Big thanks to Timbo for reproducing this very interesting programme for us. A great reminder of when Britain had an industrial heartland, and the Labour Party represented, and was represented by the working class.
I hope I'm correct in saying that the advertised matchball donor for Barnsley's home game with Wrexham in May of 1966 is still alive. Former MP and professional Yorkshireman Roy Mason will be celebrating his 90th birthday next year, so whether he's fit enough , or his voice is strong enough to allow him to get down to Oakwell and shout "Sort it out Flitcroft" has to be open to doubt.
'He belongs to a type that has almost disappeared, from the days when the Labour Party hadn't been taken over by sociology lecturers and focus groups and was still what its name said, the political voice of the working class. Mason was born in 1924 in a Yorkshire mining village, and grew up there at a time life was harder than anyone can now imagine. His mother died at 46; he was a boy when a disaster in the local pit killed 58 men. He went to work down the mine himself when he was 14. But his ability was obvious, and he became a branch official of the NUM in his mid-twenties, before winning Barnsley at a by-election in 1953 and representing the seat for another 40 years. Although he went to the LSE as a mature student on a TUC scholarship, Mason is not an intellectual any more than a grandee: he lives in retirement in a modest house in Barnsley, and his recreations are fishing, pipe-smoking and the quaint "cravatology", or designing ties'.
The pipe-smoking, former coal miner first went down the mines at the age of fourteen and remained in the coal industry until he was elected as Member of Parliament. What a world of difference from today when Ed Miliband's Primrose Hill set have never got their hands dirty in their life.
For many years, even in retirement, Roy Mason always had security guards outside his house following his spell as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which was not a post he or anyone else would have wanted since it made him a target for the Provisional IRA.
Yorkshire's current Labour MPs tend to make Alpine Joe's point for him, notably Caroline Flint (Don Valley), Ed Miliband (Doncaster North), Ed Balls (Morley & Outwood), Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford), Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) and Sarah Champion (Rotherham).
How many people look at the Labour leader and say "Ah yes, Ed Miliband of Doncaster"?