Sunday, 21 March 2010

Liberal England: Man of the Day: Cecil Beresford Ramage MC

Liberal England: Man of the Day: Cecil Beresford Ramage MC

Jonathan Calder corrects my memory over on Liberal England. He points out that Cecil Ramage the Liberal candidate for Southport in 1929 played the Crown counsel whose powerful prosecution did much to secure Louis Mazzini's conviction in Kind Hearts on Coronets not the defence barrister.

Whilst we a on such trivia Ramage was the youngest Liberal candidate for Southport-until I came along in 1983 and pinched his record being a few months younger. I await correction from Michael Braham but I fancy I also took his record for the largest share of the vote by a loosing candidate. The one consolation was that I did poll more votes than Mrs Thatcher that election! It is a crazy electoral system.

This all began with a posting about elections campaign songs. I asserted that the last time a campaign song saw active service in Southport was during the Ramage election. Checking back through the files I see that the Liberals actually published a song sheet. It is on page 34 of the 'official record' if you follow the link.

When I was on Cheshire County Council our Chief Whip was a very fine gentleman Bill Leathwood. He came from a strong Liberal/Methodist family. He an I got to discussing music during one of the long council meetings we used to hold. He and I had a slight disagreement about a piece of music the council had commissioned from John Taverner. Bill had wanted something that the people of Cheshire could join and sing-like the hymns and oratorios he was so fond of. Anyway the next time we had a meeting he produced a copy of a Liberal Song book published by LPD in 1910 which had belonged to his father. I still have a photocopy of it somewhere. Surprisingly the Land song does not appear. One or two favourites still feature in the Liberator Song book. I also remember that the hymn tunes to which many of the words were set were reprinted 'by kind permission of the Proprietors of the Congregational Church Hymnal '

The question that is now distracting me is what was the first Southport Liberal campaign song?


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