Hugh’s Big Day!Hugh D

December 7th 2013 was a big day for Poosie Nansie’s oldest member, Hughie D’Arcy ¬†as it saw the launch of his autobiography, ‘A bible of discontent: The Memoir of Hugh D’Arcy, bricklayer and trade unionist’ at Danderhall Miners’ Welfare Club.

Poosie Nansie members joined Hugh and his family and friends at the event and vied with the large assembled crowd of Trade Unionists, politicians and academics to get their hands on the book which was published by the University of Westminster and seems set to become a collector’s item.

This remarkable memoir tells how Hugh, a long time member of the Communist Party left school at 14 and became an apprentice bricklayer. He maintained his involvement with the building industry right up until his retirement in 1984 working first as a bricklayer and finally as a full-time trade union official for UCATT, - the Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians. ‘A bible of discontent’ is a first hand account of his experiences in the building industry and of the political and industrial disputes in which he was involved.

The works and philosophies of Robert Burns are liberally quoted throughout the text and like the Bard’s work, every page smacks of Hughie’s humanity and concern for his fellow human beings.

Celebrations continued well into the evening and everyone who has read the book has been mightily impressed!

Author: Bob Mitchell

Post Script. It was with great sadness that club members heard of Hughie’s death just one month after this joyous occasion. He passed away peacefully on the morning of January 8th and our condolences go to his wife Janet, his son Robert, (our much esteemed secretary and friend) and all of his family. At the club meeting of 10th January, a subdued membership sang an emotive rendition of ‘The Lea-Rig’ as a tribute to a much valued friend. It is a song with which he had enlivened many an occasion in the past.

Hughie D’Arcy a man for whom the words ‘When shall we see your likes again’ could surely have been written.

Author: Bob Mitchell

Photos of the book launch taken by Bill Clapperton

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