vigorous, silver-haired patrician looking man, a good talker, a good listener and a discriminating reader, an intensely political animal’. One evening in 1944 he came straight from his work in the Great Western marshalling yard to a meeting of the NUR Reading (No. 1) Branch. Members discussed pos­ sible motions for the forthcoming Party Conference and he succeeded in gaining support for a resolution advocating specific extensions of public ownership. This subsequently became one of die Reading Party’s two sub­ missions to die Party Conference agenda. No doubt Wilf Cannon as a delegate to die Reading General Management Committee was an effective advocate for his union branch’s proposal. This Reading resolution became a core ele­ ment in the composite moved successfully at the national conference against the wishes of the Party’s National Executive by the Reading Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Ian Mikardo. The significance of this decision for the policy of the post-war Labour Government is debatable; it provides nev­ ertheless a classic dem onstration of the party-union relationship as exemplified at local level in die action of, often talented, activists. Within this scenario experiences at work led to a progressive - and often explicitly socialist - political agenda.2