Friday, August 12, 2016

Foxton locks - where the 1985 Liberal Assembly was organised

Back in the 1980s I spent a summer working for the Liberal party conference office. This being the old Liberal party, it was naturally housed in two semi-converted narrow boats moored deep in the Leicestershire countryside. 
It was one of those crazy periods when the Liberal/SDP Alliance had just won a startling byelection and everyone thought it was going to form the next government. The phones were hot with companies ringing up to ask if exhibition space was still available. We kept increasing the price, and they kept agreeing to pay it.
So I wrote for the Guardian website in 2007.

I was back at Foxton locks today, so I have another chance to show you where the 1985 Liberal Party Assembly in Dundee was organised. That summer we won back the Ashes and David Gower was always batting,

Those two semi-converted narrow boats lived on the arm that used to take boats to the bottom of the inclined plane that took boats up the hill in Edwardian days..

The arm is still given over to private moorings today, but I decided I had the right to revisit it.

What in 1985 was the vehicle access to the bottom of the locks is now a quiet footpath, and there are now two pubs down there: Bridge 61 and the Foxton Locks Inn.

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