Well it happened and having set up during the day I was extremely encouraged to find people waiting outside when I arrived to lock up. By the time we started the place was pretty full:
The candidates were on great form and provided some informative answers and some great (and at times quire sparky) discussion.
And so it is right that I say 'thank you' to some people:
First thank you has to go to my family (and especially Wendy) for putting up with the last few weeks of me being a real hustings pain - and especially to Wendy for lumping in all the kit:
And setting up and buying the tea, coffee and biscuits (and water) and the like and then helping to take it all down again and load the vehicles (thank you also Lia' and Tobi'). I'd forgotten that one of the joys of being the sound man was that everyone vanishes and you're left stopping off Gaffer tape and wounding (properly) the cables and the like. Happy days or what?
Secondly, thanks for to the five candidates:
Carol Dean, Jan Higgins, Nicola Holmes, Chris Pincher, Jenny Pinkett for turning up and being so engaged and willing to engage after the event too. I hope you all found the evening profitable and enjoyable too :-)
Thanks go to Esther for providing a signing service for the evening. All too often churches seem to think that as long as you can get a wheelchair through the door then they are disability friendly but large print and signers (and subtitles where needed) are all essential - and the event need to make it accessible to everyone - and thanks to Esther (and Jackie Eales for putting her in the frame) we did!
TCR FM were excellent and showed the worth of community radio as they broadcast the whole of the hustings event to those who would otherwise have been unable to attend and so made democracy that little more accessible. TCR FM is a real, but sometimes undervalued, treasure - take some time to find out about it here. Thank you Mike Thomas and to Dan for the tech' support :-)
Oliver Harrison needs a nod for diving in to provide refreshments of the more traditional tea and coffee and the audible refreshment with the political challenge that is the traditional heckler! Now signing him up for the Deanery Morris Dancing Team now he's proved his abilities.
So too does Jessica Harrison, a lady who opened the St Editha's bookshop on the night of the hustings and someone who works tirelessly to provide a great fairly traded goods (and more besides) outlet.
Thanks to Graham Criddle, Bob Smith, Helen Machin for their support of this event.
So good to see church making the difference to our town yet again.