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.
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.
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.
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.
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!