Hebden Royd Mayor Jonathan Timbers went to a showing of ‘Pride’ at Hebden Bridge Picture House in full regalia on Monday night.
“The film is about my old friend Mark Ashton, who started Lesbian and Gay Men Support the Miners,” said Coun Timbers. “I’m proud that I knew Mark, that I co-operated with him on political projects and I’m proud of what the town council has done with the cinema.”
Coun Timbers knew the central character in the film, Mark Ashton, in the last few months of his life.
“Mark hated authoritarianism of any sort,” said Coun Timbers, “and he disliked some parts of the Left almost as much as the Right, particularly the Militant Tendency. We worked together on combating their influence in youth politics.”
Coun Timbers said he was very moved by the film, but it glossed over Mark’s strong political commitment to the Labour movement: “Mark was a libertarian communist, who was strongly averse to Soviet bloc politics. His commitment to the miner’s cause came out of his belief in democracy and working class people. Mark made a big impression on everyone he met.
”The world is a duller place without him. Everyone who knew him still feels his absence.”