Blue Heritage Plaque

Published: 02 January 2019


Lionel ‘Len’ Murray was most widely known for his trade union work and in particular for his service as General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress from 1973 until his retirement in 1984.

Lord Murray was born in Shropshire in 1922 and attended Wellington Grammar School.  He read English at London University but left early owing to the emphasis on Anglo-Saxon language. After a short period as a school teacher he served as a lieutenant in the Shropshire Regiment during the Second World War, taking part in the Normandy D-Day landings. After being invalided out of the army Len gained a place at New College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first in philosophy, politics and economics after just two years’ study.

In 1945 Len married Heather Woolf, and they had two sons and two daughters. He began his career in the TUC in 1947 as an assistant in the Economics Department, becoming General Secretary in 1973. In 1966 he was appointed an OBE and made a member of the Privy Council in 1976. In 1985 he was elevated to the peerage of Lord Murray of Epping Forest.

Locally, Len was a member of the Loughton Methodist Church and Loughton and District Historical Society, and a supporter of many charities. The Town Council’s Murray Hall in Borders Lane, which opened in 2006, was named in his honour.

Lord Murray lived in Loughton from 1954 residing at 29 The Crescent from 1967 until his death in 2004. The ceremony will be led by town mayor, Cllr Stephen Murray, one of Lord Murray’s four children, who will be joined by other family members and representatives from local groups including the Loughton Methodist Church, the Epping Forest Heritage Trust (successor organisation to the Friends of Epping Forest) and the Christian Drama Resource Centre.