Back to the future as Charlie marvels at Guildhall's look
A FORMER Lord Mayor of Swansea will turn back time when he joins guests at the re-opening of one of the Guildhall's most historic rooms.
Charlie Thomas, aged 86, remembers the Guildhall's official opening 79 years ago. On Tuesday he will be among the guests when the Lord Mayor's parlour re-opens following refurbishment work.
"I still remember being among the crowds gathered to see the Duke of Kent at the official opening with my dad, who was a member of the council for many years too," said Mr Thomas, of St Thomas.
"I remember being impressed at the size of the building and just how beautiful the stone looked. To see a member of the royal family there too was such a treat."
Former US President Jimmy Carter, war hero Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and actors like Joan Collins and David Tennant are among guests to have visited the grade one listed Guildhall.
Mr Thomas added: "It was a real honour to be deputy lord mayor and then Lord Mayor and get to work in the building later in life.
"I was keen then that the building should be restored. Now I am delighted by what has been done.
"Just look at the clock tower and how amazing it looks now, as bright and outstanding as on the day of the opening."
The parlour was closed a year ago so restoration work could take place as part of the overall Guildhall refurbishment project.
The improvements at the Lord Mayor's parlour were part of phase four of the multi-million pound revamp. The area includes the Lord Mayor's reception room and council chamber.
Phase five of the refurbishment programme has started and includes an upgrade of the Brangwyn Hall, which is due to re-open next summer.
Current Lord Mayor of Swansea June Stanton said: "It's really great to see the parlour restored to its former glory. The restoration team has done a remarkable job."
Mr Thomas, who is life vice-president of the Swansea branch of the Royal British Legion and chairman of the Eastside Historical Society, added: "I think it's wonderful the Guildhall is being brought back to its former glory."