Students discover the seat of local democracy in visit to Sheffield Town Hall

IMG_4861Journalism students took up positions of power when they were given a tour of Sheffield Town Hall.

In the chamber where the full council meets every month, Lucas Jones (right) sat in the Lord Mayor’s chair, while Tom Lowson (left) and George Dodds (middle) settled in as cabinet members.

Veteran councillor  Tony Damms showed a group of third year and postgrad Public Affairs students round the historic building opened by Queen Victoria in 1897.

Tony, 69, represents the Southey ward and has been a councillor for 36 years. He was Lord Mayor in 1989.

He showed the students a room containing photos of every Sheffield Lord Mayor, including the first woman in the role, Ann Eliza Longden in 1936.

Tony said she was one of the first women in the country to take up such a role, marking Sheffield out as a progressive city.

The students saw the Royal Charter ,granting Sheffield city status, as well as a library of books containing records of meetings from many years ago.

The students, who learn about local government as part of their module,  had a Q&A with Tony and were given the chance to stand on a balcony overlooking the Peace Gardens.