Ben Abbotts our candidate in the spotlight
Last night local Councillor Ben Abbotts was selected as the candidate to fight the forthcoming Bromley & Chislehurst parliamentary by-election.
Ben Abbotts right with Dr Ian Magrath. Photo taken today specially to post on my blog.
Today as planned set out for the campaign HQ. Arrived at Victoria Station only to find it in chaos. People packed everywhere. All the trains were either delayed or cancelled due to a breakdown at one station and a signal failure at another. It was on one train then get off again, go to another and so on. After over 2 hours of messing about I almost gave up. Suddenly another train to Bromley South was announced - my last attempt, sat down in the train and waited. At least it left Victoria station but kept stopping and waiting all along the route. Not to worry I had a book with me. Good thing I did because the journey took 45 minutes - reading reduced my frustration.
Alighting at Bromley South station, the Headquarters was easy to find right next door, No 3 Bromley High Street. It's on the first floor of a modern office building (turn right on leaving the station - it's on the same side of the road). There's a brilliant picture on the local campaign website.
It's now open everyday from 9am to 9pm - is very smart and everythings well organised, geared up ready to go.
The photo right is Susan & Brian Taylor. Susan I know from Cowley street as a volunteer in membership. Imagine they have just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and most of their life they have been Liberal, now Liberal Democrat campaigners. Their children are Lib Dem heavy weights in different parts of the country.
Heard great things about the candidate and the hustings the previous night. I was curious to meet the man himself. Needs a special kind of person to take on the Tories. About to leave - looked up and there he was walking towards me ready to introduce himself. Well! my first impression - wow. Such a smart, handsome looking man. He exuberates confidence, natural charm and charisma - has a winning smile. Just the kind of candidate I'd envisaged. The women voters will love him.
We have never met before but he claimed he had heard of me by name and my blog (that did surprise me). My camera always ready to hand he posed for the picture above specially for tonights posting.
Leaving the office this evening decided to try the alternative route home. The way I know and not the route recommended. Got off the train at Herne Hill and joined the Thameslink train direct to Kentish Town. The whole journey home only took twenty minutes, no tube changes - so quick and no stress. Would definitely recommend the service for anybody travelling to the HQ by train.
Update: For a clearer explanation of the route thanks to Mark Valladares (he lives in that neck of the woods); For those travelling from North London, or from Wimbledon and Sutton, take First Capital Connect service (Thameslink lost the franchise) - Luton to Sutton trains only - to Herne Hill, where you can switch to the South Eastern service to Orpington via Beckenham Junction, which calls at Bromley South.
You can also connect to the First Capital Connect service (route still known as Thameslink) at Farringdon, Kings Cross Thameslink, Kentish Town and West Hampstead. It's also useful from Elephant & Castle, Blackfriars, Mill Hill Broadway, Hendon & Cricklewood.
I hope that this more is helpful and will encourage more members to help with the campaign. Not noticed bloggers - LibDemBlogs making any comments yet. We need some support from the heavyweight bloggers who have a larger readership than this blog.
Another transport update: For people coming from East London and large parts of SE London, the quickest way is to get the DLR to Lewisham and then jump on the 208 bus which starts there and drops you right near the by-election HQ alongside Bromley South station.