SCOTTISH National Party campaigners have paid tribute to dedicated activist Charlie Webster following his sudden death last month.

Charlie joined the SNP more than 40 years ago and quickly established himself as a pillar of the Vale of Leven Branch and Dumbarton Constituency Association.

Graeme McCormick, convener of SNP Dumbarton CA, told the Reporter: “In those days, any electoral success for the SNP was a delightful respite from the internal disputes over the party’s direction of travel, the vice-like grip which Labour had on the political levers of power in Scotland and the collapse of our industrial traditions both locally and nationally engineered by successive Conservative governments.

“For anyone to join the SNP at that time was brave but to remain committed and active throughout the years before Scotland regained her parliament displayed a certain type of tenacity with which few are endowed. Charlie had it in abundance.”

The Gartocharn resident was the branch membership secretary and had an “unshakeable faith” that the party would succeed.

Mr McCormick said: “For many years he was the branch membership secretary and supported every event and campaign with the same dedication and the unshakable faith that one day we should succeed. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him in furthering the cause of independence and the SNP.”

Charlie lived in Gartocharn and throughout his time there he was the SNP’s ambassador to that Parish, calling in on houses and farms several times to proclaim our cause and garner votes.

He added: “The redoubtable Margaret McGregor, who was the SNP councillor for over 30 years for the wider council area, recalled that on more than one election during lean times for the SNP nationally, it was thanks to Charlie’s efforts in Gartocharn that she saved her seat.

“Charlie had an enduring friendship with another SNP councillor, the late Jim Chirrey whose ability to progress the independence cause was also legion. No lamp post in the Vale escaped an SNP poster erected by the double-act of Jim and Charlie.

“In the run-up to the 2007 Scottish Election, which would see the election of the SNP government for the first time, Charlie established a new double-act with Bill Barclay, who also recently passed away, when they spent the best part of a year, five days a week, delivering four editions of the SNP campaign paper in our battle van.

“We didn’t quite win the seat but we increased our share of the vote significantly both helping the SNP to win more regional list seats in the west of Scotland region and laying the groundwork for our subsequent campaigns and successes at council and Westminster seats and brought the Holyrood seat within our grasp. In all these campaigns, as well as the referendum, Charlie has been a constant player.”

Charlie recently moved to Peebles to be close to his family. There, he joined the local SNP branch and kept in regular contact with friends in Dumbarton and the Vale.

Mr McCormick said: “In recent times Charlie moved to Peebles to be close to his family. There he joined the local SNP branch and continued to work tirelessly for Independence. He continued to attend National Conference and kept in regular touch with his friends here. He was a lovely man and the most dependable and thoughtful of friends. His quiet and charming manner belied a steely resolve.

“When we do achieve independence, as surely we shall, Charlie Webster will be smiling down on us.

“Every SNP branch through hard and good times has always had at least one giant who kept the flame alive through sheer hard work.

“We in Dumbarton CA have been so fortunate to have had more than most. Charlie was one of our giants. To repay him we must do all in our collective power to win Dumbarton constituency in 2021 and grasp Independence.

“In conclusion the Constituency Association extends it warmest condolences to Elspeth, Charlie’s companion and his family.”

The CA extended its condolences to Elspeth, Charlie’s companion, and his family.