Desmond Miller obituary


My civil accomplice, Desmond Miller, who has died aged 81, was an anarchist who helped to arrange and run Leeds Neighborhood Press as a printing and publishing co-operative led by its staff.

Apart from taking over all kinds of peculiar printing work, together with posters and leaflets, the press was identified for publishing various newspapers akin to Leeds Different Paper and the Sheffield Anarchist, each of which made a sizeable contribution to street-level political debate in Yorkshire through the Nineteen Seventies and 80s.

Because it was a co-op, everybody did every part, from sweeping the ground and making the tea to writing and getting concerned on the printing presses. Des did all of these issues over a 13-year interval, though he was particularly good at creating visible imagery and utilizing it to convey a political message.

Born in Southgate, north London, Des was the son of Doris (nee Smith), who labored in a fishmonger’s, and Ernest Miller, a sailor within the Royal Navy who was killed through the second world battle when Des was two. He went to Sir Anthony Deane secondary fashionable college in Harwich, Essex, after which, from 1957 till 1962, to Colchester College of Artwork.

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The Sheffield Anarchist was revealed by Leeds Neighborhood Press

After leaving artwork faculty he labored for the subsequent eight years in Colchester as a forklift truck driver after which in a dynamite manufacturing facility, earlier than a brief stint as a cub reporter on a neighborhood newspaper led him to grow to be a co-founder in 1970 of Leeds Neighborhood Press.

In 1983 he moved away from Leeds to settle in Norfolk together with his then accomplice, the geneticist Maggie Sands. From his base there he labored for numerous printing corporations, together with the Calverts co-operative and the print store on the College of East Anglia.

From 1995 onwards Des was unemployed, other than some advert hoc work as a gardener, after which worsening well being led to a coronary heart assault in 2001 which prevented him from working once more.

Nevertheless, he stored himself busy by organising Rig-a-Jig-Jig, a voluntary organisation that collected reminiscences and images referring to the standard music, music and dance of Norfolk. Rig-a-Jig-Jig’s first show day was held on the Norwich Playhouse in 2001, adopted by others throughout the county, both in their very own proper or as a part of village fetes and beer festivals. Des believed that tradition belongs to the individuals from whom it springs.

Usually at these occasions he performed the mouth organ as a part of a band that was additionally known as Rig-a-Jig-Jig, through which I additionally featured (on the ukulele). We continued to play within the band till 2016, when age caught up with each of us.

Over time Des additionally continued portray and drawing, and bought a few of his work by means of associates and small exhibitions. Like his musicianship, his contact with pencil, pen, brush or print-cutting device was practised till faultless, with out ever turning into stilted or overworked. His material was accessible: musicians in pubs, bushes in gardens, boatmen and ferries.

We turned civil companions in 2020 and had been collectively for 27 years.


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