A visit to Graham and Sarah Riddick's lovely home and garden in the Weald this afternoon finished a heavy weekend of Conservative Party events (five in total). Today was the annual Garden Party for Gold Members and members of the Patrons' Club.
The event brought together members from the three Associations I work for (Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling and Chatham & Aylesford) with each of the Associations taking a turn to host this annual event.
The guest speaker today was Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Energy and MP for Sevenoaks. I told Michael that back in 1983, when I was just 17, I went to Darlington to help at a parliamentary by-election where he was the candidate. He lost by 2,000 votes before winning the seat three months later at the General Election.
The personal highlight of the day was towards the end, as the guests were leaving, a longstanding member who is an outstanding fundraiser came over to say that she had been so inspired by my presentation at yesterday's "Road to 2014" conference, that she had decide to join us canvassing, and that it was the first time she had ever agreed to do so in over 30 years active membership.
Locally we have three levels of membership.
Standard membership is £25.00.
We then have Gold Membership at £60.00, which includes an invitation to the annual Champagne Afternoon Tea.
Finally we have the Patrons' Club at £200.00 ,which includes the Champagne Afternoon Tea and also an autumn dinner at a prestigious London venue with a top rank guest speaker. This year we shall welcome Rt Hon Michael Gove MP at the Athenaeum Club.