Nigel Costley started work as an apprentice compositor – one of the last to be trained in ‘hot metal’. While learning the trade it was changing rapidly and he was made redundant twice. It was his union, the National Graphical Association, that helped him find new work and get re-trained as technology marched on.
Nigel was elected Father of the Chapel and then, at 24-years-old, the youngest full-time officer in the union. He spent fifteen years in the role through the most turbulent times for printing and trade unionism.
He particularly championed support for those out of work, inlcuding establishing a unique training cooperative. Having escaped school as soon as he could, Nigel returned to education on a part-time basis, eventually achieving a MSc with Leicester University.
He became South West TUC Regional Secretary in 1996. Nigel is responsible for the way the TUC remembers the Toluddle Martyrs and he has overseen the transformation of the annual rally into a hugely popular celebration of trade unionism.
Nigel Costley – West Country Rebels
220pp / 216x216mm / paperback / full colour, illustrated throughout