Posted by: vickim57 | 13 June 2011

Patrick Rolfe, 1987-2011

It’s a sad reason to return to the Save Vestas blog after (too long) an absence but I have to report that Patrick Rolfe, one of the young people who kickstarted the Vestas campaign on the Isle of Wight in 2009, died on 10 June 2011 of cancer.

As well as environmental campaigning, Patrick fought cuts at his university (Sussex). He recently started a PhD at the University of Leeds, the topic, naturally, wind farms.

Patrick’s good friends wanted people involved in the Vestas campaign to know about his death, and to have a place to leave comments about or memories of Patrick. This blog is a fitting place, the Vestas campaign being something that he will be remembered for for a long time.

The Vestas campaign made an important contribution to the debate about the future for renewable energy, in the UK particularly, and about workers’ rights within that industry. These are still very hot topics. The Vestas company recently announced it wants to open a factory on another ‘island’, the Isle of Sheppey; again, like the Isle of Wight, a place with relatively high unemployment.

Again, Vestas is looking for government subsidies as the price for setting up operations, and a compliant workforce that is ‘just grateful to have a job’.

This weekend we saw the announcement that a government adviser wants schools to stop teaching about climate change. Patrick would have a lot to say on both these issues.

I remember Patrick Rolfe as a positive and intelligent young man, brimming with energy and enthusiasm for a just transition to a more sustainable world benefiting all. If, like me, you remember him warmly, I hope you will leave a comment in tribute.



  1. […] to see.We’ll be updating the article when other tributes are posted on the Save Vestas Blog [see post here] and Workers Liberty Website.You can email Patrick’s friend, Edward Maltby, on […]

  2. I knew Patrick from his time in Leeds as well as meeting him at various ENS events in London and he’ll be sorely missed. He was an intelligent, articulate, dedicated and open individual with an incredible sense of warmth and charm. It is incredibly sad to see him go before his time. My sympathies to his family, friends and comrades.

  3. My abiding memory of Patrick is listening to him play the guitar round a roaring fire, late into the night at the ‘magic roundabout’, two summers ago. I was shocked to hear the news and will miss him – as will the whole movement.

  4. I want to thank everyone for their tributes and comments. I’m Patrick’s sister, and since I work abroad I had not spent as much time as I wanted to talking to Pat in the last few years. We did not know how much he had led and inspired movements like the Vestas campaign, but it became clear as messages flooded in while we were with him in hospital, telling him how he has been an influence to so many people. It’s a side of him I am so glad to get to know now, through all of you his friends.

    Thankyou, Ella Rolfe

  5. sorry to read that Patrick has died, he like a number of people came to the island to support the vestas workers,and he was a fine example of a caring human being that this country and the wider world needs

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