Monday, September 01, 2014
When I discovered that a rock festival featuring Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Pink Floyd had been held at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall, Spalding, in 1967, there was only one person I wanted to tell.
Simon Titley would have loved the Lincolnshire connection with the summer of love and, when he laughed, he would be laughing with the incongruity of such an event, not at it.
But Simon was already too ill and yesterday morning I learnt that he had died.
As far as Liberator ever had an ideological centre, Simon provided it. His favourite theme, expressed in this Liberal Democrat Voice article, was that the party had to build a core vote of people who were instinctively liberal on social issues.
This made impatient with both those who would reduce Liberalism to a question of free-market economics and also with those who believed that the answer was for us to work even harder to exploit local grievances.
As he would say, that fact that we have to work so hard to remind people that they voted for us last time round, is not a cause for pride but a sign of weakness.
I saw Simon in hospital in Lincoln a few weeks ago, but I shall remember the last time I met him in his pomp. We met in Melton Mowbray in October of last year and then had lunch.
And going through my photos from the day, I find that - quite unexpectedly - I have a couple of him that I took at the table. This is how I shall remember him.