It’s always good to start the week positively, as I jointly hosted a reception in College Hall in the Cathedral to mark the end of the Three Choirs Festival and to thank all the participants. Most of them were justifiably tired, but pleased with the way everything had gone and were looking forward to a rest or holiday.
I then rapidly moved on to what will be the first of many serious events to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War (there will be on-going events for 2015 to 2018 to parallel the years of the war.) This service of remembrance, held at the Army Reserve Centre, was part of the Lights Out campaign between 10.00 p.m. and 11.00 p.m., at which point in 1914 the war actually started with the British declaration of war on Germany.
It was a real pleasure to meet so many enthusiastic and cheerful men and women members of the Battery – but perhaps not surprising since they were in the Bar at the time – who freely give of their time to be part of the Army Reserve, with some coming from as far away as Shropshire. A nice touch was that some passers-by were allowed in to the parade and it was a pure pleasure to see the look of excitement on the faces of the children with the gunfire volley at 11 p.m., followed by another one two minutes later.
I’m often concerned about the low participation of young people in so many of our institutions and organisations, so I was certainly elated by my attendance at the Swan Theatre’s performance of Footloose by Worcester Operatic & Dramatic Society Youth Section (WODYS). Remember, these youngsters are only aged 8 – 18 years old, but it was such a lively and professional performance you forgot that fact.
There are 70 young people in WODYS, with another 78 encouragingly on the waiting list. In particular, I must applaud the lead actor, Jack Cashion who played the part of Ren, and I very much hope he achieves his ambition to read History at Oxford. To the production team and organisers – thank you for a superbly enjoyable evening.