Dore, John (1930-2006) socialist and academic

John DoreADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: John Dore was born in Hammersmith, London on 7 August 1930, the only child of Frederick James Dore, a master plasterer and Mary Ross (nee Spark). He grew up in Richmond, Surrey and was educated at Richmond and East Sheen County Grammar School for Boys. He obtained a Surrey County scholarship to Imperial College of Science and Technology (London University) where, in 1951, he obtained a BSc in Botany with Zoology subsidiary. He then obtained a research award to attend Southampton University, 1951 – 1954, where he obtained a PhD in Botany, researching into the regeneration of horseradish.

He joined the Labour Party in 1949 and was an active member of the Richmond and Barnes Labour League of Youth, Cromwell ward Labour Party and delegate to the General Management Committee. He met his future wife Christine Perfect, who always shared his political interests, at a meeting of the Labour League of Youth in 1949. She had been Chairman and Secretary of the Richmond and Barnes Branch and, at the time of their marriage on 7 March 1953, he was Chairman of the Southampton Branch.

Between 1954-1959 he worked for H M Overseas Civil Service as an Agricultural Research Officer (Botanist), researching into the growth of rice. He was based in Kula Lumpur, Malaya. He joined the Fabian Society in 1954 and while in Malaya he and his wife produced several articles for the Fabian Society publication Venture, about Malayan agriculture and the political situation there at the time. He also developed the agricultural policy of the Malayan Labour party.

On returning to the UK, he moved to Watford with his young family and he and his wife re-established the Watford and District Fabian Society that met regularly, for many years, at their home.After a short spell as a teacher for Middlesex County Council, he took up the post of Lecturer in Plant Physiology at Brunel University (originally Brunel College of Technology). He wrote several scientific papers and also contributed to Chambers Encyclopaedia. Later he lectured in Biology and Biochemistry including aspects of environmental pollution and pest control.

During the early 1960s he stood as unsuccessful labour candidate for several local elections in Watford Borough and Hertfordshire as well as the parliamentary candidate in Heston and Isleworth in the 1964 general election. He also stood as a labour candidate at the first European Elections. In 1967 he was elected to Hertfordshire County Council and remained a County Councillor until his retirement in 1986.

Between 1973-1977 he was Chairman of the planning committee. He was a member of Highways, Finance & Resources, Fire and Public Protection Committees and various sub-committees. He was an active trade union member joining in 1950 and representing his union (ASTMS, then MSF now Amicus) at the Trade Union Congress in the 1970s. He was Hon. Secretary of the local (Brunel) branch and was also a member of the AUT union. He was a long-term member of the co-operative movement and was, for a time, member of the Education Committee of Watford Co-op before it amalgamated with London Cooperative Society.

In 1986 he retired from his post of Senior Lecturer in Biology at Brunel University and relinquished his County Council seat. He then moved, with his wife who was also a County Councillor at that time, to Somerset. Over the next few years he stood as Labour and Co-operative party candidate in several West Somerset local and Somerset county elections. He was elected as a local Parish Councillor. He founded the West Somerset Branch of the Co-operative Party and held the posts of Chairman and Secretary and was the representative at the Constituency Labour party. He was also chair of the West Somerset District Labour Party.


  • Press cuttings regarding various aspects of Dore’s career including the 1962 local election result, his (unsuccessful) 1964 parliamentary candidature for Heston & Isleworth, 1962-1964.
  • Copies of various newspapers covering details of Dore’s political activities, including the Richmond & Barnes Clarion, Heston & Isleworth Clarion, Twickenham Courier, The Voice of Malta, Wembley South Citizen, Socialist Outlook and FACT Newspaper, 1935-1963.
  • Election ephemera, notes for speeches and papers relating to Richmond and Barnes CLP, Heston and Isleworth CLP, Labour League of Youth, Greater London Council and concerning early Labour Party membership, 1948-1981.
  • Correspondence regarding Dore’s candidature in Heston & Isleworth, with Richmond and Barnes Labour Party, and the Fabian Society, 1956-1975.
  • Papers, press cuttings, reports and ephemera from Dore’s employment by the Malayan Government concerning Malaya, its political and social conditions and rice production, 1954-1959.