10 January 2022

Celebrating an historic victory in Shrewsbury

Mike was at the event when after 47 years, members of the Shrewsbury 24 campaign group came back to Shrewsbury, where they had been unfairly convicted of unlawful assembly, affray, intimidation and criminal damage.

However, this time they were in the town to celebrate their victory in the Royal Courts of Justice on 23 March 2021, where all the pickets’ convictions were quashed.

Terry Renshaw, one of the pickets speaking at the celebratory event said it felt “Fantastic. We won." He went on to say that the conviction had created difficulties for him. He said “It stopped me doing quite a lot of things I wanted to do, both politically and in my normal life. I couldn't get a visa to go to America. When I first stood for local elections in 1981, everyone was saying to me ‘you’re one of those Shrewsbury pickets aren't you?’ I said yes, I am proud of it and I have never denied it.”

The event was organised by Shropshire and Telford Trades Council. Local PCS affiliated branches including ARMs Midlands and HMRC Telford were also represented at the event which was attended by many local trade union members, reps and officials and by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

PCS nationally has been affiliated to the campaign for many years and members of the Shrewsbury 24 campaign have spoken at PCS national and group conferences, collections have been held and conference motions passed in support.

PCS branches affiliated to the Shropshire and Telford Trades Council took part in activities across several decades to keep the profile of the Shrewsbury 24 campaign in the media. This included sending delegates to other towns to talk about the campaign and encourage other trade councils to affiliate to the Shrewsbury 24 campaign. The largest public town event took place in July 2009 when hundreds of people came to Shrewsbury from across the country to march from Shrewsbury Abbey to the courts in Shrewsbury where the Shrewsbury 24 were tried and unfairly convicted.

Of the Shrewsbury 24 the most high profile pickets convicted were Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson. Des Warren received the longest prison sentence, of three years. After being blacklisted in the construction industry, Ricky Tomlinson became better known as an actor in TV series including Brookside, the Royle Family and later in the film industry.

Read more about the campaign on the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign’s official web page