Putting a bomb under it, and other polling day stories

There was a bit of drama in Kingston upon Thames on Thursday morning. Construction workers uncovered a 250Kg unexploded WW2 bomb near the town centre.

A large exclusion zone was set up, and 1500 people were evacuated from their homes.

The area included the town centre campus for Kingston University, two schools – and two polling stations, which had to be relocated.

Yesterday the army built a large sandbag ‘room’ around the device and exploded it, leaving quite a mess.

Local businesses kindly supplied free food and other provisions to the residents who had been displaced to the emergency centre set up in a nearby church. Councillors took time out from campaigning on polling day to check that residents were OK at the centre, and the campaign team in Grove ward did their best to alert residents by email and through social media about the change in polling stations.

By coincidence, on Referendum Day in 2016 two other polling stations in the borough had to be hastily relocated when they suffered overnight flooding.

So do you have any polling day stories to tell us?

Also, over on the ALDC Facebook group there is a bit of a competition going on to see which area had the highest turnout. So far South Cambs is in the lead with 48.3%, although Kingston on 48.1% may have the best excuse for lower turnouts in one ward, at least.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames and is a member of Federal Conference Committee.

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  • Ironic, on the day we elected our representatives to an organisation which has preserved the peace so well. Similarly: I spent a week in Germany in January because I thought travel might never be as easy again, and the town I was staying in (Lingen, Lower Saxony) was evacuated for exactly the same reason.

  • Tom Barney – yes, I spotted the irony that it was a German bomb disrupting our EU election, after over 70 years of peace. Almost entitled the post “Don’t mention the war”.

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