Friday, 30 April 2010

The secret diary of an election photographer - Day 25

Snooker loopy, nuts are we....

Today Nick spoke at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield before the players came out for the afternoon's semi-final play in the World Championships. As a Sheffield MP, Nick has been working with the (Lib Dem) council to keep the World Championships in the city and it was great to hear that they will stay in Snooker City for another five years at least.

Nick chat was fairly light-hearted, but he couldn't fail to mention the gaffe of the week. Not Gordon Brown's off camera but on mike comments, but the announcement by announcer Rob Walker that Dennis Taylor was taking the baize when he actually meant Steve Davis.

After that talk, Nick emerged from the venue to a crowd of Sheffield supporters including his youngest supporter, three week old Emily Otten. Needless to say in his own city, the reception was rapturous. I certainly hope that Sheffield Central's Paul Scriven will be elected as one of the new Lib Dem MPs next Thursday. It was he and his team who secured control of the city council two years ago - an achievement that Nick descrives as the greatest of his leadership.

Earlier in the day, Nick drew his biggest crowd of the campaign so far. We arrived at Leicester University to find a crowd of more than a thousand. There was some good natured banter with a few Labour supporters in the crowd and, whilst they managed to get their Labour posters into a lot of the TV shots, there were also some more Lib Dem friendly signs - see the photo (right) for some examples.

After Leicester we went to Derby for an altogether more sedate visit. Smiths of Derby is a family firm that makes and repairs large scale clocks for public buildings. They are currently building one of the largest clocks in the world for a building in China and Nick also saw the four faces of a clock from the old Woolwich Arsenal which are being renovated by Smiths.

The big news at the end of the day was the announcement by the Guardian - for long the standard bearer for New Labour - that they are enthusiastically backing the Lib Dems this time.

Tomorrow we head west to visit Wells, Newport and Malvern before an overnight stay in Manchester. It being Saturday, Miriam will be on board - so expect even more media attention.

1 comment:

Aranhe said...

I know you're probably at the "If this is Tuesday it must be Rochdale" stage, but that wasn't Leicester University you visited, it was De Montfort University. It is in Leicester but not to be confused with THE University of Leicester.