Wednesday, March 01, 2017

"An audience with Jonathan Wallace"

Audience with Jonathan Wallace Feb 17

I was rather amused and also slightly taken aback when the agenda for the March meeting of Sunniside History Society was advertised at the February meeting. I noticed the last item was "An audience with Jonathan Wallace"! Fortunately for the good people of Sunniside, the Secretary had put it on the agenda as a joke! After all, I can't think of something more likely to scare away the punters!

The next meeting will actually be used to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the History Society back in March 1992. That month certainly brings back memories for me, not necessarily happy ones. I was Lib Dem candidate for Hexham and 2 days before John Major called the election, my Conservative opponent Alan Amos MP, was arrested on Hampstead Heath. Two days later, Amos was gone, there was a media field day on my private life (Shock as Lib Dem Candidate comes out as GAY in Sex Scandal Hexham type headlines) and Labour ran a scurrilous homophobic campaign against me. (Don't anyone try to tell me the North East Labour Party is progressive.) Having spent nearly 3 years as candidate, I saw my dreams of being elected to Parliament crumble in front of me.

So March 1992 was quite an eventful month for me. But at the society meeting next week, I won't be talking about my experiences. Instead, I'll be running a quiz about the events of 1992. There will also be a "Name that Price" competition in which people will have to guess the price of various goods on sale in 1992. The research I've been doing on it is rather interesting and I will write about this after the society event.

So, no "Audience with Jonathan Wallace" but an interesting evening in store for anyone who lived through 1992.

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