I’ve had such a busy fortnight, I haven’t had time to post to the blog until today. Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last two weeks.
Sunday 28 October, we attended the 98th Anniversary of the 1914 Battle of Gheluvelt and service, at the memorial in Gheluvelt Park. I laid a wreath together with other dignitaries. I was impressed with the attendance of members of the public and gave a short speech, thanking those for taking part in what proved to be an emotional ceremony.
Afterwards we had lunch at the British Legion Club, where we met local members of the British Legion and representatives who had attended from South Wales.
The following day I was able to catch up with some gardening, clearing up the leaves and re-potting plants ready for winter. It is quite relaxing, getting some mud on my boots and planting tulip bulbs!
In the evening Jill and I attended the Monday Night Club’s first birthday party in Barbourne, where we judged the fancy dress competition and met members of the Club, who really know how to enjoy themselves!
On Tuesday I attended my University of the 3rd Age history group meeting, where Jeff Carpenter was the speaker on Victorian Worcester. His local knowledge is quite fantastic. Later I met with The Managing Director and Leader of the City Council, for an update on council affairs.
During the evening Jill and I attended the last event in Bosch’s 50th Year celebrations at the Cathedral. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Bosch Orchestra, who were preceded by Voices Unlimited – a local contemporary choir.
Jill and I attended Worcester Community Trust’s free annual fireworks display at KGV Playing Fields on Thursday evening. The attendance was estimated to be in the region of 7,000 people. Thanks are due to LMS Events who provided their services at the display. We enjoyed meeting local people and were pleased with the increase in attendance this year.
On Friday I attended the Co-operatives United World Festival and ICAEXPO in Central Manchester – the culmination of the International Co-operative Alliance’s events in the UN’s International Year of Co-operation. It was a great honour that the UK was selected for their annual conference, and to meet so many international co-operators who had attended.
At the weekend I attended Worcester Round Table’s annual charity bonfire and fireworks display at Pitchcroft, and was asked to light the bonfire by means of an electronic button. I was pleased to attend, as when our children were younger this was an annual family event and I had always wanted to light the fire.
It is so important to support this display, as all the money raised is distributed to local charities. Thanks to the volunteers who make this event a success, despite the frequent inclement weather.
The week commenced with an interesting meeting with the Rotary Club to plan the annual Charity Banquet. Jill and I then departed for the Cathedral, for a rehearsal ahead of Sunday’s Remembrance Day events.
The following day I attended a meeting of the joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, where we heard of delays to the announcement about the Joint Service Review, which is causing so much anxiety for staff and public alike.
Wednesday saw me attending a property inspection with colleagues who are trustees of the Worcester Consolidated Municipal Charity. Over the years we have disinvested in agricultural holdings and invested in providing accommodation for local charities or commercial properties. Incomes have accordingly increased, to the benefit of recipients of this vital charity.
Later Jill and I attended Free Radio’s annual presentation evening at the Rugby Club. I was asked to present an award to a local lady who had fostered children for nearly 30 years, and who has done a great deal to help her local community in Malvern. The whole evening was a tribute to the generosity of people and highlighted how youngsters have made so much of their lives, despite so many health problems. Congratulations to all the winners!
On Thursday Jill and I attended the Shrub Hill Workshop’s open day, and were pleased to hear presentations from service users who were moving on to paid employment, work experience, full-time education or engagement with local community projects. This NHS Centre has a fine record of achievement and we were both impressed with the interesting activities that are taking place there. Thanks for the opportunity to see such interesting activities and meet local people.
Jill and I met HRH the Duke of Gloucester for coffee on Friday, prior to attending Worcester University’s Graduation Ceremonies. He was most interested in the Parlour’s treasures and clearly enjoys local history.
Afterwards I joined the University Procession to the Cathedral and enjoyed seeing so much hard work being recognised at the event. These two final ceremonies were well attended by past students and families. Fellowships were presented to Mrs Angela Brinton, Mr Les Bailey and Chris Jaegar. The role the university plays in the life of the City is becoming increasingly important and is a major economic driver in these difficult times.
The weekend saw us at birthday celebrations for Former Mayor Brenda Sherridan. On Saturday evening we were pleased to be guests on the last night of the Worcester Musical Theatre’s production of “Flying High” at The Swan Theatre. What a lot of hard work has gone into this production; we were left breathless! Congratulations to all concerned and thanks to Dick Saunders and Aileen Haden for their hospitality. The local Air Ambulance benefitted from over £2,000 which was raised from the nightly raffles!
Remembrance Sunday turned out to be a fine sunny autumn day, and was well attended by the public who thronged to line the streets of the City.
Together with others, I laid a wreath and thoroughly enjoyed the Dean’s thought-provoking sermon. It is pleasing to see the support from the public increasing annually.
Afterwards we welcomed participants into the Guildhall for hospitality.
In the afternoon Jill and I lunched at the TA centre in Lowesmoor and then attended the “Woodbine Willie” service in St John’s Cemetry. It was well-supported on a lovely afternoon; thanks go to Canon Paul Tongue and British Legion colleagues.