Some years ago, when the prospects of serious political success in Brent were, to be blunt, rather less than they later became, I was appointed as Returning Officer for the Parliamentary candidate selections in Brent.
At that time, there were three individual, free-standing Local Parties, none of whom had a large membership. Indeed, Brent East had just forty-seven members, and only seven of those voted in the uncontested selection.
Brent South was likewise an unopposed 'contest', and the candidate was a young man called Julian Brazil. It was his first attempt at selection, and he was duly adopted by a vote of two to nil. He was an enthusiastic candidate in a contest against Paul Boateng but duly went down to defeat in what was hardly an unexpected result. However, he performed well, and earned a positive report.
To cut a long story short, Julian is now our PPC in Totnes, a seat where we harbour hopes of success, and it was a pleasure to spend an evening with him, his new wife and three dozen or so local members and, of course, my lovely wife. We were attending a dinner at a restaurant called 'Alf Resco' and a really rather pleasant time was had by all, made even better by the fact that a goodly sum of money was made to support the campaign.
It has been one of the curious features of our travels that I keep running into people that I've worked with. I wonder what happened to the young woman who chaired Brent & Harrow Young Liberals in 1986/87?..