Wednesday 26 April 1989

After tending my poster boards and chasing the printers for more copies of my book this morning I just had enough preparation time to make an effective contribution to the full meeting of Huntingdonshire District Council this afternoon. The Labour group helped me by seconding my proposals and amendments and, in the end, the Tories fell out with each other over making spending choices with insufficient funding. Another successful Southoe Parish meeting tonight followed

I started out by intending to spend the morning preparing for my full meeting of District Council, but it was soon diverted into a whole host of worthy distractions. The need to tend my poster boards first thing and then to chase the printers for more supplies of the History of Little Paxton as we are running out. In the end, I had only an hour or two’s preparation, but I could at least read through the papers and mark up some points to raise. I dropped off some election forms at Pathfinder House and then spent the afternoon asking embarrassing questions of the Tory majority group and tabling amendments. The Labour Group help by seconding my proposals so that they could be discussed and together we were quite effective in opposition. Later, the Tories fell out with each other in the face of making choices between the leisure developments they favoured with the budget that could not finance them all. This evening, I went on to the Southoe Parish meeting and made a good contribution to proceedings in the absence of Percy, who was delayed

Tuesday 25th April 1989

All our election poster boards went untouched overnight as it poured with rain and then turned to snow and slush. After working on my accounts this morning, I was pleased that the cash and cheques equalled all the books that we had sold. I was canvassing with Percy in Buckden after lunch before the rain finally stopped us but I also prepared Debbie’s post-birthday party invitations and gave Daniel a driving lesson each side of another canvassing session in Southoe. Arguments between Britain, West Germany and America over plans for upgrading NATO short range nuclear weapons. Liverpool are considering whether to continue in the FA Cup after the countless deaths of their fans at Hillsborough.

The rain poured all night long and at least all our poster boards and flag boards went untouched as I could see when I went around this morning. I decided to work on the accounts for the books that I had sold yesterday. I counted out the unsold copies (23 as of this morning from the first 100), then counted those sold by cheque and finally the cash received and managed to reconcile the whole, which was very good in view of the mayhem last night.  I then I wrote out receipts for the listed people and finally filled in a few forms. After lunch, I went out with Percy and did some canvassing in Buckden all afternoon before the rain came upon us this evening. I typed up and laid out the invitations for Debbie’s Birthday Party and then gave Daniel a driving lesson each side of a canvassing session in Southoe. Encouraging results, but it took far too long. The news this evening is of Gorbachev sacking one third of the older and more conservative members of his central committee. Younger and more radical and supportive members would be put in their place.

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Monday 24th April 1989

A day started with me completing negotiations with Derek Holley who had to agree to my draft of his apology to be published in the local paper. Then a successful afternoon canvassing the council house bungalows in Buckden on behalf Percy before returning to help Michael re-erect some of his Paxton signs. Off to the Village Hall early this evening to set up my projector and my talk went very well as I sold some 80 of the 100 books.

This was a very full day and a wet once later as it poured with rain all afternoon and evening. The first part of it was taking up with a succession of phone calls and facsimiles to and from Derek Holley who eventually agreed to the form of words we proposed, and we should now see an apology in this week’s Hunts Post paper. Later, I drove over to Buckden to help Percy canvass the council house bungalows, where the results were quite good. This afternoon, I helped Michael Pope get some of his Paxton signs back up and then got out my slide projector to try it out for my evening talk. After tea, I changed and showered and there was then a visit from PC Smith of Offord to see me and Michael about the local recent weekend vandalism. A real ‘Mr Plod’ of limited intellect and capabilities which was quite depressing. Then, off to the village hall where I set up my projector, laid out the books and prepared my talk to an open meeting of the Women’s Institute and Little Paxton Village on The History of Little Paxton. There was over 100 people there and 80 of my books were sold. My talk went down very well and those present had an enjoyable evening and thanked me afterwards. Home by 10pm, but it was nearly midnight again before I had finished my diary, relaxed and could get to bed.

Sunday 23rd April 1989

After confronting Bob Grubb over his family’s involvement with my poster boards, I took Daniel for a driving lesson for Cambridge and once back, reinstated the boards with Mike and his dad. This, before a family visit to St James’s Church for the St George’s Day parade. During the service, the Rev Peter Lewis advocated my book and publicised my village talk tomorrow. Vera Ruff and Ivy Bunnage really appreciated presentation editions which I took round today. In the meeting with all our candidates this evening, we agreed to concentrate on Percy’s ward where our efforts should have the biggest effect. The news all week has been dominated by the football tragedy.

I was up early this morning and ate a nice fried breakfast. This was the last relaxing thing I did today. I chose to go around Paxton for 15 minutes before taking Daniel for a driving lesson to Cambridge. I found most of our poster boards down and damaged again and I knocked up the Grub family at 8:30am to see if they knew anything about it as I suspected his son and friends. An angry exchange ensued, and I left them to it and came back to take Daniel out. Daniel drove quite well to Cambridge and then stayed the day with his friend Gary. Once back, I went out to help Mike and his Dad restore the flag boards, rescuing two from the river and re-erecting them. I had missed Bob Grubb when he came to see me and, after lunch, I took Della to the church so that we could watch Di and Debbie in the St George’s Day Parade.