Temporary postal clerk at Grenada Publishing, Frogmore, Jan 1980
First Real Job
Joined BT (then known as British Telecom) in 1985 as an Assistant Commercial Analyst
First Role in Politics
Press Officer of St Albans YCs in 1979
An blue mini van which had previously been owned by a fencer and a nurse. On one side it had a sticker which said "Fencing, a modern sport" and on the other one which said "Give Blood"
Flanders and Swan "At the drop of another hat."
First major sports match attended
I watched David Gower's England side win the Ashes at the Oval in 1985
A joint primary schools music concert in about 1970.
First Country Visited
France, on a day trip to Boulogne with the school where my mother taught, at the age of 10
First TV Appearance
"Cross Questions" which is the Anglia TV equivalent of Question Time in about 1984 (In the audience, not on the panel.)
First Political Speech
At my school's Junior Debating Society in about 1972 ...
Many years ago, a colleague who had sensed that my then boss's secretary and myself were attracted to each other but that neither of us would have done anything about it manipulated us into going out for a meal together. We ended up going out together for a year.
First Encounter with a Famous Person
Apparently at a family wedding aged about six I aimed my first camera at the groom's brother, noticed a lady next to him automatically pose, and said ("Oh, I'm not taking one of you, I'm taking a photo of Uncle Eric.") I have no memory of this, but my family repeated the story for years afterwards, as the lady was my grandmother's friend Violet Carson (Ena Sharples from Coronation Street.)
First Brush With Death
Spun off the road just in front of two large lorries when I hit a patch of ice on the road in 1985.
First House/Flat Owned
5 Abbots Avenue, St Albans.
First Film Seen at a Cinema
"The Jungle Book" at a cinema near Bracknell aged about 7.
First Time on the Radio
BBC Three counties radio, local election night 1987, I had a microphone pointed in my direction and was asked for a comment just after being elected as a councillor for the first time
First Politician I Met
Sir Victor Goodhew, then MP for St Albans, who spoke at my school in 1976
First Book I Remember Reading
The Little Red Engine, aged about 5.
First Visit to the Theatre
"Puss in Boots" at St Albans Abbey Theatre, about 1971, on an evening when there were no buses and cars would hardly run due to heavy snow, so we walked there and back.
The first public election where I stood as a candidate was the 1985 Norfolk County Council election, Mousehold Ward (Next to Catton Grove where Iain Dale was contesting his first election at the same time.) A very safe Labour ward, takes its' name from Mousehold Heath where Jack Kett mustered his troops before starting his rebellion against Henry VIII. My campaign got about as far as his rebellion, but it was good experience.