29th March 2015 W.Oxford & Abingdon, Albert Park.
The Liberal Democrat Party election campaign launch takes place at picturesque Abingdon on Thames in pouring rain.
Famous for it’s Long Alley Almhouses, Christ’s Hospital of Abingdon established Albert Park in 1860. The entrance to the park is the backdrop to the Lib Dem’s gathering and, along with The Victorian church of St Michael and all the Angels and red brick detached victorian houses, to my drawings of the event.
Local supporters and their candidate Leyla Moran gather under brightly coloured umbrellas and await the arrival of their ‘battle bus’ and party leader .
The party have commissioned 2nd year Chelsea School of Art illustration student , Lisa Chisolm, to design the bus exterior . A very good idea. Ms Chisolm arrives with Nick Clegg on the battle bus. Her designs form several diamonds each depicting a key election issue. The diagonally printed orange Lib Dem placards are good props to draw as supporters have to hold them in a slightly awkward fashion to orientate them correctly.
Mr Clegg addresses his cagouled supporters from the daffodil dotted park entrance. He is dressed in casual Sunday attire.
Accompanied by the press, supporters and the local candidate, the party leader strides off carrying a placard and a rubber mallet. My lightening sketch of him hammering the placard into the shingle flower bed at number 11 is comprised solely of the mallet, the placard and Nick.
Back at the battle bus I make several sketches of the party leader and Leyla Moran as they speak in an unhurried manner to the press. Ms Moran hopes to unseat the current Conservative MP, Nicola Blackwood, in the key marginal seat of Oxford West and Abingdon. She is wearing a daffodil pin on her lapel, a nice visual link I can use in my sketches to the verge-side daffodils which are now looking slightly trampled.