Lancaster nostalgia: a look back at general elections before the war

As the general election approaches on June 8 local historian David Kenyon takes a look back at previous elections before the war.

Saturday, 27th May 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 8:03 pm
David Kenyon looks back on a general election before the war.

In the early years after the Second World War, general elections were exciting times for Wray villagers.

After the war the old order was being swept away, with the Labour party winning the election with a large majority.

Prospective parliamentary candidates held meetings in the village institute.

The prospective MPs were given a good grilling by local people about their policies.

The Liberal party was in decline at this time, Bill Brown from Backsbottom Farm, who had been a lifelong Liberal party supporter, found when he entered the institute that the Liberal candidate had changed sides and was supporting the Conservatives.

Bill walked out slamming the door so hard it flew off its hinges.

Sadly many years later Bill and his wife Alice were nearly drowned when Backsbottom Farm was destroyed in the Wray flood of 1967.

Our uncle Jim was a big Labour party supporter, he was a good speaker and always gave the Conservative candidate a hard time, we were quite proud of uncle Jim.

His heckling did not go down at all well with 
the Conservative ladies down at the front, who kept repeating over and over again “oh and those wicked men”.

Coming up the street 
after a meeting, my uncle Jim said something about the election to a group of ladies returning to their homes.

One of the ladies replied: “Go on! You don’t know what you are talking 
about; they are born to rule.”

She was talking about the Conservative party.

With the advent of television, political meetings in villages faded away. Prospective parliamentary candidates had to work hard to get elected in those far off days.

Many thanks to David Kenyon for sharing his memories.