“Sorry. I’m not a biker, I’m a Liberal” – Brecon campaign diary

Brecon and Radnorshire is an enormous constituency. By my reckoning it takes up about a seventh of Wales. Geographically, it is the largest constituency in Wales and England.

There are two HQs for the Brecon and Radnorshire campaign. The Brecon HQ is perhaps most accessible for those coming from the south of England. The HQ in Llandrindod Wells is probably a better bet for those coming from the north.

Brecon is a fine town at the centre of the Brecon Beacons, boasting a cathedral.

I called into the Brecon HQ on Wednesday morning, and was immediately rewarded with three large bundles of the latest newspaper (above right, in both languages). I then rapidly found that I was “the only deliverer in the village” in one instance. The village in question, Clyro, is, I discovered, (rather tenuously) claimed to be part of the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes’ mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. (This claim seems to be hotly contested by Devon). Indeed, there is a prominent “Baskerville Hall”. (The sign I read said that Conan Doyle shifted the scene of the book from Wales to Devon, when a friend asked him, in order to discourage tourism to Dartmoor! I am still laughing about that now).

I helped at the 1995 Islwyn by-election. I called it the “John Buchan election” because most houses had 39 steps up to their door. Unfortunately, each letterbox was tantalisingly so close but too far away from its neighbour. Despite trying, doing two letterboxes from the same set of steps, stretching across the dividing fence, would have resulted in serious back injury. A “discombobulated sacroiliac” is, I am sure, not the medical term for this.

Well, Brecon and Radnorshire isn’t as bad as Islwyn but let’s just say that my “Health App” thinks that I climbed 36 flights of stairs yesterday.

In the afternoon I travelled up to Llandrindod Wells. It really is a very handsome spa town with some excellent architecture. The superb Radnorshire County Buildings, now flats, are just down from my digs.

I looked into the HQ. After my entire-village exertions, I was able to deliver some very close-together houses. Plus I have a few exciting villages/hamlets to sort out tomorrow.

In the evening, after marvelling at the Victorian railway station, including old signal box, I went to an excellent 16th century pub. It was very busy. It turns out that the Welsh Enduro Series, for Motocross bikes, is going through town (if you don’t believe me there is evidence on the right).

“Are you a biker?”

…asked the kind lady who showed me my room.

“No. Sorry. I’m a Liberal.” – was my reply.

There are two HQs – one in the south at Brecon and one in the north at Llandrindod Wells. They are both open every day from 10am until 7pm:

Brecon HQ: 26 High Street, Brecon, LD3 7LE

Llandrindod HQ: Haslemere, Park Crescent, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6AB

If you can’t come in person you can make calls from home by e-mailing: [email protected]

How to find us:

Join our virtual HQ:
Contact us:
Contact our volunteer accommodation team:
B&R events:

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Richard Underhill 27th Jun '19 - 9:34am

    T<he local council has not complained about the choice of polling day.
    The Speaker said to ask the Tory chief whip.

  • John Marriott 27th Jun '19 - 9:41am

    Yes, Paul, there’s a whole world, a REAL world, outside the Westminster bubble. And it’s going to the dogs unless people wake up!

  • @John Marriott – There is a whole real world outside of the SE and the M4/M3 corridor. I suspect Paul is discovering that mobile phone usage is problematic and thus paper-based OS maps are more reliable than Google maps…

  • Gordon Lishman 28th Jun '19 - 8:09am

    Did you deliver to the old vicarage and the old schoolhouse? That should have provoked shades of Francis Kilvert who loved and worked there.

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