Bruce Anderson recalls how Granada management were supportive of his role as a Labour councillor

When I came to Manchester, I lived just up the road in Birch Lane, I joined the local Labour Party, as you do, or as I did. And of course, it was a bit strange in reality for anybody working on the studio floor to be a Labour activist – it just didn’t happen. People were either Conservative, or some Labour supporters, but I was an active Labour Party supporter. And while I was still a comparatively junior cameraman, I was asked to stand by my local ward… there was a complete clear-out in Manchester, and the city council by that stage had had its number of seats reduced from 120 to 99, and instead of doing it ward by ward, all of the wards had complete re-elections, so there were 99 completely new councillors elected, and I was selected for a seat, Longsight, that had always been solidly Conservative – there had never been anything but a Conservative councillor there. So I was selected on the basis that of course I wouldn’t get in there, but it was part of the system – and lo and behold, we swept in with quite a good majority. So at the tender age of about 22 or 23, and still only a comparatively junior cameraman, I was Councillor Anderson. And the company… it was the company ethos at that time, they were, in a way, a Labour company. The drive from Sidney Bernstein and Denis Forman, they were active members of the Labour Party themselves, and that sort of ethos rolled through the production areas in quite a strong way. And so when it was announced that I was now a Labour councillor for Manchester, my hand was shaken and I was told that I could have all the time that I needed to do the job, which did rile some people on the shop floor, you know, “Well, of course it’s all right for you, you’re off on Fridays…” and of course being a city councillor in Manchester wasn’t an evening job; it was one or two days a week, and all part of my education in life.

Leave a Reply