Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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204                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XV.
Town Council being also made Aldermen of the County Council. I stood again at the urgent solicitation of my supporters, but only on the condition that a second candidate was forthcoming. As it happened, a very suitable one was at hand in the person of the late Mr. G. H. Lawrence, a member of the distinguished Indian family of that name ; and the figures at the poll showed the wisdom of my electioneering tactics. I won the seat for myself, and carried in my friend though only by a majority of 3. That majority of three had an interesting history. I was driving up to the poll, not many minutes before it closed, and overtook 3 lady voters, sisters. One of them shouted out, " we are all three going to plump for you," I replied " Please do not plump : split your votes between me and Mr. Lawrence." They acted on my suggestion and so we carried the second seat.
The declaration of the poll showed :
Chambers, G. F.......     441
Lawrence, G. H. .. .. ..     361
Young, T. ........     358
Skinner, J. A. .. .. .. ..     337
I retained my seat on the County Council unchallenged for 15 years, during which time I went through four triennial Elections. My first two contested Elections cost me altogether 30, because I went in heavily for printing and meetings, but at the subsequent uncontested Elections my expenses on one occasion amounted to no more than 4d., and the next time only to 2d., being the cost of certain unavoidable postage stamps.
I lost my seat in 1904 in consequence of a furious opposition engineered by political Dissenters, who made great and successful efforts all over Sussex, indeed all over England, to obtain a dominant position to control the Education policy of the Councils in the interests of Dissent, and to the detriment of the Church. They put up against me a political Dissenter, lately come to reside in the town, knowing nothing of its wants and caring nothing for its interests, except as viewed through sectarian spectacles. He was, however, a strong Candidate from the standpoint of blankets, etc., etc.
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