Browsing articles in "2011-2012 Mayor Cllr Dr David Tibbutt"
Apr 23, 2018
Steve Mackay

Mayor’s Week: 31 March – 6 April 2018

Last Thursday saw a number of students from Florence, who were being hosted by a local school, visit the Guildhall. They were really impressed with our City (particularly the Cathedral) but also admitted to enjoying the shopping experience here. Even though Worcester has had its own flourishing porcelain industry since around 1750, when asked the question, “What is Worcester famous for?” students visiting us from all over the world say the same thing – “Worcestershire Sauce”. It’s good to be famous!

That evening Alison and I went to the Shire Hall to attend a rather ancient ceremony, the appointment of the new High Sheriff Cassian Roberts. With a trumpeter to set the proceedings going Mr Roberts took on the position with the incumbent, Mr Stephen Betts standing down after his year in office. The proceedings were presided over by Mr Justice Jeremy Baker who spoke at length of the commitment Mr Betts had given to his role.

On Friday evening I hosted the Mayor’s Charity Dinner at the Guildhall. It was a lovely evening but having just about lost my voice, speechmaking did prove difficult. Fortunately, Starbuck Theatre Group, our singers, were in fine voice and gave fantastic renditions from the West End and Broadway Musicals. So, with the ticket sales, generous sponsorship, raffle prizes and an auction the evening made around £5,000 for my charities.

Now if you had asked me some years ago how I associated the Kays Company with Worcester, I would have straight away suggested their catalogue. However, for the past 62 years Kays Theatre Group have also been putting on pantomimes in the City; so it was a pleasure to be able to say thank you to the members by inviting them to the Parlour. Actors, stage hands and supporters all came along and I think had a great afternoon touring the building and looking into the cells.

Unfortunately a virus I’ve picked up together with a resounding cough has made me cancel some engagements this week – but better that than passing it on to others! I’ll be taking a short break over Easter, before returning to the fray!

May 15, 2012
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 7 – 13 May 2012

This is my last blog as Mayor of Worcester. It has been extremely busy but also a very happy, satisfying and rewarding year. As I have said before “The Mayoralty is not just one person….it is a team. For most of the engagements Jane has been there with me in prominent patient support and not just as the guardian of the mayoral chain. Susan O’Kane, my PA, has been wonderful making the task fun and rewarding. Her guidance has been invaluable. My sword bearer, Frank, and ceremonial officers give symbolic protection to the Mayor appearing with pride on all civic occasions. The Guildhall attendants are always there assisting with courtesy and style recognised and much appreciated by visitors from all over the world.

Jane and I extend our thanks to everyone throughout this City who has helped make our time in office so memorable.

Tuesday 8th: On 4th August 1914 a terrible event took place and the First World War was declared. Four years of carnage followed until 11 November 1918. In those years more than 70 million military personnel were mobilised to fight in one of the largest wars in history. More than nine million soldiers never returned home and many Worcestershire men and women were among them. Here in the Guildhall all of those who served from Worcester in the Great War are recorded.

For many months now a group, under the Chairmanship of the Mayor, has been meeting to consider how we might commemorate the Centenary, in August 2014, of the outbreak of the Great War. I am so grateful to those who have already assisted including Lord Faulkner, Cllr. Roger Berry our Deputy Mayor, Rev. Canon Paul Tongue from the Cathedral, members of the Royal British Legion and many others. A plethora of ideas have come forward…A Stuttard-Kennedy exhibition and trail, theatre performances, war films, an Edwardian fete, and so on. We are already registered with the Imperial War Museum and Worcester is ahead of the game when it comes to this planning. But most importantly I am calling on local people to contribute their ideas too being keen that our commemorations will engage young people particularly. There is still plenty of time to come forward with ideas and we will carefully consider every suggestion. A small prize will be offered for the best suggestion of an event – the deadline to receive suggestions is Saturday 30 June 2012.  We are also inviting members of the public who are interested in helping to plan a commemorative event. It could be an exhibition, tour, theatre production or display of WW1 memorabilia.  For example I have three Field Service Post Cards dated 26.09.16, 30.10.16 and 19.11.16 sent by “Billy” to a young lady in London. Each card is preprinted and “Billy” was allowed only to strike out the words that did not apply…no additional words were permitted.

This morning, accompanied by Lord Faulkner of Worcester who came specially, I launched, in the Guildhall, the public planning process and appeal for ideas.

Two weeks ago I welcomed a small group of visually impaired students from New College Worcester to the parlour. Today they came for the second half of their educational study of the Guildhall. This time we talked more about the Guilds of Merchants that were established in the Guildhall after the charter granted by Henry III in 1226, the lists of those who served in the First World War, the huge collection of fire buckets hung on the south wall of the Lower Hall and of course we descended to the cells.

It’s mayor-making time again. Jane and I were honoured to be invited to attend Tewkesbury Abbey for the Annual Meeting and Mayor-Making Ceremony for Tewkesbury Borough Council. It was a great occasion in that wonderful building that we have never entered before. Over this last year we have come to know very well the outgoing Mayor, Cllr. David Waters and his Mayoress, Mrs. Sue Waters. We wish the newly elected Mayor, Cllr. Philip Surman and his Mayoress, Mrs. Diana Surman, a happy and enjoyable year in office.

Wednesday 9th: Charity shops have sprung up in many places and have become an important part of the local economy as well as gathering financial resources for a huge range of important causes. We are in “Choose Charity Shops Week” and Jane and I were pleased to go along to the Cats Protection Charity Shop in St. John’s to help publicise their and other charities’ work and role.

Later in the morning we were back at the Guildhall to receive the newly engraved “Peplow Trophy” from Dr. John Prosser, the President of Worcester South Rotary Club. The “Peplow Trophy” is a frying pan that the Mayor’s team won in the pancake race on Shrove Tuesday, 21st February. That really has to be one of the highlights of this year!!

Pancake Day Races
Team Mayor wins the pancake day races on 21 February 2012

For a long time I have held the view that the contributions made by the City of Worcester to medical science and care have been insufficiently celebrated. The story goes back at least a thousand years. Looking into this further I realised that there was a long list of potential topics. Therefore it was a great thrill for me to introduce what I hope is the first public Annual Worcester Medical Lecture arranged between the Mayoralty and the University of Worcester. Professor Richard Lewis gave this inaugural lecture in the Guildhall to an audience of almost 100. He traced, with great skill, the history of medicine in Worcester up to the present with many illustrations of portraits from the Board Room of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary and now part of the City Campus of our University. Sir Charles Hastings, who founded the British Medical Association in that very board room, would have been proud of his City. The funds raised this evening go to the Mayor’s charities’ appeal.

Thursday 10th: Susan O’Kane (my PA) and I met Richard Vernalls (“Worcester News” reporter) to brief him about the plans for the military parade through Worcester on Wednesday 27th. June. This will be in the run-up week to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30th June. The event will be quite spectacular with 780 soldiers of the Mercian Regiment, Queen’s Royal Hussars and Grenadier Guards and their bands.

Later in the day I had a call from Hereford and Worcester BBC to make a telephone recording concerning these celebrations on 27th. June.

The staff of the Guildhall have been so helpful over this last mayoral year making it enjoyable, happy and rewarding. As a “Thank you” I entertained them (about 30) to dinner in the Parlour. Great company.

Friday 11th: Up early as I had a 7:30am. appointment in the Hereford and Worcester BBC studios for a live interview about the parade through the City on 27th June.

I note that “The Worcester Standard” has produced a full page for our year. Thanks Tim (Tim Clark, Editor).

The “Berrow’s Journal” has me on the front page: “Stop moaning and be proud City”…… a little journalistic licence taken there with my original words!! I have had several messages of agreement and none against so far.

One of the pleasures of being Mayor is to attend mayor-making ceremonies in local towns…..traditions that go back hundreds of years. This evening Jane and I went to Bewdley Guildhall for the Annual Meeting of the Town Council and Election of Mayor. Cllr. John Latham was elected as the new mayor and we wish him well for his year in office.

Saturday 12th: The Railway Development Society Limited held its Annual General Meeting in the Guildhall and I was honoured to welcome the members:

“Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen.

“Thank you so much for inviting the Mayoress and me to your AGM.

Welcome to the Guildhall and one of the most beautiful buildings in England.

“When I was a teenager I went to school by train, later I went to University on the train and my family went on holiday the length and breadth of the country on the train taking our car on the Car Rail Service…. no longer available. So if you want my support for the development of railways you have it. And not just for nostalgic reasons.

“There is a link between this building and railways.

Alexander Sherriff was Mayor of Worcester for two years between 1862 and 1864. He was Chairman of the Worcester Engine Works and Director of the Metropolitan Railway, the Metropolitan District Railway and the Metropolitan and St. John’s Wood Railway. In Worcester he helped to develop our railways. While he was Mayor he was given this Mayoral chain and he eventually donated it to the City for all subsequent Mayors to wear. The chain is specially designed to represent the links between railway carriages.

“So what of our current Worcester provision of railway services? Well, at last we have the re-dualling of part of the Cotswold line. The Foregate Street Station is long overdue for a revamp…….sadly we missed out on an opportunity when the central post office closed: I worked hard on that when I was on the City Council’s Cabinet. What a wonderful potential entrance that would have made. Then there is Shrub Hill Station: a place of arrival and on leaving the station what do we see?……..the Elgar building……. The Master Vision for Worcester over the next 30 years sees that disappear with a wide open welcoming space.

“Our roads cannot continue to expand to take all the increasing heavy freight. There must be a way of getting this back onto the railways. As so often is the case the railway does not begin where the freight leaves and neither does it arrive where the businesses require. We have lost the geographical co-ordination and link of railways and freight business needs. So what happens? They take to the over congested roads. What is the answer? A long term vision that will somehow re-establish the link.

“O, Mr. Beeching you have a lot to answer for!!”

This meeting was also addressed by guest speakers who discussed the strategies for rail transport in and around Birmingham as well as the campaign to reopen the Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon line as a through route. I must admit I find the idea very attractive.

A Community Health Club (12a, Shrub Hill Road) has been established by “Positive People Plus”. This is an important venture and I was pleased to “cut the ribbon” to open the facility. I spent much of my professional life as a Consultant Cardiologist seeing and helping people with conditions that could have been avoided or at least reduced in severity if only …… they had not smoked, had kept their weight within healthy bounds, had eaten more sensibly and had taken more and regular exercise. All sections of the population are affected to varying degrees. But this health club is focussing on those who may be less inclined, for various reasons, to attend. If you are unhappy, depressed or socially marginalised it may be that you just cannot be bothered…smoking tends to increase. Junk food becomes the norm….obesity creeps up on you…..taking exercise becomes more difficult. And so we go round in a vicious circle. We cannot afford to ignore this problem especially for the sake of the people themselves whose lives cannot be lived to the full. The country cannot afford to ignore it because the economic consequences are even greater. So I wish “Positive People” every success. For more information see www.positivepeopleplus.com (telephone 01905 22016).

 Sunday 13th: The Rev. Clare Griffiths has been appointed as Team Vicar in the Worcester South East Team with responsibility for St. Mark in the Cherry Orchard, with St. Philip and St. James, Whittington. Jane and I were invited to attend her Service of Licensing and Installation at both churches. It was a wonderful sunny morning to welcome her and we wish her well in her ministry.

An “end of term” evening cruise on the River Avon followed by a light supper at “Raphael’s restaurant” at Hampton Ferry, Evesham. For the mayor and mayoress of Evesham and the rest of the “chain gang” this annual event is arranged by Cllr. Mrs. Diana Raphael. A most relaxing end to what has been a hectic year.

On Tuesday evening of 15th May the Full City Council will elect a new mayor. Jane and I wish whomever takes over as good and happy a year in office as we have had.

May 10, 2012
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 30 April – 6 May 2012

Monday 30th: The basket ball team of the University of Worcester continues to be the best. Again it has won the Championships: six times in the last eight years. To celebrate this success the members of the team came to the Parlour for “tea”.

My last “one to one” chat, as Mayor, with Tim Clarke, Editor of the “Worcester Standard”.

The portrait of Hubert Aloysius Leicester now hangs in the Guildhall. With members of the Worcester Festival Choral Society the portrait was unveiled. This is what I said at this event:

“I discovered, quite by chance, a portrait of Hubert Aloysius Leicester in the store of the Worcester Museum. His father was a bookseller at No. 6 The High Street and throughout his life Hubert looked after the music books. He was Mayor of Worcester five times in 1904, 1905, 1913, 1914 and 1915. He is believed to be the first Catholic Mayor.

The more I researched him I found more and more such that it seemed to me that his portrait really should be in the Guildhall. He was a longstanding friend of Elgar and closely associated with the Festival Chorus. Elgar formed a wind quintet of which Leicester was leader and the first flute. His brother, William Leicester, was the clarinetist. The group was known at ‘The Brothers Wind’ or ‘The Sunday Band’.

“Later Leicester became Sir Hubert Leicester. He was responsible for Elgar receiving the Freedom of the City of Worcester in 1905.  When Edward Elgar received the Freedom of the City from Leicester, Elgar reminisced about his days working at St. George’s as an organist, when Leicester was his choirmaster. At the time they were both in the wind quintet, and in the process of his own mythmaking, implied that composing music for the quintet took precedence over religion: “We met on Sunday afternoons, and it was an understood thing that we should have a new piece every week.”

“In addition he was head of a respected firm of accountants and was the second President of the Rotary Club of Worcester.

“Ladies and Gentlemen I think you will agree that Hubert Aloysius is a man whom we should celebrate.”

Tuesday 1st: Our team of three have just returned from Ghana (Adentan Municipal Assembly) where they have been advising on the Local Economic Development programme (funded by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)). The “Adentan News” is now markedly improved: this local newspaper is regularly produced monthly and is proving to be a valuable means of communication. The “Business Desk” is in place with IT equipment financed through our project resources. This will further enhance the production of the newspaper and provide a focal point to help local businesses. The Master Plan for Adentan progresses well having been initiated from our Worcester Master Planning process. This visit to Adentan was the last under the CLGF scheme. However we will remain in contact with our Ghanaian friends helping where we can.

I last saw “My Fair Lady” on film when I was in Uganda in 1965. This evening Jane and I attended the stage production at the Swan Theatre. The Worcester Operatic and Dramatic Society (WODS) performed wonderfully and we were enthralled throughout. Congratulations to Chris Holloway (Director) and the whole team for a memorable evening. It is hard to believe that WODS has been going since 1892!

Wednesday 2nd: To take out the “dis” from “disability” is what we should all strive for. I was therefore pleased to formally open the “Disability Answers” Shop (part of DIAL South Worcestershire) in the Crowngate Centre. “Disability Answers” is a free and impartial service providing information on local services and suppliers of aids and equipment which support disabled people with daily living issues. The shop is situated ideally for people arriving by bus who want to shop in Worcester: loans of Shopmobility scooters and wheelchairs are available. For more information: www.disabilityanswers.org.uk

Thursday 3rd: City Council Elections Day. The Green Party won its first seat on the Council. The balance now is Conservative 17, Labour 15, Liberal democrats 2 and Green 1. We live in interesting times. But whatever is decided it is the City that must come first!!

Friday 4th: Pretty weary after yesterday.

Saturday 5th: The Church of St. Philip and St. James, Whittington, is where Jane and I have worshipped for many years. It seemed appropriate therefore that we should have our “Thanksgiving Service” for this last mayoral year there. It was a most enjoyable and happy occasion with full civic robes and officers presided over by my Mayor’s Chaplain, The Reverend Canon Ken Boyce.

Whittington Church

Jane read the lesson from The Letter of Paul to the Philippians which we had chosen specifically for the occasion:

If then our common life in Christ yields anything to stir the heart, any loving consolation, any sharing of the Spirit, any warmth of affection or compassion, fill up my cup of happiness by thinking and feeling alike, with the same love for one another, the same turn of mind, and a common care for unity.

There must be no room for rivalry and personal vanity among you, but you must humbly reckon others better than yourselves.

Look to each other’s interests and not merely to your own.

My address was as follows:

Friends and councillor colleagues.

Thank you so much for coming to this Thanksgiving Service for this last mayoral year.

We have had mayors in Worcester since Edward Hurdman in 1621…….looking through the record of past mayors you realise what a privilege it is to be added to that list.

It seems only yesterday that I was elected mayor of the City Worcester.

Something I never dreamt would happen to me.

We have with us today four past Mayors of the City: Liz Smith, Lucy Hodgson, Mike Layland and Robert Rowden and other councillor colleagues

The fact that you have come is very special to me and thank you.

While chairing Full Council meetings you have always been courteous and made the daunting task much easier and indeed enjoyable.

 

When I returned, with Jane, from Uganda in 2000 I thought very hard about throwing my hat into the political ring….I am not really a political type.

In Africa we had seen real poverty and deprivation.

On our return to the UK we realised the contrast and just what a wonderful City we live in and how privileged we are.

That is not to deny the life difficulties that many people in our communities experience…housing and employment especially.

So I felt that rather than just grumble from the touch line the way forward was to get involved and try to redress the balance between what we think we have not to what we have.

 

Before I say more there are some important “thank you’s”:

The Mayoralty is not just one person….it is a team.

For most of the engagements Jane has been there with me in prominent patient support and not just as the guardian of the mayoral chain.

Susan O’Kane, my PA, has been wonderful making the task fun and rewarding. Her guidance has been invaluable.

My sword bearer, Frank, and ceremonial officers give symbolic protection to the mayor appearing with pride on all civic occasions.

The Guildhall attendants are always there assisting with courtesy and style recognised and much appreciated by visitors from all over the world.

Thank you to Caroline Mayfield and Brenda Giles, our church wardens, for helping to prepare for today.

And Liz Chestney for playing the organ and changing her holiday plans to be here.

Then Ken Boyce, my Chaplain. Thank you, Ken.

You said when I invited you to be my chaplain that it was not a very onerous task…..but sincerely you have made a real difference.

I am a passionate believer in prayers to precede our Full Council meetings.

They set the scene and focus the mind just with those few moments of reflection.

On several occasions, including the one when Bishop Christopher Mayfield stood in for you, the words that you used changed what I was concerned might become a difficult meeting.

Not everyone may be aware of this effect but I certainly felt it.

 

It’s been a rollercoaster of a year.

People often ask me “what are the highlights?”

 

Not an easy question to answer.

Events such as this Thanksgiving Service certainly.

The many occasions that we have attended the Cathedral …. the Civic Service, Remembrance Sunday, Battle of Worcester Drum Head Service, Carol Services with all their variety….and so on.

It is from the position of being mayor that you see the breadth of talent in music and the performing arts……the great choirs of the Worcester Festival Choral Society, the Three Choirs Festival, The Music Festival, Sing UK, Worcester Live to the school choirs and drama productions.

The visits to the Parlour and tours of the Guildhall have become increasingly popular.

There we meet 100’s of people from all over the City, County, Country and World.

The Primary School Children from every part of the City are a delight to entertain.

 

I must mention my fellow mayors and civic heads from around the County.

We have met on numerous enjoyable occasions and become great friends.

We all have a sense of sadness about the end of our year…… but we wish our successors that they have as a fulfilling year as we have.

 

Jane and I have worshipped here in Whittington for many years….this place is very precious to us.

When we used to return for leave from our spells in Uganda there was always a warm welcome home.

So we felt that it was entirely fitting that we should have this Thanksgiving Service here.

During this last year it has not been possible to attend as before……many of our engagements elsewhere have been on Sunday. Well, we’re back now.

 

“Thank You” to each and every one of you.

May 1, 2012
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 23 – 29 April 2012

Monday 23rd: In spite of the defeat of the Spanish Armada I still receive many visitors from Spain. Twenty two students came to the Parlour this morning as part of exchange arrangements with Prince Henry’s High School (Evesham).

It was a really enjoyable evening in the Town Hall of Evesham to celebrate, with the Mayor, Cllr. James Bulman, and guests, St. George’s Day: the “Best of British Celebration”: Worcestershire ham with Vale of Evesham asparagus…a great combination. We were entertained by the Avonbank Brass Band in the style of the “last night of the proms”.

Tuesday 24th: The last informal chat of my mayoral year with Duncan Sharkey in the Parlour, our Managing Director.

Students (14 year olds) from the H?lderlin Gymnasium in Stuttgart are at Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College and as part of their stay was a visit to the Guildhall.

New College Worcester (Whittington Road) has a worldwide reputation for educating students who have impaired sight. A small group came to the Parlour this afternoon: Jane was there to assist with the accompanying teachers. We had to adapt our presentation but it was great fun and I was impressed by the students’ knowledge.

New College students

The Training Ship Ark Royal unit 5 of the Navy Training Corps was launched on 9th November 2009. The Corps is a National Youth Organisation promoting adventurous activities for Junior Cadets 8 – 12 years old and cadets 12 – 18 years old. Youth of the UK are given opportunities for realising their potential, instilling in them a sense of pride. The cadets’ experiences and long-lasting friendships provide an excellent platform for adulthood. This is such an important organisation so I was pleased to attend a Cadet Presentation Evening held in the King George V Community Centre in Brickfields. I had the honour of presenting some of the awards with Captain R. Tyrrell and then to address the Ship’s Company.

Wednesday 25th: It was a cold damp morning to go to the official send off for the narrowboat “Lord Toulouse” from the Workman Gardens on the banks of the River Avon in Evesham. The “Lord Toulouse” has been selected to represent Worcestershire at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant on 3rd June in London. It will join a 1,000 boats from all over the Commonwealth (see more on thamsesdiamondjubileepageant.org/).

I have always had a fascination with things botanical. The children at Dines Green School are showing great enthusiasm too. Jane and I joined the children, head teacher (Steve Gough), staff and friends to scatter the first wildflower seeds on a newly prepared site for a wildflower garden. The “After School Garden Club” have worked hard to create this. They will learn so much from their endeavours.

“Measuring time is something all living organisms manage to achieve and they do this, remarkably, by using an internal clock which tells them time of day and time of year”. We, of course, realise this when we experience jet lag travelling rapidly by air from West to East or East to West. Professor Sir Brian Follett, Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford, delivered a fascinating Annual Fellows’ Lecture at the University of Worcester entitled “A Question of Time”. He analysed a complex subject in a way that made it comprehendible to everyone.

Thursday 26th: The City Council’s Planning Committee met this afternoon: the last before the City elections on Thursday next week.

The Rotary Club of Worcester Severn invited Jane and me to their Annual Vocational and Community Awards Dinner held in the Grandstand Suite of the Racecourse. A thoroughly enjoyable evening when I presented the awards to four citizens who had contributed much to local activities. It is traditional at this event for the Mayor to give a speech about the past mayoral year and touch on matters of importance to Worcester. The latter I summed up with one word: “Pride”!!

Friday 27th: The River School is just outside the City’s boundary on the Droitwich Road in Fernhill Heath. Jane and I were invited to the opening of the Pond: “Water of Life Project”. Sir Ghillean Prance, former Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, was also present. The school is in a wonderful setting with eight acres of land mainly dedicated to wildlife. The Pond had been reinstated for wildlife having been abandoned in the 1980’s. The project was supported by a successful bid to the National Lottery.

Another visit to Dines Green Community Primary School, this time to open an area of the Playground upon which had been laid out a map of the world. This was divided up into twenty equilateral triangles in order to “flatten” the globe. Gavin Wade (international artist and director of Eastside projects in Birmingham) had worked with the children on the design. This is “to encourage new ways of looking at the world – it is a break from the standard globe format and it will promote new ideas and questions about borders, landmasses, population and cultures. (It is) a way of empowering children to look at the world afresh and think about the future and how we want to live in the universe”. (Nathaniel Pitt, Curator).

I first met Richard Wood on 28th February when he and Kath Wood (no relation), neurological physiotherapist, came to the Parlour to discuss their idea of setting up a charity to “enable individuals with long-term neurological disabilities the opportunity to access further, on-going rehabilitation”. Richard had rowed solo across the Atlantic in 2004 but in 2006 he had a stroke paralysing his left side. He has learnt to walk and remains an amazingly ambitious man. I was therefore delighted to host, in the Guildhall with about 20 guests, the launch of “ReActive” the name of this new initiative. More information on www.Reactive.org.uk

The Kings Norton Golf Club is an idyllic setting and that is where the Bromsgrove and District Council Civic Charity Dinner Dance took place this evening. Cllr. Caroline Spencer is the Civic Head and John Spencer her Consort. Peter Luff MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology) was the Guest Speaker. A most enjoyable evening that raised much needed funds for “Help for Heroes”.

Saturday 28th: Last year the Worcester Motor Festival was held on 21st May but this year, because of so many other events, it was brought forward to today.

Worcester Motor Show Car

Once more Jane and I had great fun going around the exhibitions with Nadja von Dahlen (Events Co-ordinator of VisitWorcester) meeting the representatives of dealerships from near and far and those who had brought their magnificent vintage cars for display.

Lotus at the Motor Festival

Again I congratulate VisitWorcester in partnership with the “Worcester News”, for organising such a successful show. In spite of the cold weather and rising water level of the River Severn the event was well attended. See more on www.visitworcester.com/motorfestival

Two very tall men

The enthusiasm of young people for drama was shown this afternoon at a double bill put on by the Perdiswell Drama Club in the Bishop Perowne School Theatre. The younger group (aged 8 – 12 years) staged a short production of “Ug”. Strange events unfolded when Harry spilt cherryade to reveal a stone-age boy. This was followed by a “Field Trip to Murder” that had been devised by the 12 – 16 year olds and played by them. An intriguing “who dunnit”: an unpopular PE teacher is found dead on a year 11 outward bound course……

Malcolm Goldring, Artistic Director “Sing UK”, conducted “Sing Encore” in the Cathedral this evening. Quoting from Malcolm’s introduction: “We in Sing UK want to do what we can to ensure that young people can access music and music-making of the highest order….and…come together to perform it with our local professional orchestra and three outstanding professional soloists….”. Roman Carnival Overture (Hector Berlioz), Mors et Vita: Judex Sedenti in Throno (Charles Gounod), Gloria (Francis Poulenc) and St. Cécilia Mass (Charles Gounod). The English Symphony Orchestra, the soloists (Rachel Nicholls (soprano), James Edwards (tenor) and Alexander Baker (bass)) and the choir gave the audience of 400 a wonderful time!

And do not forget the Worcester International Festival for Young Singers (WIFYS) that is coming for 19th – 27th July 2013. This will be presented by “Sing UK” in co-operation with the European Choral Association: Europa Cantat. For more information see www.singuk.org or telephone 07980 143272 or e-mail Malcolm Golding Malcolm@singuk.org or Anne Renshaw anne@singuk.org.

Sunday 29th: The Civic Service for the Mayor of Upton upon Severn took place this afternoon in the Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. It was a lovely event with the local school children and choirs contrtibuting.

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