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Member news: Gold Medallions and Obituary

2 March 2012

Dave Chalkley and John Spademan have been awarded Gold Medallions. We also carry an obituary for long-service member Ted Wheeler

Gold Medallions presented

Colleagues and friends of Dave Chalkley, from both his former bus branches and the London Transport Divisional Council, met late last year to see former president, Andy Bain present Dave with the TSSA Gold Medallion and Honorary Life Membership. Dave had taken early retirement from TSSA’s head office in 2010, but his former bus colleagues wanted to recognise his hard work from the earlier part of his career. His efforts for his fellow workers spanned right through from the time he joined London Transport in the early 1970s through to privatisation in 1994, after which Dave lost his job. He subsequently went on to serve colleagues as a member of the Association’s full time staff. As Steve Floyd, vice chair of London Bus Operators branch says, ‘Our loss was head office’s gain. At Dave’s request, we had to wait until the end of the 2011 cricket season before making the presentation!’

John Spademan, a member of the Network Rail Infrastructure South East branch was presented with a Golden Medallion in recognition of his decades of service to representing his fellow workers. Amongst many positions, John had served as a Company Council and local rep for over 17 years and a health and safety rep for more than 15 years.

Ted Wheeler, 1936 – 2011

TED was born in Bethnal Green in 1936 with his family moving to Enfield a year later. After leaving school at 15 he joined the Labour Party almost straight away and, as a 17 year-old working at Standard Telephones, became an active member of the Electrical Trades Union. After becoming disillusioned with Labour he joined the International Socialists (which later became the SWP) gaining the nickname ‘Red Ted’, of which he was very proud.

Ted joined the Signal Design Department of London Transport in 1965. He was active as a TSSA staff rep, branch organiser and conference delegate for many years, eventually receiving the Gold Medallion in recognition of his efforts.

His varied interests beyond politics included working his allotment plots, the arts and geology. He was researching the geology of Egypt up until five days before he passed away from cancer last year.

Ted shared over 50 years of marriage with Doreen and is survived by her, two daughters and four grandchildren.

During his life Ted was always kind and thoughtful, offering help and advice to any who needed it. Always dressed smartly, he had a great sense of humour and always laughed a lot – believing that that was what life was for. He will be greatly missed by many.

Amarjit Singh, TSSA Underground Infrastructure Branch


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