Saturday, 1 May 2010

Ely Eel Day - and the very best of electioneering

I have had some extraordinary electioneering experiences in my life - experiences that include being poster supremo for Francis Pym in the 1960s, doing loudspeaker tours for Francis Pym and James Paice in the 1970s and 1980s and my own big wins as a County Councillor in the 1970s and 1980s - but today at Ely, with the City's 'Ely Eel Day,' surpassed any of my previous experiences, and it was such fun, too, in such glorious weather.

The people of Ely and the surrounding areas have been extraordinarily kind and supportive of me. I cannot express sufficient gratitude for that kindness and support. The people are really on track to elect their first truly Independent MP since the time of Oliver Cromwell, one of my historical heroes and a former resident of the City.

My wife, Sue, and our grandson, James, were on hand, the former chatting to people, handing out leaflets and taking numerous pictures (see some of them below), and the latter also accosting people, handing out leaflets and acting as my 'minder.' James is such a big chap that I say to those with a sense of humour that if they disagree with me, James will thump them. Thumping people was not needed today, for nearly everyone agreed with my 'party' line, which is, of course, independent of any party line.

My top priorities, if elected on Thursday next , are the interests of the people of South East Cambridgeshire, not 'the party line' as handed down from on high and from 'leaders' who know nothing of the needs of South East Cambridgeshire.

Here is me with the minder.

There now follow a series of superb pictures of people and us and our doings today in Ely. The captions are minimal. Just soak up the happy and positive atmosphere from the pictures. I wish that all of my readers could have been there in Ely in reality.

Here I am with my new young friends from Star Radio. Ely's historic Old Palace is in the background.

And here I am with another pledged supporter.

And another group who are with me.

And a lady who could not have made more helpful noises.

And my old mate, Eddie Holden, who writes often to the Ely papers.

Then Alan and Ursula Revill, who taught our kids faithfully and well at Swaffham Bulbeck School.

We were then amazed to meet a 'bellow' of town criers, in Ely for the Ely Eel Day and visiting from all over the country.

I have never seen so many town criers together before today.

What a great and truly English scene.

Avril Hayter-Smith, Ely's own town crier, is pictured here (right).

I then hit the head of the Ely Eel parade ...

... and joined in. Well, why not? I was there and so was the parade!

I walked alongside my friends, Councillor Peter Cresswell, the Chairman of East Cambridge District Council, his lovely wife, Roslyn, and Councillor Richard Hobbs, the Mayor of Ely.

And I'm also on friendly terms with Councillor Jeremy Friend-Smith.

Next were some knights in shining armour and chain mail. It was a wonderful show.

After the parade had passed, I met another group of friends. The gentleman on the left is aged 90 and the lady in the wheel-chair, his wife of 60 years (Sue and I have been married for 'only' 48 years), is 85. They had tales to tell and they told me the tales. I learned a lot again.

My next meeting was with some visitors from Arizona. Both had been in the service. The young man on the right had done tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I thanked him.

And I also came across another real independent. This gentleman has fought for independence at March, Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately, because he lives at March, he can't vote for me. He wanted to.

I regret that the Market Street scene is still spoiled by that Mr Borland's 'development' (or non-development). It is still plastered with Tory posters. I am not surprised, for those people try anything, even if they lose face and votes in the process.

We did more canvassing in the West Fen Road and St. Ovin's Green area and met many more friends and supporters, including a gentleman who had been in the armed forces in the Second World War and who had been present at the liberation of the infamous concentration camps at Dachau and Buchenwald. I was in the presence of a man who had made history. I shook his hand and was honoured to have done so.

Wow, what a day we all had!

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