Saturday, September 01, 2007

UEA Conservatives 25th Anniversary Bash

Once upon a time ago - 25 years ago, in fact - a small group of intrepid Thatcherites set up a stand at the University of East Anglia Freshers Fair, and the UEA Conservative Society was born. This was in the autumn of 1983. UEA was an extremely left wing university, so we weren't expecting much, but to our astonishment we attracted nearly 200 members, which turned out to be more than the Labour Party. We had an absolute ball during that academic year which culminated in the 1983 general election and the election of two Tory MPs in the City of Norwich. Those were the days.

On Wednesday 10 October the current UEA Conservative officers have arranged a 25th anniversary piss up event at a bar in Norwich and have kindly asked me to speak at it. The reason I'm writing this is to ask if any other 'alumni' of UEA Conservatives over the years would like to indulge in a trip up memory lane and come back to Norwich for the evening. Jonathan Shortland, Jo Fiuza, Tim Quint, Phil Bastiman are you reading this?!
If anyone knows any Tories who went to UEA will you please tell them about this, or email me their details and whereabouts?

11 comments:

Struan Jamieson said...

East Anglia- NOUVEAU RICHE- Now the University of Glasgow Conservative Association was established in 1836 to campaign for the election of Sir Robert Peel as Lord Rector of the University.- probably the oldest University Conservative ASssociation in history.

Suggest when East Anglia celebrates its 173rd anniversary in the year 2157AD, then there can be a gathering of alumini

fr said...

Strange. I have a distinct recollection of joining the society at the 1969 freshers do. I never actually went to any meetings as they were really posh in those days as the placed was full of people duped by rumours that Princess Anne was going to go there.

Iain Dale said...

FR,you may well be right. All I know is that when I went there in 1981 there was nothing. It had been moribund for at least two years. So at the beginning of my second year in the autumn of 1982 we reformed it.

tapestry said...

Looks like a set from a sci-fi B movie. Are you sure Tories can be found inside such modern looking buildings? Better let Portillo know.

I can remember being roundly hated at Oxford for being a Conservative. I did Law there from 72-75 - same course as Blair at same time.

Funny thing is that most of those lefties are now high-up bank executives and so on. I cannot believe they're still the same rampant socialists they were then. They all had shoulder length hair and spots.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

I like this post... reminds me of UEA's arch-rivals essex university.

Once a hot bed of radicalism, now CF is easily the biggest political soc.

hatfield girl said...

Let's hope you're not the victims of friendly fire blue on blues in those Iranian buildings. Awfully near Lakenheath.

Ed said...

That building is incredible!

The Spackeroon said...

Speaking of university Conservative societies, one is being set up at mine, Sussex Uni. Will be interesting to see how many it can attract in what is still a very left-wing uni.

Chris Whiteside said...

That brings back more than a few memories - the "Sack Seddon" campaign when we called a no-confidence ballot against SU president Mark Seddon (subsequently a member of the Labour NEC) after he illegally used student union resources to suport the miners strike: our attempt to overturn "no platform" policy" and the night that a vote on our amendment to a "Troops Out" motion was so close that they had to call a division.

As you will probably remember Iain, the UEA buildings were sometimes called "the great stranded battleship in the fens" and from certain angles they really look like one. (In fact the only group of buildings which I know that looks more like a battleship than UEA is Sellafield but let's not follow that one up.)

Don't know if I am likely to be able to get to the 25th anniversary do, but if not please give everyone my regards

Roger Thornhill said...

You know you are a human being when...


...you say "God, Thats an ugly building!"

Antony said...

Shouldn't that be Wednesday 10th October???