A RETIRED van driver who researched his family history found his grandfather was an anarchist!

And now Angus Lindsay, 72, of Haslingden, is appealing for people who can help him piece together more of his grandfather's life.

Mr Lindsay, who said he was not politically minded himself, was shocked to find his grandfather Robert was a political activist in the early days of what has now become the Labour party.

He has been tracking his descendants since discovering a detailed log of letters between his grandfather and fellow activist Philip Morris two years ago.

The logs were written in shorthand as a form of code because of the anarchist nature of the letters.

Mr Lindsay has recently had them translated to discover more about his heritage.

He said: "I have never really had much recollection of him and my own father was very conservative, so I was surprised to learn that my grandfather was an anarchist.

"I had no idea."

Grandfather-of-seven Mr Lindsay said the research showed his own grandfather was a railway station master who lived near Edinburgh in around 1895.

Mr Lindsay, who has lived in Haslingden all his life, sent the letters to historian Peter Savage who unearthed some fascinating insights into the workings of the activists.

Their activities included organising strikes as they strove to revolutionise the working class and overthrow the government.

The letters also detail the tragedy of Philip Morris' son, also a committed socialist and member of the Independent Labour Party, who killed himself in 1896. He was just 15-years-old.

Angus added: "I'm going through the books to learn about the political side of these people that I know nothing about.

"Now that we have got so far it just seems there is so much more to learn.

"Every day we are finding out more and more about them both and we think there may be more books."