Apr 21, 2016
Cllr Roger Knight

Mayor’s Week: 15 – 21 April 2016

St Martin’s Church, along London Road, was the venue for an afternoon of song. Worcester Male Voice Choir partnered with Choeur d’ Annebault, a Choir from Le Vésinet, France, a town with which Worcester has a friendship agreement.  The concert was very good and there’s history in this too!  A short drive from Le Vésinet is Vernon, with which Worcester has a Friendship Pact.  In August 1944, the Worcestershire regiment helped liberate the city and it was this historic event that prompted the two cities to become closer.  The town also takes part in Worcester’s annual Victorian Fayre and gave its name to Le Vésinet Promenade, near Sabrina Bridge in Worcester.

Continuing the musical “note”, (excuse the pun), the Guildhall hosted a superb event with Worcester Concert Brass playing before an audience of over 90 and the band played superbly.  They are always good and on this evening, they were at their best.  Knowing my love of all things RAF, they played the theme from the film 633 Squadron and it sounded absolutely brilliant. It was very moving and listening made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  Everybody present expressed their delight at such great entertainment. Not only was it a very good evening, we raised over £800 for the Mayor’s charities.  My thanks go out to both Worcester Male Voice and Worcester Concert Brass, for two superb events.

Also in the Guildhall, the Annual Medical Lecture took place, an event initiated by Dr. David Tibbutt when he served as Mayor.  The event actually started in the Boardroom of the old infirmary, in Castle Street, where we heard a brief explanation of the history of the room and the foundation of the BMA.  This was followed by a very interesting talk by Dr John Harcup on the life and times of Charles Hastings.  After a bite to eat and a coffee we proceeded to the Guildhall for the second part of the evening.

Dr Martin Skirrow

Dr Martin Skirrow

This year we had the honour of welcoming Dr Martin Skirrow, retired consultant medical microbiologist who worked in Worcester from 1968 to his retirement in 1990. Before this he trained in Tropical Medicine in Liverpool and worked abroad as a doctor, doing his national service as a medical officer in the RAF. He was instrumental in discovering Campylobacter, a cause of particularly nasty enteritis (diarrhoea), although he is modest about this. Although it is not really possible to attribute the discovery to a single person, he was absolutely key to the discovery.  Dr Skirrow is a charming man who delivered a very technical matter in a way that lay people could understand and enjoy.  An audience of 80-plus gave him rapturous applause and several stood and spoke in admiration of his achievements.

The Mayoress and I had the pleasure of two visits from America, both in the Mayor’s Parlour and quite different in character.  Two young ladies came over from Worcester College in Massachusetts where they are studying engineering, to see how charities work over here and how funding is achieved.  My other visitor was Brother Rex, a Franciscan Monk from the city of Auburn, Maine, who was very interested in the history of our city.

Camel at West Midlands Safari Park

Camel at West Midlands Safari Park

Amidst the numerous Mayoral engagements I did find time to support the Mayor of Bewdley’s (Councillor Calne Edginton-White) charity fundraising event at West Midlands Safari Park and what a lovely event is was too.  This was my first visit, although my wife has visited the attraction before, and I was pleasantly pleased with the experience.  I’m not sure quite what I expected, but the occasion was set both in the beautiful surroundings of Spring Grove House and the lovely countryside.  We had the opportunity to see a variety of animals in some very well managed environments and I’ve taken the liberty of including a photo in this blog.

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