Illtyd Harrington 1931 – 2015
ALTHOUGH WIDELY KNOWN in political circles as a flamboyant Labour politician who served as Deputy Leader to Ken Livingstone in the 1980s Greater London Council, Illtyd Harrington, who died on 1 October aged 84, was also a canal enthusiast and active campaigner for the waterways.
As a member of the GLC in the 1960s, he helped take the then British Waterways to task over its plans to fill in City Road Basin and build on it. In 1968, he was appointed by Transport Minister Barbara Castle to head the Inland Waterway Amenity Advisory Council ( IWAAC), travelling the waterways and supporting canal restoration projects, before being appointed to the BW Board himself.
In the 1980s, he pushed for improvement of the Regent’s Canal despite a Council colleague telling him “You’re wasting your time. It’s full of stinking water and dead dogs” – as well as supporting the opening of the Thames Path. An Honorary Vice President of the Inland Waterways Association, he was often to be seen at its annual Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice.
In more recent years he was still active, serving under Ken Livingstone once again as waterways advisor to the Greater London Mayor.