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November 1982: Poly students re-name union building after Nelson Mandela

The Nelson Mandela Building, which was the home of Sheffield Hallam University  Students Union. Previously  the Phoenix Building, it was re-named the Nelson Mandela Building in 1982. The building was closed in 2004 and replaced with The HUBS.

The Nelson Mandela Building, which was the home of Sheffield Hallam University Students Union. Previously the Phoenix Building, it was re-named the Nelson Mandela Building in 1982. The building was closed in 2004 and replaced with The HUBS.

Sheffield has long prided itself on its support for Nelson Mandela, who died last week, though it also provoked scepticism.

In 1981 the city council under David Blunkett sent a symbolic invitation for him to visit Sheffield while still imprisoned and city leaders joined forces to petition for his release in 1983. The year before Sheffield City Polytechnic students union had re-named the Phoenix building the Nelson Mandela Building and it remained so under Hallam University until it closed in 2004 and was replaced by The HUBS. In 1988 the main function room at the Town Hall became the Mandela Room, a move considered “stupid” by Tory leader David Heslop. In 1993, the year before he became South Africa’s president, he was granted the Freedom of Sheffield and eight other cities.

 

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