BAFTA for University of Leicester Graduate
|CAMPAIGNER: Rob Dawber (bearded, on right), pictured with fellow railway workers|
University of Leicester graduate has won a Bafta for his maiden script for the
Ken Loach film, The Navigators - but tragically died before the film was
Dawber, who graduated with a BA in Social Sciences from the University in 1978,
received the award at last month's ceremony. It was collected on his behalf by
his father and brother, Peter.
rail worker and writer contracted mesolethelioma and successfully sued his
employers over the fatal illness in what was seen as a landmark victory.
decision to take a job on the railways after gaining his degree at Leicester was
partly driven by his political commitment as well as to reflect his social
origins, according to Peter.
wanted to work with people he could relate to as we came from a working class
background," said Peter.
Dawber spent 18 years working for British Rail in Sheffield and was a trade
union activist, becoming branch secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen.
redundant at the time of privatisation, he chose to pursue a career as a writer,
whilst campaigning as he always had against the undermining of trade unions and
the impact that had on health and safety.
award-winning screenplay deals with the evils of privatisation. Peter said:
"Rob sent the draft of the screenplay to Ken Loach in 1998. It was
eventually accepted and Rob was
commissioned to develop it further. However,
two days after getting the commission, he was diagnosed with the fatal illness.
was given six months to live - but he searched tirelessly for a cure while
working on the script and taking legal action against his employers.
survived for two and a half years, got his victory in court and saw the final
cut of the movie. He died on February 20, 2001."
won the New Writer's Award for the Channel 4 film, part of which was shot at the
Great Central railway in Loughborough. It was screened on the anniversary of the
Hatfield disaster. It also received several international screenings at
prestigious film festivals.
said: "We collected the award on behalf of mum and dad and Rob's family. We
will now have a big party to celebrate his life and achievements. "Rob
really was an inspiration to all who knew him."
For more information, please contact Peter Ramsay-Dawber on 0115 848 4274 or
07968 054 975.
information on Rob can be found on: http://rob.dawber.net/
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