BALLINGRY'S councillor for more than 40 years, Willie Clarke, features in a film about the legendary Communist MP for West Fife Willie Gallacher.

The documentary/film is being shown online tonight and was made by Alex Cathcart.

It studies the life of the Red Clydesider, Gallacher, who was to become the MP for the strongly Communist villages of Lumphinnans, Glencraig, Crosshill and Lochore from 1935 to 1950.

Gallacher was born in Paisley, Scotland on 25 December 1881, the son of an Irish father and a Scottish mother. His father died when he was seven years old, and one of his earliest ambitions was to earn enough money so that his mother would no longer have to work as a washerwoman. With his sisters, he finally achieved this goal at the age of nineteen, but his mother died shortly afterwards at the age of 54. Gallacher became strongly interested in politics and became a leading figure of the Communist Labour Party.

He led the grouping into the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and stood for election to the House of Commons at Dundee (both in 1922 and 1923), West Fife (1929 and 1931) and Shipley (1930). He was eventually elected to represent the West Fife constituency at the 1935 general election. He lost it to Labour's Willie Hamilton in 1950.

The docudrama by local filmmaker, Alex Cathcart, features input from Willie Clarke, who was a strong NUM member from virtually when he started in Glencraig Colliery.

Willie was a strong Communist figure and stood in the 1974 county council elections for the party and was elected, the start of a long and successful career.

Alex Cathcart wanted Willie's knowledge of how Gallacher operated and he visited him in Ballingry and was highly impressed with what the former councillor could tell him.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s internet channel, Ren TV, will show the 50-minute film, A Lion Rose in Paisley, on Wednesday at 7pm – 55 years to the day Gallacher died.