Jan 16, 2012
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 9 – 15 January 2012

Last week I mentioned our planning the commemoration, in August 2014, of the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the request for ideas. It has recently been brought to my attention the “Adoption of Gouzeaucourt (France) by Worcester” (in conjunction with the British League of Help for Devastated Areas of France) on 1st February 1921. Our mayor at the time was Ald. Charles Edwards JP.

Gouzeaucourt is in northern France and was captured by the 8th Division on 12-13 April 1917 and lost on 30 November 1917 at the end of the Battle of Cambrai. It was recaptured on the same day by the 1st Irish Guards but lost again on 22 March 1918 but finally retaken by the 21st Division on 8 October. There are 916 casualties from several nations buried at the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery.

Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery
Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery

Wednesday 11th: To reach 100 years of age is a wonderful  achievement. So Jane and I were delighted to attend the birthday party of Mrs. Elsie Miles at “The Willows”. She was clearly excited about this special event surrounded by her family and friends…and of course a card personally signed by Her Majesty The Queen. Just think: this lady was born in the year that Scott reached the South Pole and four days before the Titanic sank in the Atlantic.

Thursday 12th: The Worcester Twinning Association met this evening to discuss and progress our relationships with our four twin towns: Kleve (Germany), Le Vésinet (France), Worcester (USA) and Ukmerge (Lithuania). We also have a friendship arrangement with Vernon (France). This year 2012 is special being our 25th. anniversary of twinning with Kleve. Membership of the Association is open to residents of Worcester and its surrounding villages….so do join us (web site: www.worcester-international-link.org.uk).

During the meeting we heard about the exciting news of a Worcester International Festival for Young Singers 19th – 27th July 2013. This will be the first ever festival of its kind in the United Kingdom. It will bring 400 young people from 48 European countries and elsewhere in the world (e.g. Singapore and the USA) singing together under the banner of “Peace and Unity between Nations”. The organisers are “Sing UK” in partnership with the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat. There will be concerts, workshops (ateliers), street singing and then on 26th July 2013 a final Gala Concert. But why in Worcester? I quote from the brochure: “Worcester presents a fine location to hold the event. With its compact city centre, wealth of historic, cultural and musical heritage, attractive setting, excellent educational facilities and access by road, rail and air, Worcester has it all – providing a great opportunity for the city to become the proud new UK home for this international event!” More information on the web site: www.singuk.org

Our city is blessed with fantastic views and none greater than the Malvern Hills to the South and West. Did you see the amazing sunset this evening? Layers of turquoise, orange, apricot, reds and slate grey above the length of the Hills… I have never seen such a spectacular sight. Did anyone take a photograph?

The time of sunset is the moment the trailing edge of the sun’s disk disappears below the western horizon. The light from the setting sun is greatly distorted near the horizon because of atmospheric refraction, making sunset appear to occur when the Sun is actually below the horizon. As white sunlight passes through the atmosphere, some of the colours are scattered by air particles, changing the final colour of the beam leaving the oranges and reds. The evening air contains more particles than morning air so sunrise colours are less brilliant than sunset colours.

Sunset Worcester
Sunset looking south-east over the city, towards the Malvern Hills this week

“Red sky at night shepherds’ delight, red sky in the morning, shepherds’ warning.” Some say “bishops” or “sailors” instead of “shepherds”.

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