Friday, May 28, 2010

People called Boak(e)s

The Thirsk & Malton election was delayed because of the death of John Boakes. The name rang a bell and I identified the clanging as Commander Bill Boaks, the eccentric parliamentary candidate. Wikipedia has an interesting biography of him. I particularly like that the first time he stood, in 1951, he intended to stand against the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, whose constituency was Walthamstow West, but Boaks got it wrong and fought Walthamstow East as an independent candidate for "Admiral" (which stood for "Association of Democratic Monarchists Representing All Women") and got 174 votes out of 40,001 cast.

Boaks obviously disliked Attlee who relied upon his (Attlee's) wife Vi to drive him (Attlee) when campaigning. Mrs Attlee was a notoriously bad driver and Boaks attempted private prosecutions whenever she crashed. Boaks himself used to campaign from the middle of roundabouts, until moved on by police. His funeral was attended by the then Transport Minister, Peter Bottomley.

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