As the British Election campaign entered its second week, it became clear that both leaders of the two main parties are adopting the informal "walk-about" technique to win support from the electorate.
SV Wilson and wife walking in Westminster Bridge area of London
CU Photographers taking pictures as Wilson walks past (2 shots)
CU CU Wilson gives autograph to boy (Natural sound)
SV & CU Wilson and wife walking
STV PAN Heath walking along Dunstable street surrounded by newsmen
CU Elderly lady complaining to Heath
TV & CU Heath continues walk-about
WILSON: "What is your name?"
BOY: "Ian Grant."
WILSON: "Where are you from?"
WOMAN: "Well for four months, I'm freezing with the cold. I've got no heat. No noting."
HEATH: "Well you must go and see your supplementary benefit office. They can look after all that for you."
Initials BB/1853 NPJ/MR/BB/1917
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As the British Election campaign entered its second week, it became clear that both leaders of the two main parties are adopting the informal "walk-about" technique to win support from the electorate.
On Monday (18 February) the leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Harold Wilson, walked across Westminster Bridge from the Houses of Parliament to the headquarters of the Greater London Council on the other side of the river Thames. This particular jaunt was designed more for the benefit of newsmen, rather than a "meet-the-people" exercise.
The people he met on the south Bank included a small boy who asked for his autograph. On his return journey across Westminster Bridge, Mr. Wilson chatted to newsmen, many of whom asked him about the state of his health. The questions arose because his voice sounded hoarse and strained. He said the trouble had been caused by answering hecklers at a meeting in Portsmouth.
The Prime Minister, Mr. Edward Heath, has also been conducting "meet-the-people" excursions in city streets and shopping centres. Mr. Heath's schedule for Monday took him to Johnstone near Glasgow in Scotland, where he set off on foot to meet the people. His planned twenty-minute walk through the town square was cut short when he was surrounded by an estimated on thousand angry car workers chanting "heath out. Heath out." He only managed to get about twenty feet from his car before he was forced to return to it.
Our coverage shows a one-woman protest that Mr. Heath encountered on one of his first walk-about excursions of the campaign -- in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, last Tuesday (12 February). A 73-year-old lady told him that she had not eaten meat for a month, and that she had no heating and no coal. He advised her to go to see her local supplementary benefits office, and they would look after her.
This film includes exchanges in sound between Heath and Wilson and members of the public. The following is a transcription of those exchanges.