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.
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.
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.
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.
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.