I spent an enjoyable (honest) couple of hours yesterday evening going through an archive of Labour material from a sadly deceased member, who like me clearly had an insatiable desire to horde everything that ever came across her path.
The archive was genuinely amazing, apart from boring stuff like treasury accounts we found some absolutely amazing things – local election leaflets going back to 1953, an unused sticker from 1980 (‘Peter Ward’s off the Tories coupled with a drawing of a man shooting a fox), an accounts book dating back to 1929 (!) and also some election editions of the local newspaper the Telegraph & Argus.
My favourite one was for the 1987 local elections, as I browsed through and did a huge and genuine double-take when I saw a picture with the words ‘Eric Pickles’ underneath.
In all honesty if I hadn’t seen the words I would never have guessed it was the same man who is now Communities Secretary in the Coalition Government, but of course locally Eric Pickles is famous as the divisive leader of Bradford Council who became so disliked he had to find a Tory safe seat down south as he had no chance of getting elected in his home town of Bradford.
Anyway, you can see for yourself below what Pickles’ looked like way back in 1987 – I showed it to a colleague and he genuinely couldn’t believe it was the same man, judge for yourself: