Thinking of Congleton General Elections brought to mind Jo Grimond's unscheduled visit. I never got the full story but as much as pieced together was as follows.
Jo was persuaded to come down from Orkney late on in the campaign. I think he was meant to be speaking in Hazel Grove but some how the wires got crossed and Viv Bingham(former President of the party) met him by chance at Manchester airport. There was no meeting at Hazel Grove that night and there was a frantic ring around 'target' seats to see where he could be best deployed.
It didn't take long for us to say yes-to this day I cannot fathom the logic of those who turned him down. The word was soon out the Jo was coming and disbelieving activists arrived from all corners of the constituency each clutching a pamphlet or book of Jo's for signiture. I was a great night and really cheered everyone up. We always claimed it as Jo's last election appearance.
The meeting was a bit of a damp squib. I was speaking to the NFU in a pub. Anyway Jo was brilliant.