Trade unionism

It was Bevin, not Bevan, who was the real national treasure

On a family holiday almost 40 years ago I visited Winsford, the village on the edge of Exmoor where Ernest Bevin was born (and Boris Johnson was raised). Having read the first book in Alan Bullock’s scholarly three-volume biography, I’d become a convinced Bevinite (not to be confused with the followers of Nye Bevan, his near namesake and bête noire). As it was the centenary of Bevin’s birth I expected to find some kind of commemoration, but there was nothing apart from a faded plaque on the cottage he was born in. I asked the woman serving in the Post Office opposite if I’d missed anything, but she’d never heard