A ‘STALWART’ member of Rotherham Labour Party has died at the age of 92.
Tributes to Joyce Oldham, who was born in Tinsley, Sheffield, and lived in Moorgate, Rotherham, towards the end of her life, have been led by the town’s MP Denis MacShane.
Dr Oldham, who had a background in the engineering and steel industries, joined the Labour Party in the 1980s.
Mr MacShane said: “Joyce Oldham dedicated her life to promoting manufacturing in South Yorkshire working in the steel and engineering industry and always making the case for apprenticeships and encouraging young people to develop careers like her own in the steel industry.
“She grew up in Tinsley, living through the war and the post-war growth of steel and engineering and then the savage assault of the Thatcher years when de-industrialisation was official government policy. Joyce rejected this ideology and worked with anyone and everyone who would find ways of keeping steel alive.
“She worked for local industry and made a career as a highly qualified woman in an industry that is overwhelmingly dominated by men. But Joyce could out-argue any man and always knew the details of whatever argument she was making to help manufacturing.”
Mr MacShane said Dr Oldham was ‘hugely respected in the Labour Party in South Yorkshire’.
Anna Chester, chairwoman of Rotherham Constituency Labour Party, said: “She was challenging, forthright and robust.
“We presented her with our constituency merit award in 2006 for her outstanding contribution to the party for her work putting Labour Party values into action.”
A funeral service for Dr Oldham took place at Rotherham Crematorium on Friday.