Aug 8, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 1 – 7 August 2011

Monday 1st: Lt. Colonel Gerry Taggart, Royal Engineers (Retired), and I continued our discussions about what may be done on Armed Forces Day next year (30th June). We hope that the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will all be involved.

The Rotary Club of Worcester and the Mayor holds a joint charity event each year. We met this morning to continue the planning for Friday 10th February 2012. It will be the Diamond Jubilee celebration year for the Queen’s accession to the throne.

Tuesday 2nd: I met with representatives of the three charities (Leukaemia Care, Noah’s Ark and Worcester Farmers’ Overseas Action Group) that I am supporting this mayoral year. Arrangements for two key events are gradually taking shape. A “Murder Mystery Evening” on Friday 14th October and a “Business School Evening” at the Castle Street campus of the University on Wednesday 9th May 2012: this will include a talk on a medical history topic. Pencil these dates in your diaries.

With the numerous engagements that the Mayor undertakes it would be easy to become out of touch with City Council activities. So that is why I have a regular meeting with the Managing Director, Duncan Sharkey and the Leader, Cllr. Simon Geraghty. We met in the parlour this afternoon.

Wednesday 3rd: The Worcester Warriors were promoted to the Premiership on 18th May a day after I became Mayor: no connection assumed or intended! The City is so proud of the team. I invited Mr Cecil Duckworth and the whole squad to the Guildhall for celebration and congratulations. Yes! Let’s shout it loudly: this is yet another one of Worcester’s achievements. Now we must do our part and get right behind the Warriors and cheer them on to even greater success.

Worcester Warriors outside the Guildhall

Worcester Warriors team outside the Guildhall

Thursday 4th: “Positive 50+” offers advice and information for the “over 50’s”…well, that counts me in! Jane and I were shown around an exhibition in the Guildhall by Jo Merrett. There was a wide variety of important subjects covered: from “Care and Repair”, how and when to change your television over to “digital” (visit www.digitaluk.co.uk/retuning), “Sight Concern Worcestershire” to Worcestershire DAAT (Drug and Alcohol Action Team). In my career I have seen the devastating effects of excess alcohol consumption on individuals, families and communities quite apart from the avoidable costs to the NHS and tax payer. Take a look at www.drinkaware.co.uk and www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol.

The parapet of the bridge over Barbourne Brook, just as it enters Gheluvelt Park, was damaged a few years ago. When repairs were carried out one of the central coping stones was not replaced. So the Friends of Gheluvelt Park and the Worcester City Council got together. James Blackwell, a senior Planning Officer, investigated the history and found the plans dated about 1885. The Masons of Worcester Cathedral were contacted with this information and, after obtaining stone from the original quarry source, a replacement coping stone was created. The skill that the mason, James Robinson, put into this is just amazing. With James, Friends of Gheluvelt Park and colleagues from Worcester City Council, I had the pleasure of unveiling this work of art.

Official unveling

Left to Right: Alan Barnett (Friends of Gheluvelt Park), Jane Tibbutt (Mayoress), Cllr Liz Smith, James Robinson (Worcester Cathedral Stone Mason), Cllr Dr David Tibbut (The Mayor of Worcester), Mac Auld (Friends of Gheluvelt Park), Cllr Ken Carpenter, Cllr Susan Askin, Cllr Roger Knight

Friday 5th: The 9th Worcester Festival begins tomorrow. A Champagne Launch was hosted by Chris Jaeger, the Festival Director, in the Swan Theatre this evening. It really is going to be a fantastic three weeks (6th – 29th August) with over 540 events, 80% of which are free!! The biggest ever. Remember that this “is not a music festival, nor indeed an arts festival, but just……..a festival”. More information on www.worcesterfestival.co.uk.

Saturday 6th: This has been a day to remember!! The Opening Service for the Three Choirs Festival took place in the Cathedral with representatives from our three counties: Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Fantastic music and singing by Worcester Cathedral Choir. A brilliant sermon by the Right Reverend Peter Price, Bishop of Bath and Wells. After processing back to the Guildhall we held a luncheon jointly hosted by the Dean of Worcester, The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, and myself as Mayor of Worcester. This was the first time that we have co-hosted this event and it went well. A clash of timing meant that there was a little competition with the Bollywood Brass Band that was performing in the High Street outside the Guildhall.

Jane and I managed to get away just in time to attend the 2011 Worcester City Flower Show in Gheluvelt Park. I had been invited to present the cups to the prizewinners: and very worthy they were too.

Cup Winners

Left to Right: Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Dr David Tibbutt, Dan Rob - Vegatable & Fruit, Fred Hunt - Floral & Best in Show, Mr J D Faultless - Photography, Mr I Thwaites - Cacti & Succulent, Mrs Joy Hoskins - Floral Decoration & Art, Miss A Parsons - Handicraft, Emelia & Jemima (Joint first) - Childrens, Not present (Ms A Platt - Cakes & Preserves)

Fascinating and beautiful displays were exhibited including some delightful miniature orchids and insect eating plants… I had not realised that there were so many hundreds of varieties. A selection of photos from the 2011 Flower Show can be found on the Worcester Parks Facebook page.

Insect eating plants

Insect eating plants at Worcester City Flower Show

miniature orchids

Miniature Orchids at Worcester City Flower Show

Sunday 7th: Art at some of its best. That is what was on display when I opened The Riverside Artists’ Market on South Quay and Kleve Walk. Miriam Harvey and her team at the Worcester Tourism Association had worked so hard gathering together such wonderful talent: and most was from Worcester City. The long awaited renovation of this part of the riverside made a great difference for the beautiful setting.

We ended our week by attending Choral Evensong at the Cathedral sung by Worcester Cathedral Choir. They were magnificent!

Aug 2, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 25 – 31 July 2011

Monday 25th: The feedback on the Mayor’s Banquet last Friday (22nd. July) has been most gratifying.

Seven French children (aged 11 – 13 years) from Le Vesinet, France, were brought by the North Worcester Venture Scheme to site-see the Guildhall. As always the visit to the cells under the Guildhall was a spooky highlight.

A few days to spare!! An opportunity to “recharge our batteries”. This next fortnight promises to be busy and exciting especially with the “Three Choirs Festival”. We have had our “half-Japanese” four year old twin grand-daughters to stay…so much for recharging our batteries as theirs seem to have unlimited energy!! They are almost bilingual: then we’ll be in trouble.

Also managed to get more planning done for the City Council’s team going to the Adentan Municipal Assembly, a District Council in Ghana, in September. This is to continue the DfID-funded “Local Economic Development” project which has been progressing so well over this last year. It just goes to show how much can be achieved with keen volunteers and a small financial resource. Thank you everyone, you are a great team.

The Adentan Women’s Business Group and Angela Fitch of our local Federation of Small Businesses during our visit in October 2010

The Adentan Women’s Business Group and Angela Fitch of our local Federation of Small Businesses during our visit in October 2010

Friday 29th: “Half a Sixpence” is a musical based on the novel “Kipps” by H G Wells. The Worcester Operatic & Dramatic Society Youth Section (WODYS) put on a production this evening to which Jane and I were invited. It was brilliant! To see the skills of these young people was a delight. Congratulations to David Humphries (Director and Producer) and the whole WODYS’ team. Yet another example of what Worcester has to contribute to our local culture.

Saturday 30th: The President, Rotarian Anne Pooley, of the Rotary Club of Worcester (of which the Mayor becomes a member for his / her year)  held a lunch at her home in Great Witley. A very relaxed and pleasant occasion on a lovely sunny day in our glorious Worcestershire countryside.

The City of Worcester Twinning Association held its annual Cheese and Wine Party this evening courtesy of Mrs. Nicolette Neville-Lee. “Thank you” Nicolette. It is important for members to get together to chat informally about our common interests of “twinning” with towns in Europe and the USA.

Sunday 31st: The Annual Civic Service for the town of Ledbury and its Mayor, Cllr. Allen Conway, took place this afternoon. The procession to St. Michael’s & All Angels Church was led by the Town Crier along the narrow cobbled Church Lane. The Service included readings from John Masefield’s poetic works. Masefield (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967) was born in Ledbury and became Poet Laureat of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death. The Reverend Canon John Atkinson gave the address on the subject of “Nothing” in other words on what some people just do not have. Masefield’s “Wonderings” poem is rather apt:

“I never crossed the town without the sight

Of withered children suffering from the blight …

And starving groups in rags, with boots unsoled,

Blear eyed, and singing ballads in the cold”

My, how things have changed!

Jul 25, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 18 – 24 July 2011

Monday 18th: I think we should do more for Armed Forces Day next year. So with that in mind I met Lt. Colonel Gerry Taggart, Royal Engineers (Retired), in the parlour to discuss possible activities. We plan to meet again.

Tim Clark, of the “Worcester Standard” came for our routine chat about recent mayoral activities and what may be forthcoming.

Headway Worcester Trust Ltd. “provides the only specialist community services in South Worcestershire for people suffering from acquired brain injury, traumatic brain injury and related physical and mental disabilities”. This is a vital service and Jane and I were pleased to attend the AGM chaired by the President David Birtwhistle. It was also an education to see the art work and carpentry which is of immense value to those whom “Headway” supports.

Tuesday 19th: Giving a presentation to a group whose first language is not English is not always easy. You need to think clearly using short uncomplicated sentences and to speak more slowly than usual. That is not being condescending but rather putting yourself in the listeners’ shoes. This was essential when I gave a tour of the Guildhall to two groups of French students (aged 14 – 16 years) here on a language education course.

If the voluntary sector were to disappear the community would become inward looking and selfish and the economic consequences for the nation would be serious indeed. The Worcester Volunteer Centre, directed by the Chief Officer, Sally Ellison, is a vital organisation for the City. Jane and I were grateful to be invited to the AGM. Did you know that 73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteer experience over one without? Worth thinking about!!

Wednesday 20th: Tudor Grange Academy Worcester is on a journey: and what achievements it has attained over these last two years. The KS3 Awards Evening, at which Jane and I were present, was a demonstration of how far it has come. Well done to all the students and the staff.

Thursday 21st: A day of tours of the parlour and Guildhall. This morning I met Joel and Annick Dulphy. Joel is Deputy Mayor of St. George du Bois, Charente-Maritime (near La Rochelle), France. This afternoon 32 Italian students (aged 14 – 17 years) came who are here on an International Study Programme.

Friday 22nd: The annual Inaugural Mayor’s Banquet took place this evening. It was a splendid occasion. The Assembly Room at the Guildhall looked wonderful.

Mayor and Mayoress with Deputy Mayor and Mayoress

Me with Mayoress Jane Tibbutt, Sword Bearer Frank, Deputy Mayoress Jill Berry, Deputy mayor Roger Berry

The flower arrangers created the African theme I had requested: this included the beautiful Gloriosa Lily (sometimes also known as the Flame or Fire Lily) which grow wild in East Africa and the Proteas so common in South Africa.

Cllr. Roger Berry, my long standing friend Professor William Littler (Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Birmingham) and Chris Jaeger of “Worcester Live” spoke well and Cllr. Sue Askin proposed the Loyal Toast. Theo Theobald, our first Worcestershire Poet Laureate, recited his “Worcestershire Sauce” poem that pointed out its aphrodisiac, cure-all and stain removing properties! The whole evening really did enable us to celebrate the great things about Worcester City and especially what its citizens have done for medical care over hundreds of years. This is part of what I said in my speech:

“Worcester was one of the first cities to establish a County Hospital in 1746 by Bishop Maddox.The building is still there in Silver Street and I hope that it will be restored and incorporated into the Lowesmoor development.”

“A new hospital was designed by Anthony Keck in 1767 and the new Worcester Royal Infirmary was completed a few years later on a large artichoke field near the river. We, of course, now have another brand new hospital. I wonder if that too will still be standing in 200 years!!

“Several doctors and surgeons have been Mayors of this City: Christopher Hebb, William Moore-Ede, and Fred Spalding are just three.  Thomas Carden (died in 1836) was also Mayor: his grandson, Henry Carden, invented the “Carden skin flap” for surgical amputation stumps. A great advance in those days before antibiotics.

“The record is endless for which Worcester can take credit. Dr. William Strange, Medical Officer of Health in the 1850’s, did pioneering work to prevent infections among children. Dr. Tony Vickers advanced the techniques of special lung Xrays in the late 1940’s. Dr. Patrick Kidd collaborated with the world famous haematologist, Dr. Rosemary Biggs, on blood tests in clotting disorders. Mr. “Hamish” Chalmers (in the 1960’s) worked on the vacuum extractor: a novel technique for assisting babies into the world. Dr. Martin Skirrow, who is here tonight, did vital research on the culture of Campylobacter being a very common cause of infective bacterial enteritis. Mr. Paul Smart and I worked on Clinical Audit methods, Worcester Royal Infirmary being one of the first hospitals to do this. Mr. John Black, a great friend and recent Worcester surgeon, was among the first to embrace the techniques of keyhole surgery. He is the most recent past President of the Royal College of Surgeons and sends his apologies for not being here tonight.

“Worcester has been majorly involved with clinical trial research, organised through the University of Oxford, into the use of “clot busting” / thrombolytic therapy and aspirin for acute heart attacks. The reduction in mortality was significant. I remember going to a conference in Atlanta when the results were presented and the thrill at such a major breakthrough.”

A big “Thank You” to Susan O’Kane, my PA, for meticulous organisation, to Plyvine, the caterers for an excellent meal, to Frank our Sword Bearer, the Mace Bearers and all Guildhall staff for making this banquet such a memorable occasion.

Mace and Sword Bearers


Jul 18, 2011
Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week , 11 – 17 July 2011

Monday 11th: Finding time to get to do the “weekly” grocery shop can be difficult: went first thing today. The cupboard was getting bare.

As will now be apparent much of the Mayor’s time is taken up with conducting tours of the Guildhall. This building is an amazing asset in our City so I am always happy to show anyone around. Today thirty Italian and two Spanish students arrived. They were on a Cultural and Language programme and were clearly enthralled by Worcester.

Marc Bayliss and Alan Stuttard are representing the Worcester City Team on a special networking conference in Accra (Ghana) beginning next Tuesday (19th). This is under the auspices of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (funded by the DfID) and an important part of the Local Economic Development Programme we are running with the Adentan Municipal Assembly in Ghana. We met for a planning briefing to ensure our input is as effective as possible.

The Worcester Twinning Association met this evening in the Guildhall. The members are a lively group but we do need more to join: check online at www.worcester-international-link.org.uk

Tuesday 12th: Members of the Worcester Tourism Association, Jane and I gathered in the parlour at 2pm and then walked down to the river. We called into Brown’s Restaurant and met Richard Everton who showed us the changes that he had undertaken. It seems that the riverside works really have made a difference to business. The PediTour owner, Marcus Sparrow, demonstrated his Pedi-Cab which should be a great attraction in this lovely weather. A stroll along the riverbank showed the almost complete works on the east side. This is a great improvement on what was there before: if you don’t belief me have a look at the “before and after” photographic records. We ended with “Tea” at the Diglis Hotel which is also now benefiting from the path improvements.

Wednesday 13th: No official mayoral engagements today. Jane and I decided to go to Hay-on-Wye, the little town renowned for its bookshops. We had a specific reason for going and that was to find copies of books written by Mrs. Henry Wood. She wrote about thirty novels at the turn of the 19th Century and they were printed in their millions: “East Lynne”, perhaps the best known, had 760,000 copies printed. I suspect few people know that Mrs. Henry Wood was a Worcester authoress: her portrait is in the Guildhall at the entrance to the Council Chamber. I have just finished reading “Dean Hollow” which is a fascinating story centred on a village (Hurst Leet) near Worcester…I do recommend her writings. We found several copies of her other novels in Hay-on-Wye for about £5 each.

Thursday 14th: Much of the morning was taken up reading the “Planning Committee” papers in preparation for the meeting that began at 1.30pm. and did not finish until 6.30pm. Even the Mayor has non-mayoral duties!!

The Swan Theatre is a central part of Worcester’s culture and funds are always needed. Jane and I attended the “Promises Auction” held at the Theatre. An amusing evening provided by Charles Robinson (from Griffiths & Charles) the auctioneer. There were 79 lots from a bicycle that someone had left behind to “Tea and cakes in the parlour and a tour of the Guildhall” given by the Mayor of Worcester…Oh, that’s me!! Maximum bid for this was £65!!!

Friday 15th: Learning about our history is so important: we are because of what we were! Roger Fairman and Brian Bullock came to see me today to discuss their future programme including “Living History Worcester VIII”. For more information visit the website: www.thebattleofworcestersociety.org.uk

The Elgar Chorale, directed by Donald Hunt, contributes a great deal to music for our City. The “A Time of Remembrance” (for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal) and Christmas Concert (for the Mayor’s charities) were resounding successes last year. Donald and I discussed plans for this year.

Chinese visitors love Worcester. Twenty four students from Yangzhou High School, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China, came for a visit to the parlour and Guildhall. They were thrilled with what they saw. Their knowledge of the English language was remarkably good.

The day was completed by Jane and I attending the Tudor Grange Academy to see “Act 1’s” first annual Showcase: a great variety of performing art by the Sixth Formers. A roller-coaster of entertainment that stirred all sorts of emotions from Shakespeare to “Find Me” written by Olwyn Wymark in 1977. “Find Me” is founded on a story of Verity, a young woman, who had the multiple personality syndrome. It explored many issues and attitudes around mental health. Well done to Jenna Butler (Curriculum Leader in Performing Arts) and all her students.

Saturday 16th: The Battle of Worcester in 1651 lead to a parliamentary system we enjoy in the United Kingdom and elsewhere throughout the world. So Worcester truly is the birthplace of our current democracy. Jane and I joined a “Battle of Worcester Historic Walk” beginning at the Guildhall and thence to the Cornmarket (the site of public executions), St. Helen’s Church in the High Street, the Cathedral (used as a stable during the Civil War) and ending on Fort Royal and the Commandery: did you know that the Commandery has been there in some form for a thousand years originally established by St. Wulstan as a “hospital”? These walks are part of the “Worcester: City of Liberty” project financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Me having a go on the Stepper (right is Emma Campolucci)

Emma Campolucci, Joint Chairperson of the Relay for Life, Worcester, welcomed Jane and me to a promotional event in The Shambles to advertise the Cancer Research UK Relay for Life. This involved using a treadmill emphasising the importance of exercise in general health and possibly for the prevention of some cancers. The Relay will be held at the Nunnery Wood Sports Complex from noon on Saturday 10th September until noon on Sunday 11th September. Get a group of family and friends together and join in!! More information can be found by visiting www.cancerresearchu?k.org/relay/venues/worcest?er

A Summer Concert in the Cathedral by the Alcester Male Voice Choir was outstanding. Special guest performers were the soprano Caroline Causier, the organist Chris Alsop and the outstanding 15 year old violinist Dayna Townsend. The concert was in aid of Parkinson’s UK Worcester & District Branch. Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating condition and although much can be done to alleviate symptoms we still have no cure.

Sunday 17th: No civic engagements today. We are now two days short of our first nine weeks in this mayoral year. It really has been busy: 101 engagements.

A Squadron Royal Mercian & Lancastrian Yeomanry – Tri County Triathlon Challenge – Saturday 30th July 2011: This event focuses on the fitness, teamwork and endurance abilities of the Territorial Army Soldiers and at the same time will be raising funds for the Army Benevolent Fund (“The Soldiers’ Charity”).  It is planned for the soldiers to ride, row and run the 90 miles between the three county towns of Stafford, Worcester and Warwick. The team should arrive in Worcester at the City Library on Foregate Street at about 3.30pm on 30th July. Shortly after that they will depart for Warwick. Come and cheer them on!!

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