I did my first public visit tour of the Guildhall this week. Fire buckets, parlour, cells, George III, Queen Anne. A compact but interested group, though I think I may need more practice.
What I don’t tend to need practice in is enjoying myself, which is exactly what happened on Friday night. The Queens’s Commonwealth baton was in town as you know and after welcoming it to the city on the Guildhall steps, I de-robed and made it down to Castle Street where it finished up at the Old Infirmary. On its way it passed hundreds of well-wishers, on land and water, across the racecourse and back to the Arches. It was great to see people supporting the Games, and well done to all the baton bearers, representatives of our communities.
I had my picture with mascot Perry, not to mention lots of kids and their parents! And then a great evening of non-stop entertainment along the Arches. This is what we hoped the Arches would become – lively, friendly, safe and welcoming. Music, beer and food – a real fiesta! Bands marched up and down the length of the footway until dark. Let’s do it every month!! (And thanks for the loan of the shirt John). The Games are local – did you spot Worcester’s Edward Elgar puppet in the Opening Ceremony?
An early start on Saturday took us across the Malverns to the Three Choirs Festival. A much more stately affair, the three mayors procession with Gloucester and Hereford, and a line of other town mayors, judges, and dignitaries. We were led by a piper who sparked up ‘Scotland the Brave’ when we passed the Edinburgh Woollen Mill! The music at a Three Choirs concert is always exceptional and this opening service was impressive. I admit though, after all those mad and random photos on Friday night my nose was put out of joint in Hereford. The crowds only seemed interested in our Swordbearer’s ostrich feathers – beautiful plumage!