Member blogs

David Bellchamber 1947 – 2021

Sadly our fellow party member and dear friend David died July 28th. He was in hospital and caught Covid whilst there.  His death was a shock to us all – just hours before he died he phoned me about routine administrative matters.

David was our Elmbridge Branch Secretary for the last 20 years and a mainstay of Elmbridge Liberal Democrats for well over 25 years. He was involved initially in Walton, Hersham and Molesey before moving to Cobham. No one had his breadth of knowledge of local politics and he was involved in all aspects of the work of the local party. 

He stood as a candidate in many local elections and canvassed whether he was the candidate or not. He delivered untold thousands of leaflets.

He was the agent for our Parliamentary candidates in several General Elections as well as local ones. This task benefited from his aptitude for accuracy and precision to ensure we stayed within the complex rules. His extensive knowledge of these matters meant the rest of us could leave it to him and focus on other things.  

David usually worked late into the night, especially as a deadline for publication or elections approached.  Reflecting his background as a Solicitor David always ensured that leaflets and letters  were correct in every sense, including factual content, grammar and punctuation. In all of this David’s knowledge of the Constitution protocol and history proved invaluable.

He held strong views on protecting his local community and was determined to ensure that inappropriate development was questioned and, if  undesirable, amended or stopped.  His detailed understanding of planning legislation was a tremendous asset. The sight of illegally placed estate agent signs always greatly irritated him and could provoke him to action.

David was a helpful and supportive colleague as many members who were new to local politics know. Calm and considered, he saw the local party through some tough times to the resurgence of recent years.  He was so pleased that Esher and Walton Liberal Democrats did so well in the General Election of 2019, and that  electoral success  in Cobham and Downside, towards which he worked for so many years, was finally realised before he died, with Robin Stephens being elected. 

Above all we will greatly miss David as a good, caring, thoughtful and knowledgeable friend who gave much to his local community.

He is sorely missed.

If individuals wish to make a donation to a charity then the RNLI has been nominated, donations can be made in his memory.

Gill Smith
Elmbridge Liberal Democrats