Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to Witney….

Dave Page Hilly Mathies broken down by motorwayYesterday, Dave Page, one of the Sarah Browns and I came down from Manchester to help the by-election fight in Witney. It was very good of Dave to do all that driving especially when, on the way, he had to deal with a minor car breakdown, on the side of the motorway…(see right)

Undeterred, we were soon back in the car and made it to Witney and the HQ. But only for a few minutes – as Dave said, it’s a great feeling to come into a well-run by-election HQ, but you’re not there for long because they’ve sent you out with something to do – that’s how you know it is a great by-election HQ.

winninghere-at-witney-from-holly-mathiesDave and I put up stakeboards first. He reckoned we did about 50 miles of driving around West Oxfordshire, and we had some adventures getting lost, fighting with hedges, trying to find things to stand on to reach the top of the tall stakes to hammer them in.

When we came back we worked with chums from Sheffield and Portsmouth before one of the local team came upstairs to tell us that their team meeting was starting. “So, you want us to make less noise?” Sarah asked. But no, they wanted us to join in! It was really great hearing all the statistics: thousands of doors knocked on, thousands more leaflets delivered, well over one hundred activists and helpers through the door, even a couple of new canvassers who became a couple of new party members.

Everyone was asked if they had anything to say, not just the core team but us non-local people just there for the day or weekend: when I was asked, all I had to say was that it was my first time helping out at a by-election and I had so much fun, I want to go back.

I envied those who were staying, who were all off to the pub, but we had to go back to Manchester. The drive back was thankfully uneventful and I got dropped off at home about sixteen hours after I’d been picked up.

A long day but we all loved it, were sad we couldn’t stay over, and are seriously wondering if we can make it to Witney again before the election.

* Holly is an immigrant, bisexual, disabled, and probably can tick most other diversity boxes that you have handy.

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