Monday, July 07, 2008

My Howden days

The television news is reporting on the Church of England Synod, which is taking place at the University of York. The pictures are just as I remember the campus: all ducks, willow trees and a central hall that looks as though it has just landed from outer space.

It seems it is still called the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, despite its late patron's spot of bother over Guinness and Distillers.

Those pictures remind me that in the days (1978-81) when I was an undergraduate at York, the campus was in the Howden constituency. For reasons no one quite understood, the Liberals traditionally finished second there.

I recall handing out a leaflet during the 1979 general election. It showed a wrecking ball labelled Lib knocking down a rickety building labelled Con. The idea was to get Labour students to vote Liberal.

Trivia: Leading Lib Dem blogger Mary Reid and I both have Philosophy degrees from York.


Anonymous said...

You very kindly didn't mention that I was there before you! In fact, we didn't even have a Central Hall then, just Derwent, Langwith and some squash courts.

Anonymous said...

Labour didn't stand at any General Election in Howdenshire as it then was until 1935 when they finished last & lost their deposit.In the elections of 1923 and 1924 the Tory got back unopposed but in 1929 the Liberals still managed to get within a few hundred votes of winning.

Despite better results post-war Labour never quite built up a traditional or 'hereditary' vote.The Liberals,despite intermittent neglect (ongoing?) never allowed this vote to die.

Unknown said...

I'm also a York Univ Philosophy graduate (& ex Deputy President of the SU as a Lib Dem). There's quite a grand tradition of York Univ Liberals/ Lib Dems isn't there? Not least Greg Mulholland but also Simon Bryceson and others. I also rembered canvassing in the 87 campaign in Selby for a candidate who didn't really have a hope there called Vince Cable.

Unknown said...

Simon Bryceson lives! Happy to hear from any old Yorkists or liberals.

Just put a @ between my first and second name and dot com after that.

Or my gmail address which I think comes up with this post.