South Shields Daily Photo

A collection of images from South Shields and the North of England

The seat of power (2)

with 11 comments

The Council Chamber, South Shields Town Hall

The Council Chamber

I have always thought that the Edwardian Town Hall in South Shields is one of the finest public buildings in the north of England, and my opinions were strengthened on becoming a borough councillor in 1980.

Here we see the Council Chamber where decisions are taken by the 54 elected councillors representing the Metropolitan District Borough of South Tyneside. The Mayor Cllr. Tracey Dixon occupies the tallest of the five chairs located behind the Ceremonial Mace near the centre of the rear wall. Above The Mayor’s head is the magnificent hand carved coat of arms of South Shields featuring Wouldhave’s lifeboat “The Tyne” and our motto “Always Ready”, above that is the electronic “scoreboard” which shows the voting record after debates.

All of the benches, tables, and panels are of hand carved and engraved English oak, and the upholstery is of the finest leather, behind the opened door on the left is the Members’ lounge and beyond that The Mayor’s Parlour. The Majority party occupy the benches to our left and the Opposition parties occupy the benches on the far side of this horse-shoe shaped debating chamber. The public gallery is located behind my back.

The Town Hall was opened in 1910 by the then Mayor Alderman George Gray, who was the grandfather of Cllr. Arthur Gray, the former Conservative Leader of Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council.

My lens on my Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 is not small enough to provide a wide enough angle for this type of shot, therefore I turned the camera to the upright vertical position (portrait) mounted it on a tripod, and exposed three shots all 1/10 second at f4 and stitched them together in Photoshop to make this panoramic view. I committed the cardinal sin of exposing the left hand frame first, instead of the centre, which makes the stitch a little more difficult to achieve with three frames. However, I’m satisfied with the result.

You can see a larger image by clicking on the picture.

Photography is not normally permitted within the Council Chamber and I was only able to gain access for these shots after being invited to the Town Hall by the Mayor of South Tyneside.



Written by curly

May 26, 2007 at 12:01 am

11 Responses

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  1. Very impressive. anything else said would be superfluous.

    Bruce Douglas

    May 26, 2007 at 4:37 am

  2. Owzat !11 300 and not out..


    May 26, 2007 at 9:38 am

  3. P.s. ignore the 11 should be !!


    May 26, 2007 at 9:39 am

  4. […] You can see my effort to stitch three separate photographs together – here. […]

  5. Very well done (the stitching!) and the chamber is splendid! Thanks for that inside peek…
    Congratulation on your 300th post – hope to see many more 😉


    May 26, 2007 at 4:29 pm

  6. Congratulations on your 300th post! Here’s to 300 more – chris


    May 27, 2007 at 3:14 am

  7. excellent picture of the chamber, not many people get a chance to see this type of history.

    John T.

    May 28, 2007 at 11:54 am

  8. […] Our magnificent Georgian Town Hall on Westoe Road, South Shields, dressed for Christmas and illuminated by floodlight. You can see the interior of the Council Chamber here. […]

  9. Leather Photo Frames…

    I enjoyed reading your blog. What a great thing it is to be able to share information like this on the Internet….

    Leather Photo Frames

    April 20, 2008 at 8:40 am

  10. […] Our borough has elected a new Mayor and Mayoress for the next municipal year, they will be our “first citizens” representing the people of South Tyneside in an ambassadorial role on our behalf. I was privileged and honoured to be invited to South Shields Town Hall to join the new Mayor and Mayoress Cllr. Alex Donaldson and his wife Brenda for coffee and to produce this portrait, they are stood in the upper corridor of the Town Hall which leads to the ante room, the Mayor’s Parlour, and the Council Chamber. […]

  11. Curly,
    Lovely picture of the Town Hall. But I am quite confused. My great-grandfather was George Grey (with an “e”), former Mayor of South Shields and a marine engineer. He had two daughters and a son, Geo. Thomas Grey, my grandfather, who had two daughters and no sons. So who is Arthur Gray? Unlikely to be a close relative, I think. Can you please confirm the spelling of the mayor’s name? Many thanks!
    Cliff. Jones

    Cliff Jones

    July 22, 2010 at 12:24 am

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