I'm also going to have a drink with the Norfolk Blogger, Nich Starling, in the Maid's Head before the UEA bash. We used to hold a lot fo our meetings there, and in a pub opposite called The Lawyer. A favourite hangout was a pizza restaurant a few yards away in Tombland called Pizza One, Pancakes Too. And another few hundred yards down the road is the nightclub - then called Bonds - where I first got totally off my head on pernod & blacks (yes, a real tarts drink, I know). I downed eleven in two hours - very Hagueish. Ah, the memories. Anyway, where was I?
One of my main memories of running UEA Tories was a meeting we held in 1985 with Cecil Parkinson as guest speaker. He was slowly being rehabiliated after his 1983 resignation and we expected a big crowd in Lecture Theatre 1. Little did I know that when we walked in it was full to overflowing, with 900 students.
He got a standing ovation, which I was a little surprised at, as UEA was a very left wing university in those days. In fact his reception was so good that it provoked the socialist workers' crowd who tried to invade the stage. They failed at that due to the skilful work of members of the UEA Rugby Society, so then the eggs started coming in. Noen of them hit Cecil. They all hit Ann, his wife, and me. My new suit was ruined. Cecil was furious and shouted "which little lefty rat threw that at my wife?" The rest of the audience cheered and turned on the egg throwers who left without further incident. What a great meeting! Cecil loved it! The picture is of the ensuing dinner, at the Maid's Head Hotel (although Cecil is hidden behind me!). Anyway, there will be lots of reminiscing later and I have no doubt that the evening will end with me feeling very old and past it.
I have another memory of me debating with Caroline Flint at a student union meeting the pros and cons of taking VAT off tampons. She was Chair of the
Among my other contemporaries were Mark Seddon, who I tried to get sacked as student union president for funnelling student union money to striking miners. Ann Taylor's former adviser Iain Mackenzie was also there, as was former NUS president Vicky Phillips and Jo Gibbons who now works for Tony Blair. She really didn't like me very much.
Anyway, if you have memories of your own time in student politics, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Top pic Cecil Parkinson(obscured (!), me, Ann Parkinson, Jeremy Dann, Jill Powley
Middle picture left to right Jon Shortland, Chris Whiteside, Jo Fiuza and Philip Bastiman
Bottom pic left to right Jeremy Dann, John Powley MP, Cecil Parkinson, me, Ann Parkinson