Keith Faulkner

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The Independent Online

I very much appreciated Peta Steel's obituary (27 January) of Keith Faulkner, a friend and colleague of mine for more than 30 years, writes Steve Mills. Keith was an imposing figure, recognisable by his long hair, of ageneration when long hair was a political statement as much as anything else – and that was certainly the case with Keith.

As well as being a dedicated servant of the Labour Movement, as so well described in Peta Steel's obituary, he was an active trade unionist in his own right and during his time had played a significant role on his workplace committee, sitting opposite his boss – the TUC General Secretary – in negotiations. He was also very much a part of his adopted home town of Hastings, making a significant contribution to the success of the Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival.

Keith enjoyed the blues which, like many others in the 1960s, he discovered through the music of the Rolling Stones, of whom he was an enthusiastic fan. Appropriately, he was also a great admirer of the Scottish folk singer Dick Gaughan, who performed on many a demonstration and rally, including some of Keith's.

Besides watching football, Keith was a keen player, although some of his team-mates tell me that they never found out what his best position was!

He acquired an early taste for Guinness which stayed with him all his life. He developed a sixth sense for searching out the best pint of Guinness in whatever town, in whatever country he found himself. It was fitting that after his funeral, mourners drank the local social club dry of the black stuff. He would have been pleased.