One of the things about urban campaigning that I don't miss was that finding things was pretty easy. Streets are clearly named, houses have numbers. Villages are not always like that and, as a result, canvassing can be made rather more difficult than it might be. Barking is like that, a long, fairly linear village, where there are very few numbers - Fox Meadow and Tye Green are the only two clusters that come immediately to mind. So, how do you find them? What you need is a map. Technology will help to a certain extent, but local knowledge is far better.
Thursday saw me canvassing postal voters. There are approximately 250 postal voters in Barking and Somersham ward, and as the turnout among such voters tends to be about 75% in Mid Suffolk, as opposed to a more likely 30% among those obliged to vote in person, if you can do well with postal voters, you have a decided advantage. And, because they vote early, you have less time to canvass them. Thus, I wasn't knocking on every door - I had some particular addresses to find.
The evening started off well, if somewhat accidentally, when I knocked on the first door, only to find that the postal voter listed had moved. However, the very friendly lady who answered the door seemed happy to tell me that I could count on her support.
I made my way northwards, until I ran into a voter who had been helped by the outgoing Conservative Councillor. Not a natural Conservative, she was a reminder that, in rural seats, a record of hard work and attentiveness to local issues can trump political allegiance. Note that I use the word 'can', as it isn't a given, but it does help, especially in the world of rural districts, where wards are small (about 1,800 in Mid Suffolk) and issues more personal.
Into the second week, I was beginning to build some momentum...