Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gordon Brown has fired the starting gun

As expected, the Prime Minister went to 'Buck House' this morning and the present Parliament is to be dissolved next Monday with the General Election fixed for Thursday, the 6th of May. The date would have been my late father's 105th birthday and some of my friends think that this augurs well for my independent attempt at winning the South East Cambridgeshire constituency, my home area and the home area of the ancestors of both Sue and I. We shall see.

My favourite cartoonist, Peter Brookes of The Times, has caricatured Gordon Brown brilliantly again, but I am not convinced that the message is true. Labour is going to perform much better than the latest cartoon implies.

After hearing the announcement at home, Sue and I decided to stick to our home territory in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Our first visit of the day was to Mrs June Shrubbs, a staunch friend and consistent supporter of many years' standing. June and I worked hard together for the Conservatives, but hers is one of the signatures on my nomination paper for this election. June's generous action tells me more of the mood of Lode than any pollster could. Sue and I presented our friend with a souvenir rosette and we thanked her for all she that has done - and is doing. I have to say that we are friends with three generations of the Shrubbs family and I also have to say that if we were not friends with the family I would know that I had done something seriously amiss. Thankfully, June still tells me that I am right and that many others believe the same. I must not betray the faith of such good folk. Here are June and I today.

We canvassed almost all of Lode and, almost without exception, we met massive support. It was all most encouraging. Here follow a small selection of pictures taken whilst we were on our rounds. They give a flavour of another delightful Cambridgeshire village on a really decent day, weather-wise. It was a treat to be out and I soon removed the red sweat shirt that I was wearing for starters.

John and Doreen Webb and 'Millenium' dog, Molly (she was born in the year 2000, Molly, that is), were enjoying the sun and the lovely front garden show. We chatted for quite a time with them.

Sue 'did' most of Northfields and Millards Lane and I stopped by the home of my old mate, Mr Gerald Wakefield, on Swaffham Road. Near his house is sited the village sign for Lode with Longmeadow, as below. The top was blowing back a bit in the wind.

Finally, a call at the Lode Social Club (formerly the Lode Labour Club) revealed some local history. My pictures of parts of the two foundation stones, laid on the 30th of May, 1931, show that one bears the name of the late Councillor A.E. Stubbs who went on to become a County Alderman and the Labour M.P. for Cambridgeshire in the landslide General Election of 1945. The other bears the name of the late Councillor F.H. (Freddie) Fry who also went on to become a County Alderman in Cambridgeshire. I love this historic stuff. Here are the two stones with the respective famous names inscribed thereon.

I concluded the day with more canvassing at what I call 'new Fulbourn' - otherwise known as Fulbourn Beechwood - which is closer to Cherry Hinton than it is to the village of Fulbourn. My guess is that the estate - conveniently located right opposite the big Tesco store - will be incorporated into the City of Cambridge in the not-too-distant future. Anyway, it seems that I have many friends in Fulbourn Beechwood - in Clover Court, Coltsfoot Close, Comfret Court, Harebell Close, Lucerne Close, Primrose Close, Speedwell Close, Teasel Way, Valerian Court, Violet Close, etc. - and I am pleased about that.

Late news came in to the effect that the junior team have delivered many more leaflets in Soham. My sincere thanks to them. Another community awaits their attention!

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