I grew up in the north eastern and largely working class town of Redcar. (Known by racing enthusiasts for the Racecourse and by Geography students of the 70s and 80s for its steel industry).
I did my first campaigning there during the 1987 General Election - canvassing in Chris Abbott's ward and was signed up to the Liberal Party by his then ward colleague Stan Wilson.
In those days Redcar was not a hotbed of Liberalism although both the Liberals and the SDP had a few seats locally.
More recently however the Lib Dems have really been gaining ground. The part of town where I grew up was Tory held when I was there, but we have held it for years now. We have now established ourselves as the main opposition to Labour and came a creditable, if still some distance behind, second place last time.
More recently we have been winning local by-elections and last night completed our hattrick with Eric Howden's sensational victory in Dormanstown.
Eric took 52% of the vote with a 22.9% swing from Labour.
So what, you might think, particularly as you probably haven't the first clue where Redcar is, let alone Dormanstown.
Well Dormanstown is about as Labour as it gets.
It is real vote for a donkey with a red rosette territory.
If Labour are losing places like Dormanstown they really are up a brown smelly creek without a handily shaped wooden implement.
So well done Eric, Ian, Chris and team.
Have a virtual pint on me, and keep up the good work.