The place to be this weekend - and a test drive with a difference!
Rosemarie and Nick Hollinghurst from Tring answered the call - and went up to help in the Shropshire North By-Election, just "a little further" up the A41 from Tring. It turned out to be over 125 miles further up and more than a few more miles off the A4, but well worth the journey.
Being retired, and so with greater flexibility, they decided to go up towards the end of the week to help get material ready for the big rush of volunteers on the final weekend of campaigning. They also decided to test the capability and practicability of their new EV on its first long run.
They had a slow journey north, but, despite a long diversion for repairs to a railway bridge, they checked into the Old Rectory, a nice old hotel in Wem, at ¼ past 3 on Thursday - and immediately retraced their steps to arrive at the Liberal Democrat Campaign HQ in the grounds of nearby Soulton Hall. They worked counting out and making up leaflet rounds till gone 7 pm. then returned to the hotel in Wem.
Then, meeting Jane and Nigel Quinton from Welwyn - also trying out a new EV - they joined them for a pleasant dinner at the Fox in Wem just down the road from the Old Rectory.
Up in the morning at 7 on Friday, and fortified by the usual "English Breakfast" then packed and headed back to the HQ. There they found two more Hertfordshire Lib Dems, Malcolm Appleford and Robin Bromyard from Hemel Hempstead who were putting up poster boards. Nick and Rosemarie put in a solid 4½ hour session of clerical work Friday by a better and uneventful journey home. The EV performed splendidly.
Organisation in the HQ was very good, with an air of quiet confidence and everyone we met was friendly and good company - most importantly there was coffee ad libitum.
Anyone with time should please go and help out if they can. It's a widely dispersed area and needs lots of deliverers and canvassers, but based on Nick's experience back in Brecon and Radnor canvassing in rural areas is always appreciated by the electors - he found that talking to people in their own farmyard can be very rewarding. One tip though - don't stand too close behind a cow in a milking shed!
Well, it IS different from Chesham & Amersham, but I'm making no other comment at all. If you want to get a feel for the situation, then go up and find out at first hand. The result will be known on Friday, but whatever that it is, your journey will not be wasted. At the very least we can feel we Did Our Bit! The people in Shropshire North deserve better than either corrupt Tories or disappointing Labour, and it would not be surpising if enough of them come see that over the next few days!
A local campaigner like Helen Morgan is just what this area needs as its MP!