Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Brendan Cox In Conversation....

The doors of Fitzharrys School opened just before 7pm on Friday 2nd February and a wave of people appeared, all vying for the best spot in which to watch the evening’s events unfold.

Emma Beacham from the Abingdon chapter of More In Common first took to the stage to introduce the event and to talk about the More in Common movement. The Abingdon group runs activities and drop in sessions to encourage a greater community spirit across the town. The 2017 Great Get Together was a great success and plans are already underway to do more of the same in 2018.

Brendan then appeared with Mark Thornton, who was interviewing him for the evening. After an introduction by Mark, conversation ensued covering a range of topics including memories of Jo Cox (both from a personal and public perspective), the idea behind More in Common, life in the public eye and the impact of politics on Brendan’s life.

The interview progressed with a fine mix of humour and sadness throughout. The audience were engaged from the start and Brendan never lost their attention with his open and honest responses to Mark’s questions.

After 45 minutes conversation, the floor was opened for questions which ranged from robust liberalism to a deeper analysis of some comments that Brendan had made on the political framework in Poland.

The interview was closed with a thank you from Jonathan Dennett, the head of Fitzharrys School and both Brendan and Mark were presented with gifts as a token of appreciation from the co-organisers; More In Common Abingdon, Mostly Books & Fitzharrys School.

Once the official part of the evening ended, Brendan moved to the back of the hall for a book signing and to give  guests an opportunity to find out more about More In Common.  Books sold fast, and a queue quickly formed with people keen to chat to Brendan about a variety of topics.  He was an absolute delight, polite, chatty, funny and genuinely interested in hearing from the people of Abingdon.

As the evening drew to a close, I was lucky enough to have a bit of a chat with Brendan himself. He was utterly charming, thanking the team and I for the work done in helping to organize and promote the event. After the obligatory photo shoot, it was time to clear down the books and head home.

Many thanks to everyone involved for making this such a wonderful evening and a huge thanks to Brendan for inspiring so many people.  Ticket proceeds from the event are being donated to the Jo Cox Foundation and Abingdon More in Common.

More photos from the event can be found on our Facebook page here.

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