Weight Watchers should have been with me at the opening of the new branch of Oak Furnitureland at Blackpole Retail Park, as the cake they displayed as part of the opening ceremony was that of a young lady subject to a partially complete autopsy! A clever idea to reduce calorie intake, if a little gruesome! If you haven’t guessed, it was a fund raiser!
The opening of VJ Day celebration was a moving occasion, with a good turnout of both residents and members of the Royal British Legion. A short service was held on the steps of the Guildhall and afterwards people could view the material on show on the stalls that had been set up on either side of the entrance. Apart from the significance of this being the 70th anniversary, we were privileged to have Fred Seiker with us, signing copies of his book, “Lest We Forget” – a Booker prize winning story about the Railroad of Death in Burma.
Fred, a local chap, was captured when the Japanese invaded and overran the island of Java and he was sent to work on the Thai-Burma railroad, where the most horrendous of the prisoner of camps were, resulting in the highest number of deaths among all the camps. He was not repatriated until 1946. Fred is now 99 years of age, he will celebrate his 100th birthday on the 20th November. Fred once said, “You never live until you have almost died”.
On a lighter note I then had the great pleasure of opening the 13th Worcester Festival which started with the great sounds of the Gugge Band as they rhythmically swaggered up the High Street from Elgar’s statue.
Then the fun started as The Rock Choir followed Gugge, and the sounds of both gave the crowd some really great entertainment! This year the Festival is hosting 387 events at 32 venues, of which 228 are free and a further 118 are less than £5.00!
The Worcester Show over in Gheluvelt Park was the best yet, it has been estimated that some 10,000 visitors came and what a show it was! This event has been getting bigger and better each year and this year saw more than 900 entries in the marquee and over 150 local exhibitors representing exceptionally high standards throughout.
The Flash Mob started things off and then the ribbon was cut, crowds poured into the marquee to see the hundreds of entries and how they had been judged. I saw the best Begonia I have ever seen and the biggest cabbage by far!
Michelle Newell and her team excelled in producing this truly great event, the weather smiled on us and the wonderful atmosphere completed the picture. Everyone I spoke to (and that ran into hundreds) said they’d had a lovely time. My thanks to “Our Team” at the City Council for delivering such a good event.