Our 34th annual party conference was held in Belper, Derbyshire, on Thurs 27 Sept till Sun 30th. We didn’t know what to expect after being in Blackpool for the last 3 years, but need not have worried, the town welcomed us with open arms. I had been promoting the show, media wise, for 3 months or more. So much so, that we made front page news in the local Belper newspaper 2 weeks before we got there. So it set the scene for a fantastic long weekend of idiocracy and loonacy, much better than all the other party’s could ever hope to achieve. Although they do try and maybe, just now and again, they do out-loony us!
The ‘Sunday Politics Show East Midlands’ filmed the Conference which can be picked up on IPlayer. Their parting shot after filming was that “we are much more fun than all the other party’s put together”.
Thursday saw lots of Loonys arriving, meeting and greeting. It was great to see more people attending earlier than Friday or Saturday. Dale Rowles and myself were invited to do an interview for local radio ‘Amber Valley Sound’ in late afternoon, which helped to promote the conference.
Delegates flew in from Germany, Jersey, West Virginia, Chicago, Scotland and Wales and all points of Great Britain. After a lot of banter and policy making, (which nobody remembers doing) we prepared for the weekend of events. Friday night opened up with a great set of influential political songs from ‘The Big Fibbers’. Special guest Gareth Icke, (yes the son of David) then entertained us, he was very good, his father would have been proud of him had he have been there, he was invited. Then ‘Gripper and the Gonads’ playing their third conference for us, (you’ve got be good to play for us more than once), and once more we shall see them again, I’ve no doubt. Well done lads.
At 12 noon on Saturday we met up at our conference centre ‘The George and Dragon’ to visit local hostelries for our promotional tour of the town. Everyone greeted us with a smile. We were joined now by ‘The Black Pig Border Morris Team’ who are all party members. We danced from the ‘The Old Dukes Head’ and sang from ‘The British Legion’, into the main high street where the buses stopped to allow passengers to watch. On to ‘The Railway’, then into ‘Arkwrights’, a small micro pub. We had already visited ‘The Lion’ and ‘Pump it Up’ on our way into town, so made our way back to ‘The Rifleman’ then back to the Conference centre for our annual ‘Cabinet Reshuffle!’
The Leaders speech was next on the agenda, after delegates had stopped laughing, they all gathered in the main hall waiting for proceedings to begin.
First to speak was the Party Chairman the ‘Jersey Flyer’ who welcomed and thanked all for attending before handing over to the Party Leader Howling ‘Laud’ Hope. He gave an exciting insight as to what had happened throughout the year much to the applause and bravo’s from the intently listening audience. Thanked all who had stood in their local elections in 2018 and a special welcome to all who had travelled from overseas. On a slightly sadder note he mentioned a couple of party members who are no longer with us, Christina Laugh and a Half – and Boney Morony, they are gone but not forgotten. We had a whole minutes laugh in their memory, and paid homage with a small libation.
On to the evening, local band ‘ManPant’ started the proceedings with the landlord of the ‘George and Dragon’, Craig, as lead vocalist, which surprised us all. At this point I wish to thank Craig and his staff for their hospitality over a great weekend.
Joe Jammer from Chicago gave a rousing performance with the new Loony Party ‘Oh Oh’ song. Plus a fine set of other classic Rock’n’Roll tunes. Superbly accompanied by ‘The Loony Party Allstars’
Montague Jacques Fromage 111 from Viginia gave us an insight into the ‘Steam Punk Rap World’ while compèreing the show. Next up was Dale Rowles and his BB Blackdog Band, they are quite local, so always a crowd puller. Party Members ‘Chinners’ and ‘Tiger Jones’ couldn’t resist singing a couple of songs with the bands. All ending with the final act Mr Badaxe. He has to go on at the end for inexplicable reasons. His T-shirts don’t have tour venues on the back, but all the places he is been banned from! We just shout for more! Special thanks to Dale for all his local expertise and knowledge when arranging this wonderful fiasco of superfluous amusement.
We don’t know yet where next year’s conference is, we have options to explore. Back to Belper maybe, Hook in Hampshire, Blackpool, Manchester would be good if we can pull it off, as that’s where next year’s Tory conference will be. Hartlepool has been mentioned also Mablethorpe or Skegness Lincolnshire. All of you who have been and seen, will realise that it can’t happen without your help, so if you have any ideas let us know. A decision will be made early next year. To this end I would like to thank all who had an input into ‘The Belter in Belper’. Thankyou to all who follow us, especially our members. Even more so the local Belperians. See you all again whenever, keep an eye on – loonyparty.com- and you won’t go far wrong!
Howling ‘Laud’ Hope
The 34th Loony Party conference is being held in the wonderful town of Belper in Derbyshire, on Thurs 27th – Fri 28th – Sat 29th September. One of Belpers’ main claim to fame is that for its size and area it has the most public houses of anywhere in the UK. Honestly it was sheer coincidence that our weekend also coincides with Belpers CAMRA festival weekend What good fun, should be interesting.
The Conference is being held in the ‘George and Dragon’ 117 Bridge Street. I shall be in residence as from Thurs 20th holding Loony Party Surgeries on various evenings. The entertainment that we have lined up for you include Dale Rowles and The BB Black Dog Band, Gripper and the Gurnards, Gareth Icke (yes Davids son), Joe Jammer from Chicago, ‘Bad Axe‘, and Loony Party stalwarts The Big Fibbers. Also on Sat The Black Pig Border Morris will be performing at various venues in the town starting at The Old Kings Head, Day lane at 2 o/c.
Accommodation in Belper is filling up quickly so don’t hesitate any longer and get yourself booked in for the best fun loving Party Conference in the Looniverse.
Anyone looking for accommodation in Belper Call Sam at ‘Mirabelle B+B’: 07967 409 424
See you all there.
Howling ‘Laud’ Hope – Party Leader.
The funeral of Boney Maroney took place at the Huddersfield Crematorium on Monday 3rd September at 14.45 hours. There were so many people present that there was standing room only for some.The ceremony was conducted by Mr. Chris Berry – The Celebrant – and he gave a a most amusing and heartwarming account of some of Boney’s life. Afterwards there was a gathering at “The Allied” inn at Honley.
I would like to thank the two members of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party who took the trouble to come with me to the ceremony. Robert Stanton – aka “Professor Nabob”and Colin Jones aka – “Tiger – Earl of Llanfairpwll-gwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob-wllllantysiliogogogoch.” I flew over to England on Saturday 1st and went to Aldershot to meet Bob and then Colin who drove up from Wales.
On saturday at 13.00 hours we convened in the “Imperial Standard” public house where one can purchase fine liquid refreshment for a pre – funeral wake in memory of Boney. We were joined later by the Loony Boss Leader – Alan Hope and a splendid night was had by all I can tell you!!!! We drove up to Huddersfield on Sunday and then attended both the funeral and the gathering at Honley. It was a pleasure to see Stan – Melodie’s husband – again and Dave Savage – top dog of the Savages group.
I’d also like to thank “Chinners” for providing some very special limited edition badges for the occasion. Thank you very much.
The Jersey Flyer
aka – Baron Baskerville – The Dartmoor Loony
Chairman – Official Monster Raving Loony Party
Melodie Staniforth (Boney Maroney), wife of our Drummer Sledgehammer Stan has lost her battle against cancer.
Apologies to anyone who didn’t know about the events over the last 12 months, but some things really aren’t for Facebook.
Mel was deputy leader of the Official Monster Raving Party for many years and we campaigned together often with me being her election agent… They were good times and we had lots of laughs along the way… She will always be remembered as a Loony.
THANK YOU for all your lovely messages and comments regarding the tragic death of Mel. I’ve passed on your support to Sledgehammer Stan & family and it’s much appreciated.
A date has now been set for the funeral (which will be a civil non religious service) at Huddersfield Crematorium on Monday 3rd September at 2.45pm.
EVERYONE is welcome as the family would like to make it more a celebration of her life than a miserable affair mourning her death… Yes she will be much missed, but that’s partly because she was such a character… come tell your stories.
All donations will be going to The Cats Protection League. Thank you again
It is with deep regret and sorrow that we have to report the passing of ‘Boney Maroney’ Melody Staniforth, our long time Deputy Leader and Secretary. She had been ill for some time, so had not participated in party matters for a while. Our thoughts to Stan her husband, and all family and relations. On behalf of all ‘Monster Raving Loony Party’ members, thank you for all you achieved on our behalf.
Anybody wishing to attend the ‘Memory of Melody’ it will be held on
Monday 3rd Sept, 2.35pm, Huddersfield Crem.
Howling ‘Laud’ Hope
Loony Party Leader
Known to us all as Chrissie Laugh and a Half. She joined us when we held our conference in Aldershot Hampshire, and a staunch follower whilst she was able.
Notably, conferences in Yateley, Jersey, Hook, Fleet and Matlock. Always the life and soul of the party, she just had that way about her. Our Minister for ‘Teddy Bears Picnics and Marmalade Sandwiches’. Was always on hand to take the collection bucket around for charity. She will be remembered for her fun loving ways, always a smile and a laugh, hence her name.
We shall drink to her memory at our conference in Belper, Derbyshire in September later this year. RIP my love, we shall miss you!
Howling ‘Laud’ Hope