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Category: 2011-2012 Mayor Dr David Tibbutt

Mayor’s Week, 19 – 25 March 2012

Mayor’s Week, 19 – 25 March 2012

Monday 19th: Doris White was born on 21st. March 1912. Today Jane and I attended her 100 years’ birthday celebration in the Bromyard Road Methodist Church Hall. Doris has been a longstanding member of the West Worcester Live at Home Scheme. She still lives at home alone but with the dedicated support of her nearby daughter Carol. For 17 years she was secretary to the Head of Pitmaston School and later St. John’s School. Her husband, Randolph White, was a Worcester City Councillor and Alderman from 1938 until the mid 1970’s.

1912: what a year in which to be born! The Republic of China was established, the African National Congress was founded in South Africa, Captain Robert Scott and his team reached the South Pole, the  “Titanic” sank and Lawrence Durrell (British writer), James Callaghan, (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Perry Como (American singer), Walter Sisulu (South African anti-apartheid activist) and Enoch Powell (British politician) were all born in that year.

Wednesday 21st: The University of Worcester and the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) over the last two years have arranged an educational partnership. UMD’s “Study in England” programme is now based in Worcester. I was pleased to welcome to the Parlour UMD’s Chancellor Dr. Lendley Black and his wife Connie and also Dr. Kathryn Martin the retiring Chancellor. In the evening Jane and I attended a Reception for the Chancellor held in the Riverside Building. There is no doubt that this relationship between our universities is of great mutual benefit.

The Rotary Club of Worcester South invited Jane and me for lunch in the Worcestershire County Cricket Club Suite. I was the guest speaker and gave a talk based on a “scamper through my life”.

Thursday 22nd: The team of three (Alan Stuttard, James Blackwell and Richard Hopkins) going to the Adentan Municipal Assembly in Ghana met this morning, with my Chairmanship, to finalise plans for their visit in three weeks’ time.  All is set now to take forward the Masterplan for the Adentan area and to draw together all the strands of this very successful Local Economic Development project funded by the DfID.

Dr. John Harcup, OBE (Chairman of the Elgar Society) is a longstanding friend. He was a General Practitioner in Malvern while I was a Consultant Physician in Worcester. John is an enthusiastic medical historian and came to the Parlour for a chat. He was particularly concerned as to how we can raise the profile of the Hurd Library in Hartlebury Castle. We had a number of ideas.

Hartlebury Castle
Hartlebury Castle

A quote from the web site ( “The Hurd Library, founded in 1783 by Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester from 1781-1808, at Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire, is open by appointment to students and scholars by kind permission of the Bishop of Worcester and the Church Commissioners. This magnificent and nationally important library is a unique example of a working library, formed by an 18th century Anglican bishop of wide interests, still on its original shelves in the room built for it. It holds some 5,000 volumes on extremely varied subjects, ranging in date from 1476 to the early 19th century, and includes over 40 volumes from the library of Alexander Pope.”

We also discussed the idea of an annual medical lecture for the people of Worcester and to demonstrate how much our City has contributed to medical science. The first lecture will be given by Professor Richard Lewis, FRCP, on 9th. May in the Guildhall. It will tell the story of medicine in Worcester based upon the portraits in the old Board Room of the Worcester Royal Infirmary (now the City Campus of the University). We would like more ideas about medical topics but here is a “starter” list we have put together:

History of the Worcester Royal Infirmary.

  • History of “Hospitals” in Worcester.
  • Cholera.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Campylobacter and gastroenteritis.
  • Sir Charles Hastings.
  • Medical Mayors.
  • The first President of the Royal College of Surgeons from Worcester.
  • Public health.
  • Powick Hospital and the treatment of schizophrenia.
  • Elgar and Medicine.
  • The History of Nursing in Worcester.
  • Worcester’s contributions to clinical trial research.
  • Dr. John Wall.
  • The medical books in the Hurd Library.

Friday 23rd: The Rotary Club of Worcester had arranged with St. Barnabas’ CE Primary School to have “Junior Youth Speaks” and “Poetry Reading” competitions. This was a brilliant idea and enabled the twelve finalists to demonstrate their abilities. It is a great challenge to stand up in front of your school friends and speak for five minutes. Jane and I were two of the judges….a very difficult task judging on a wide range of factors including clarity of speech, smoothness of delivery, expression of ideas, richness of vocabulary, grammatical accuracy and general demeanour. The children and the school should be proud of themselves. The prizes and certificates were presented by Anne Pooley, President of the Rotary Club.

Doug Hamilton-Cox was a sapper with the Royal Engineers. He has just begun an attempt to walk the 2,500 miles of the canal network of the UK. This current part of his challenge takes in the Worcester to Birmingham canal. So I was delighted to see him when he took time off to come to the Guildhall. With his other walks, including one from John O’Groats to Lands End, he has raised £50,000 for such charities as “Help for Heroes” and the Military section of the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital Birmingham. For more information see Doug’s website Donations can be made to Doug’s charities on

Saturday 24th: “St. John Passion” is one of the greatest works by J.S.Bach. It was performed in the Cathedral by the Worcester Festival Choral Society and the Westminster Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Adrian Lucas. The soloists were Nicholas Mulroy (tenor), Peter Savidge (Baritone), Julie Cooper (Soprano), Kate Symonds-Joy (Mezzo-soprano), Nicholas Sharratt (Tenor) and Robert Rice (Baritone). This was the last concert to be conducted by Adrian as the Society’s Director of Music. A most moving and enjoyable evening.



Mayor’s Week, 12 – 18 March 2012

Mayor’s Week, 12 – 18 March 2012

Monday 12th: Another talk and tour of the Parlour and Guildhall. Twenty students from Spain on an exchange visit with Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College came. This is when I wish my knowledge of other languages was greater but at least it has taught me to speak using uncomplicated English.

Lunch with the Rotary Club of Worcester at the invitation of the President Anne Pooley and held in the Worcester County Cricket Club. We had a talk describing the huge amount of work undertaken by Rotary.

Tuesday 13th: Philip Graeme H?tch died on 24th February at the age of 83 years. Jane and I represented the City at his funeral held at the crematorium. Philip was a councillor for twelve years until 1996 and Mayor of Worcester between 1986 and 1987. He was a passionate musician joining the Worcester Symphony Orchestra in 1960. The twinning, in 1987, of Worcester with Kleve in Germany is also much to the credit of this many talented man.

Philip Hytch
Philip Graeme H?tch when he was Mayor of Worcester in 1986

The Support Group for Breast Cancer Patients from Worcestershire came to see the treasures of the Guildhall and tea in the Parlour.

Wednesday 14th: It was a real pleasure to welcome fourteen sixth form students from Rheims who are on a visit to the King’s School to improve their English. So I hoped I was able to help when taking them around the Guildhall.

Reims Students

Rheims is a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France about 80 miles east-northeast of Paris. Its origins go back to the Gauls and it became a major city during the Roman Empire. It was the site of the coronation of the French kings. The Cathedral of Rheims is the equivalent of Westminster Abbey.

Thursday 15th: Of all the things that irritate me (and there aren’t many!) littering is at the top of the list. As a child I was severely reprimanded if I were to drop the smallest piece of litter: “Put it in your pocket and take it home if you can’t find a litter bin”. Litter spoils our wonderful City, discourages visitors and costs a great deal of local tax payers’ money to clear it up. The problem is in the hands of all of us. I was pleased to welcome to the Parlour and congratulate Trevor Smith, franchise owner of the 3  local McDonald’s stores in Worcester, and his staff who have formed a partnership with the council in combating litter. The teams have conducted 8 joint litter picks so far since the summer and have now pledged to carry this on a monthly basis, and are doing their best to combat this antisocial problem.

MacDonalds Staff at Guildhall
Left ot Right: Taz, Myself, Trevor Smith (franchise owner), Trevor and James

As part of the Keep Britain Tidy, Love Where you Live campaign on Saturday 18th February there was a major litter pick along the riverside paths (both sides) between the Sabrina and Diglis bridges. Staff from McDonald’s, players from the Hylton Road Rovers Football Club, students from the University and City Council Staff all took part. These 23 volunteers collected thirteen bags of rubbish. So if anyone would like to help in future do contact Sian Stokes, Worcester City Council’s Community Engagement Officer (01905 752974).

Friday 16th: The Queen’s Royal Hussars is the senior United Kingdom light cavalry regiment. It was formed in 1993 from the amalgamation of The Queen’s Own Hussars and The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars. The QRH will be parading through the City on 27th June as part of the “Armed Forces Day” celebrations and to mark the regiment’s return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.. I was therefore delighted to welcome to the Parlour Brigadier Andrew Bellamy, Colonel in Chief of the Regiment, to discuss the plans for what I am sure will be a momentous day.

Everyone is getting into the spirit of this Diamond Jubilee Year. Cllr. Anne Hingley, Mayor of Kidderminster Town, held her Diamond Jubilee Charity Ball in the magnificent Town Hall. An excellent evening.

Saturday 17th: Since its formation in 1997 the Worcester Male Voice Choir has helped raise over £120,000 for worthwhile causes. Jane and I have heard the choir on several occasions and they just get better and better. This evening the choir performed a concert in Norton Parish Hall in aid of the Worcester Heart Support Group. The Guest soloist was Margaret Gregg-Peters. Great entertainment.

Sunday 18th: The Friends of Astwood Cemetery had organised a Service for Mothering Sunday held this afternoon in the Crematorium Chapel. It was conducted by The Reverend Canon Dr. Stuart Currie (Vicar of Barbourne St. Stephen). A simple and inspiring service to mark this very special day.

Mothers Day Service at Worcester Crematorium
Myself, The Mayoress and Reverend Canon Dr. Stuart Curry in The Garden of Remembrance

Flowers left in the Garden of Remembrance at Astwood Crematorium

Flowers left in The Garden of Remembrance at Worcester Crematorium

This Christian festival of Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Its history goes back to Roman times when the festival called Hilaria honoured the mother goddess Cybele. Later as Christianity spread the liturgical calendar included it to honour the Virgin Mary and the “mother church“. In more recent times when domestic service was commonplace servants were allowed this one day off to visit their Church often with their mothers and families. Children would pick wild flowers to give to their mothers. This festival has had other names which include Refreshment Sunday, Pudding Pie Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday, Simnel Sunday, Rose Sunday and “the Sunday of the Five Loaves”, from the traditional Gospel reading for the day.

Mayor’s Week, 5 – 11 March 2012

Mayor’s Week, 5 – 11 March 2012

Fifty years ago (1962) 70% of men and 40% of women smoked. The work carried out by Sir Richard Doll and his associates in Oxford established the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer and “coronary thrombosis”. The prevalence of smoking is now down to 21% for both sexes. A fantastic achievement but we need to do more to help those who want to quit. I am concerned especially about the developing world where tobacco is being “pushed”: already this is having a serious effect on health on top of all of the tropical diseases and AIDS with which these countries have to cope.

Monday 5th: Tim Clark, Editor of the “Worcester Standard”, and I had our regular chat in the parlour.

Tuesday 6th: The Worcester Masonic Ladies Friendship Club was a delightful group who came to the Parlour for a tour. Several had links with past mayors and civic officials at the Guildhall so they taught me a few extra historical facts.

The Worcester Masonic Ladies Friendship Club

Thursday 8th: The Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Centre in the Great Western Business Park opened in June 2009 and provides a high standard service for 63 patients with chronic kidney failure. These patients attend three times each week for a dialysis session that lasts about five hours. Jane and I visited the centre as part of “World Kidney Day”. We were most impressed and especially how well the patients were. Such an enormous contrast from the early days of dialysis when I was working on the Kidney Unit in Oxford over 40 years ago.

The 2012 “World Kidney Day” Campaign focuses on the positive outcome of kidney transplantation and the life-saving aspect of organ donation. The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Donate  –  Kidneys for Life  –  Receive.” For more information see

World Kidney Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) began in the early 1900’s and was celebrated today.

International Women's Day

Sarah Blaine and her colleagues had set up an exhibition in the Guildhall to raise awareness of the role of women in the world and of Fair Trade. IWD is a national holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cuba, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Russia, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with small gifts. There is no doubt that the participation of women, especially in developing countries such as Rwanda, is increasing rapidly with a beneficial impact on society. Great changes have come about. There are female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family and women have real choices. The nature of IWD has moved from just a reminder about the negatives to a highlighting of the positives. For more information:

Friday 9th: More work on planning for Armed Forces Week in June. It is fitting that we enhance our celebrations particularly during this Diamond Jubilee Year. Hard work for all those involved but it will be worth it.

Mrs. Margaret Renney and Mr. John Quibell-Smith met with me in the parlour to go through the final plans for the English Speaking Union competition tomorrow.

Le Vésinet, in France, is one of our twinned towns so it was a special pleasure to welcome thirty students from Collège de Cèdre. They are on an exchange visit with The King’s School.

Le Vésinet
Le Vésinet (from Wikipedia)

The day was rounded off with a Civic Dinner, hosted by the Mayor of Pershore, Cllr. John Grantham, MBE, and Mayoress Mrs. Sheila Grantham, at the Berkeley Arms, Egdon. This was to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen. A most enjoyable evening that also raised funds for the “Midlands Air Ambulance” and “Acorns”.

Saturday 10th: Jane and I were invited to view the West Mercia Model Railway Exhibition held in the Perdiswell Leisure Centre. It was huge and enormous fun. The layouts were impressive. The advances in technology have enabled realistic sights and sounds…just wonderful. It is really worth having a look at the website:

The English Speaking Union (see “brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures. By building skills and confidence in communication, we give people the opportunity to realise their potential. Worldwide, the members and alumni of the ESU support these objectives. Our vision is to provide people in the UK and internationally with communication skills, confidence and networking opportunities.” I was privileged to be asked to act as one of the three adjudicators for the competition held in the Guildhall Assembly Room.

English Speaking Union

It was the final for the Midlands’ Region. There were six competing schools: King Edward School (Birmingham), Warwick School, Kingstone High School (Hereford), Magdalen College School (Oxford), English Martyrs Catholic School (Leicester) and Stroud High School. The confidence of and performances by these young people were impressive making the task of the adjudicators difficult! The topics were of a broad range and included “Robin Hood was a terrorist”, “China’s one child policy violates basic human rights” and “The sale of pornographic material should be banned”. The winning team came from Magdalen College School… but really they were all winners!

Mayor’s Week, 27 February – 4 March 2012

Mayor’s Week, 27 February – 4 March 2012

Monday 27th: “Fair Trade” fortnight began today. We live in a world generally of “Free Trade” but with that privilege comes a responsibility to ensure that trade is fare. This is especially important for populations in developing countries where poverty is way outside our experience in the “West”. I have observed this at first hand in countries like Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda. We must do all we can to ensure that producers of goods and products in these countries receive a sufficient and fair price so provide at least the basic necessities of family life: health, education and a home. That is where the “Fair Trade” organisation plays a vital part. Worcester is a “Fair Trade” City where numerous retailers, restaurants, schools and churches ensure that they have a range of “Fair Trade” goods available.


More information on

Tuesday 28th: My older son, Mark, had been a pupil at Hawford Lodge School (now King’s Hawford). He always remembers his time there thirty years ago with such joy and pleasure. Jane and I had been invited to the school for lunch with the pupils. However before sitting down to an excellent meal I was asked to read a story. I chose “In which Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place” from “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A.Milne. It is amazing how these books published in the 1920’s still hold affection with children and adults alike. Then it was our turn to listen to three of the children read a passage of their choosing. We also met with the pupil members of the School Council. They really took this seriously with all sorts of ideas to improve things at the school and ways of raising funds for charity.

A most enjoyable afternoon entertaining a group of 21 friends from the Whittington Church congregation. It is always a great pleasure to reveal what is “behind the scenes” historically in the Guildhall. Jane had baked a number of cakes for tea.

Wednesday 29th: This evening I really wanted to go the lecture at the University given by Dr. Jeremy Dawson (University of Sheffield) with the title “Team working in health care: Implications for staff well-being and patient safety”. Unfortunately the traffic was so heavy that I managed less than half a mile from home in thirty minutes…in the end I gave up.

Thursday 1st: “NAKED AMBITION. My Quest to Row an Ocean” was written by Richard Wood. It tells the story of his rowing solo across the Atlantic in 2004: an astonishing achievement. In 2006 Richard suffered a stroke paralysing his left side. But nothing, even a physical disability, will stop this courageous man. He has learnt to walk and still has challenges to pursue. I met him with Kath Wood (no relation), a neurological physiotherapist, in the Parlour, to discuss their quest to set up a charity to “enable individuals with long-term neurological disabilitiesthe opportunity to access further, on-going rehabilitation”. Neurological conditions result from damage to the brain, spinal column or nerves, caused by illness or injury. The first aim is to create a physiotherapy-led hydrotherapy exercise service for these people. This seems like an important initiative to me.

Sir charles hastingsThe British Medical Associationwas founded on July 19th 1832 by Sir Charles Hastings in the Board Room of the Worcester Royal Infirmary (WRI). A reception was held in that historical Board Room and Jenny Lind Chapel and hosted by Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester. It was attended by almost a hundred doctors and guests many of whom were old colleagues from my days of working at the WRI. It was a wonderful occasion to see how the old hospital has been brought back into use as the City Campus of the University. We all then attended a “Black Tie Dinner” in the Assembly Room of the Guildhall to celebrate 180 years of medicine in Worcester.

Friday 2nd: Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham has an exchange arrangement with a school in Dresden in Germany. Twelve students, aged around 17 years, on this year’s exchange came for a tour of the Guildhall. I never fail to be impressed by the command of English acquired by these young folk: certainly makes giving a talk much easier since my knowledge of German is nil!

Dresden Students

We continue to plan and gain more ideas for the marking of the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014. The team met this afternoon. Soon we will be putting a box in the Guildhall for people to place their thoughts and perhaps contributions of memorabilia.

Saturday 3rd: The forecourt of the Guildhall was the scene today of a stall to promote “Fair Trade”: there were many examples of products to try and taste.

Fairtrade stalls

The hope is that this will highlight the importance of “Fair Trade” and to encourage people to look for items when doing their weekly shopping. Over 3,000 “Fair Trade” products are now available. Over the ten years 2001 – 2011 the retail turnover of these goods has risen from £50.5 million to £1,319 million.

Fairtrade chocolate

While I was at the Guildhall this morning there was an exhibition of a variety of health related initiatives. These included sessions on “meditation” and the organiser took a bet with the “Zumba” lady that I wouldn’t take part…well I did! The trouble was I could not hear the relaxing words that drifted across the group while we had our eyes closed. So I had to peep from time to time to make sure I hadn’t been left alone.


Then the “Zumba” organiser bet the “meditation” organiser that I wouldn’t do the “Zumba” exercises on the Guildhall forecourt. Well, you can guess what happened next…. at least it brought in the crowds!!

Zumba outside the Guildhall

I am not a football fan but my son, Mark and his wife Sarah, persuaded Jane and me to go to the match at St. George’s Lane this afternoon. Worcester City was playing Boston United. In fact it was most enjoyable. Worcester won 3 – 0. Before the match Worcester was ninth (out of 22 teams) in the Blue Square Bet North Table only one above Boston United. If Worcester City continues to play as well as they did today they should advance up the Table. I wish them well.