Do you remember the days when many an urgent TV news interview on the state of the nation was conducted in a plumbers’ yard? The yard contained the constituency office of Nick Clegg MP, and before him Richard Allan MP. Nick moved out around a year ago to a nearby alternative, and this morning on the school run I saw …
To be honest, even when standing it wasn’t much prettier than this. But the office was unpretentiously a place of ordinary decent hard work, at the heart of the community, next door to a church and a primary school. And it has years of memories for Sheffield Liberal Democrats.
I took this next photo from the upstairs window of the office looking out onto the main road in the winter of 2010/11 during a tuition fees protest. You have to admire the protesters’ spirit and the ingenuity of some of the signs while of course condemning the use of the Soviet hammer and sickle.
Other occasions saw less policing including one occupation.
— free uni of sheff (@freeunisheff) March 4, 2015
My first visit to the office was in 2005, shortly after Nick’s election as an MP. I gave him a bit of a grilling on the Orange Book – learned that it has caused some trouble – then signed up as a member. Nick had reassured me that Vince Cable wasn’t the dangerous right winger he appeared to be!
Many other members and constituents will have memories of this office and perhaps will post them below the line. It was never the grandest building but it did the job. And it was probably inevitable that the landlord would eventually want to develop the site for housing, further reducing the already meagre supply of office space in a suburban/rural seat.
* Joe Otten is a councillor in Sheffield and Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.