Graham Ellis sharing years of experience as a thought on each day
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The campaign not the campaigner

This campaign tip (no. 14) was published on Monday, 14th January 2019
First and foremost, tell people about your campaign - not yourself, your story, or how you came to be involved.

You may be involved and driven by a hardship caused. You may have suffered because of an injustice - you may have your family broken apart or lost a loved one, you may have suffered months and years of pain. But if you're working to change the system to save others from the same fate, tell people about the system and not your story.

So, first and foremost, I'll tell you about campaigning for improved public transport. I'll tell you about the absurdity of a town of 25,000 people which is knitted in to the Melksham web of market towns, yet had only two trains each way at its railway station each day. About traffic jams on the road, long journey times, effect on the local economy and quality of life, absurd cost of running a facility that was so poor it was effectively useless.

And the I'll go on to tell you about a vision - about how it could be so much better.

Personal story of the campaigner? Nah - the public aren't that interested; you'll loose them if you concentrate on the sob story - the why you are involved in this campaign; it may be useful as a background page somewhere, especially to help the people with whom and to whom you're campaigning appreciate your commitment to the campaign and project. But that's not first and foremost.

Melksham needs a proper train service. It still needs an appropriate train service. It's moved up from a train every 12 hours to a train every 2 hours and that's taken in from "useless" to "poor" - and in doing so passenger numbers are up 20 times over. But still there are so many people who say "it only works if I know I don't have a long wait" ... it needs stepping up to hourly. Do that, and the number of people who travel on each train will double. Yes, twice the trains, twice the traffic on each - four times the number of passenger. Up from 3,800 annual journeys in 1998 to 75,000 journeys in 2018, and it should be over 300,000 journeys by 2028. Pie in the sky - or just bringing Melksham closer to being in line with other towns of similar size in Wiltshire?
Discussion via Coffee Shop forum

Contact details

These pages are written by Graham Ellis of Melksham, Wiltshire. Overlapping a life in IT and IT training, with running a hotel and campaigning for improved public transport, Graham has never been quiet - though he's starting to wind down gently now. He no longer takes overnight guests and has stepped doen from the "Community Rail Officer" role which he accidentally aquired. So he now has more time to write pages such as these and to travel in the UK. He'll be delighted to speak with your group or take a look through your case or camapaign, but be alerted that his time is not limitless even now, and he still has to keep the wolf from the door.

Postal: 48, Spa Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 7NY
Phonal: 01225 708225
Emailal: graham -at-
Or reach me on the Coffee Shop Forum (User Grahame) facilities

What a difference a campaign makes!

It probably wouldn't have happened without a strong community campaign with which I have been involved. Most days through 2019 I'll be sharing a thought, an idea, a way of working or an experience. Come back here for the links. Discussions via the Coffee Shop Forum - Graham Ellis, 31st December 2018

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