Election night 1997

Probably like many, I went to sleep the other night with the radio on so that I could follow the progress of the American presidential election through the night. Only, what actually happened was what happens every time I fall asleep with the radio on: I had a restless night’s sleep.

Each time I woke I also reached for my mobile phone which was lying face down on my bedside table, I turned it over, brushed my finger across the fingerprint reader to unlock it and tapped at the BBC News app as my face lit up from its feint glow. One question: who is winning? Please let it be Biden.

Of course, two days later and we’re still waiting.

Every election night I am reminded of that general election night in 1997, the one where Labour overturned the Conservative government and put Tony Blair into Number 10.

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Welsh party

Lena Fox House, Crimscott Street, Bermondsey in London

Between 1995 and 1997 I lived and worked in central London in three homeless hostels run by the Shaftesbury Society. I spent the longest time at Lena Fox House (LFH) on Crimscott Street in Bermondsey and not long after we opened I worked alongside a lovely Welshman called Dave Smith.

We didn’t work long together but our friendship and trust went deep quickly and his is a friendship that I still value today. Two memories stick in my mind about Dave.

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