Something in common with Iain Dale

Iain Dale (born 1962) says that his earliest political memory is the power cuts and 3-day week in 1974.

I was born a bit later (1964) and certainly remember that: it seemed a great hoot – sitting in candlelight in the kitchen at home with my dad. But I have an earlier memory of being taught to use the new decimal coins (1971). Does anyone else remember that we used to refer to ‘new pence’ or ‘new p’ rather than just ‘pence’?

Adam Rickett has the fall of the Berlin Wall as his first memory (bless..). I was living in Austria at the time and, following a call from my old friend Martin Pierce who was flying out from England and had arranged some accomodation with a cousin, rearranged the flights that I was taking to a business meeting in Frankfurt and arrived in Berlin on November 17th (on Pan Am, since Lufthansa wasn’t allowed to fly to Berlin). The wall had opened on 9th November. The Brandenburg Gate was still closed. Somewhere I have a T-shirt in the style of a concert tour T-shirt entitled the “Break the Wall Tour 1989” listing the dates that all the crossings opened with “Brandenburger Tor” still listed as “????”. I remember going to the British sector and seeing British soldiers handing out cups of tea to the arriving East Germans as they crossed the border and feeling proud at what I thought was a particularly fine introduction to British culture and the west. I remember going for a meal in a rather empty East Berlin and being told that nothing on the menu was available apart from two types of meat and one type of vegetable (and loads of excellent beer). But the main thing I remember is the ‘chink, chink, chink’ sound as everyone joined in bashing down the wall. The piece of Berlin Wall that I personally removed is one of my proudest possessions.

Author: Martin Tod

Martin Tod is a marketing professional and Liberal Democrat living in Winchester.

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