Saturday 30th April 1988

A visit to Dr Dumbleton at St Neots doctors’ surgery who firstly advised that I just needed pain killers for my cracked ribs and could carry on being active and secondly that he and Mrs Dumbleton would be voting for me in my election! After lunch with Di and Della at Tooks, I carried on canvassing for an hour gaining even more electoral support and being accompanied by a gang of small boys and girls ‘helping me’ and then to mow the games lawn. Two Sealink ferries broke the union’s picket line but many of the country’s ferries remain stranded by the embargo

I had a very poor night. I could not lay without acute chest pains for most of it and was quite incapacitated and in agony. It seemed almost like a spasm in the side of, and under, my ribcage and so this morning we decided to seek an emergency Doctor’s appointment. I telephoned the new St Neots group practice surgery in Huntingdon Street and they were good enough to let me come straight in, even though it was Saturday morning. I had visions of resting for the rest of the day, but the Doctor advised me that I should keep active and just take painkilling tablets. The idea is to keep the lungs fully inflated and avoiding lung infections and problems. I was glad to find the duty Doctor was Dr Dumbleton of The Dial, Little Paxton, and he volunteered the canvassing information that he and his wife will be voting for me next Thursday!

Friday 29th April 1988

Some concern over my lawns before canvassing again in supportive areas of Little Paxton on a damp and chilly day as the girls swan in the pool and the ferry dispute talks failed.  Tony Jacklin’s wife, only 42, has died in Spain and the Ryder Cup Captain is devastated

Slept well enough last night and was up and about in good time for breakfast for once. Just cereal, as usual, and then out to the doves and to chat to Pete about the lawns. He was to cut them again today, despite being damp, as the grass is quite yellow as it has been too long in length for too long a time. Out this morning canvassing, an activity I was to repeat this afternoon and evening, with longish breaks for meals and watching the World Championship Snooker on TV. I made my own salad lunch and had a cooked meal this evening. Quite a successful day in Booth, Sweeting, Reynolds and Ramply, as well as Gordon Road, Sylvan and Bloomfield Close. I am now re-canvassing the ‘undecideds’ as well as getting the ‘outs’ for the first time and the support is good. I’ll not be able to get round though.

Thursday 28th April 1988

More canvassing, this time in the Tory area of Park Avenue and Park Way, competing successfully for flag-board sites. News of the IBA broadcasting a documentary on the IRA volunteers being shot dead in Gibraltar whilst surrendering despite the government trying to suppress the story. The strike-breaking ferries prepare to sail and High Court action is now adjourned pending talks at ACAS

A better time sleeping each night. This time I managed to turn over three times! Slow to get up again and I actually attended breakfast with the family, but only wearing my pyjamas. It had rained heavily through the night and continued this morning for a while. I showered and shaved after my meal and prepared to work on in my office, but the weather cleared up and I realised that I should go canvassing after all. This morning I worked in the Park Avenue area, where one active Tory had been persuading his neighbours to accept garden boards and had been putting them up. My efforts were of limited success, due to the area being with Tory, but I had my successes in Park Way, where I got acceptance for a diamond board right opposite the paper shop.

Wednesday 27th April 1988

Placing more election flag boards in key Southoe sites and back to do more canvassing in Little Paxton before driving over to Southoe Parish Assembly where sitting councillor Jeanette Green was also there and I was invited to talk about the benefits of local representation. The government has had to make major concessions on the Social Security side of the Finance Bill to secure support from their own back-benchers and 250 strike-breaking sailors are being flown over to Holland to try and bring the P&O ferries back as the strike hurts the company now that Hull, Dover and Folkestone are all hit by the troubles.

Slept a little better last night, but my ribs were still sore and I had trouble turning over. Awoke to my morning tea and got slowly up, showered and shaved, interrupted by the two girls, who wanted to come and see me. Breakfast on my own, after the others had finished, and then I got the Range Rover loaded with more election boards and drove off to place them – 1 in Lakefield Avenue, and then two placed one at each side at the corner of Lees Lane, where it adjoins the A1, to welcome people to the village. Back home then and I let the ducks out and set off for an hour’s canvassing before lunch. I tackled the end of Gordon Road and Park Side and found a few of the ‘outs’ and ‘undecideds’ in and willing to support me. Lunch and then I mowed the games lawn, as rain was expected. I was glad I did ‘cause, as I canvassed later, the rain began to pour and got steadily heavier, until we were awash by this evening. After tea and tending the ducks, I drove over to Southoe Village Hall for the Parish Assembly. I was later invited to talk to the few people there and emphasised the role of an attentive District Counsellor and extolled the benefits of local representation.