My busiest week so far was dominated by remembrance services for the Battle of the Somme. I launched a charity fundraising initiative at Individual Tailoring, opened two exciting new Worcester businesses, visited three school concerts, a community Ramadan celebration, attended one civic event and welcomed a group of young visitors from Stuttgart, Germany.
Friday marked the Battle of the Somme centenary, the darkest day in British military history, when 60,000 of our citizens were killed or injured in a single day. The early morning service at the war memorial and one in the Cathedral in the afternoon were both inspiring and fitting tributes. Keeping these memories alive is important because surviving relatives know that we still care. We are also reminded that war means loss of lives and must always be a last resort.
On a happier note, the concerts were celebrations of musical achievement by extremely talented blind and partially sighted students at New College and very young children at RGS The Grange. Ian Venables’ song cycle “Through These Pale Cold Days” also had its world premiere at RGS.
Small businesses are vital to our city, so it was good to open Worcester Eyecare in Sidbury and RedPoint Indoor Climbing Centre in Midland Road. Worcester Eyecare offers state-of-the-art optical care and RedPoint brings a superb new facility to our city, which helps users to exercise in an exciting and challenging way. Individual Tailoring in The Foregate launched an innovative idea which both helps local charity and supports their business. Donating an unwanted suit gains £50 discount on a new one – and the old suit is sold by St Richard’s Hospice to raise funds.
Breaking the fast with our Muslim friends in Fort Royal Park was wonderful – people of different ages and faiths sharing fun, food and conversation.