Their days were numbered: Members of the Young Conservatives promote a recruiting rally on the Whitechapel Road in 1961
All who were there agreed that the first annual fashion show of the South Hammersmith branch of the Young Conservatives had been a triumph. Although the February day in 1964 had dawned cold and foggy, the damp air did not deter the local MP William Compton Carr nor his wife Mrs Compton Carr from attending. The Reverend Sullivan was also in the audience at the Constitutional Hall.
Young Conservative member Kenneth Maxfield wrote in that month's newsletter of the show's "four delightful, high-stepping young ladies, Alison, Carol, Hillary and Philippa" who sashayed down the catwalk in a "blaze of colours". He confessed that he had felt quite "dazed" by the display.
After the high glamour of the show (dresses kindly loaned by the House of Dorville) cups of tea were served at the back of the hall and "the most delicious scones" freshly baked by the redoubtable Beryl.
Such were the joys of the Young Conservatives (YCs) in their heyday. A dizzying round of fund-raising fashion parades, quiz nights, jumble sales, carol singing, boat trips and balls. Today, it seems terribly old-fashioned; a Salad Days idyll of wholesome pursuits and earnest door-to-door canvassing on behalf of local MPs with double-barrelled surnames.
Well-behaved they may have been but at their height the Young Conservatives were the largest voluntary political youth movement in the free world with the power to influence — if not decide — the outcome of general elections.
In 1951 it was roundly agreed that it was the YCs "wot won it". After six years in opposition, Churchill was returned to Downing Street. He could not have done it without the reforming zeal of Lord Woolton, the former food minister and now party chairman, who understood that if the party was to have a future, it must attract younger voters.
- Is The West's Loss Of Faith Terminal?
- Is There Such A Thing As A Religious Vote In The UK?
- The Pope, The Jew, And The Vision Of Blue Labour
- How Scotland Lost Its Mind
- The Bitter Battle For The Soul Of Bradford West
- Workers Of The Right, Unite!
- The President Blinked — The Ayatollah Didn't
- Learn It By Heart For The Sake Of Civilisation
- Discover Aeschylus With Virginia Woolf
- Mr Cameron, Show The Country That You Care
- Campaign Diary
- Defying Duopoly: The Rise Of The Insurgents
- Don't Rig The System In Favour Of Coalitions
- Warring Gangsters Who Run The Country
- Political Correctness Is Devouring Itself
- An Archival Treasure Trove—And All Online
- Do we value freedom of speech in Britain?
- Can Europe's Jews Feel Safe Alongside Muslims?
- We Cannot Avoid The Battle Over Blasphemy
- Inside The World Of 'Non-Violent' Islamism