Tuesday 17th: My PA, Susan O’Kane, met the church warden, Mrs. Caroline Mayfield, at Whittington Church to plan the Mayoral Thanksgiving Service on Saturday, May 5th.
Wednesday 18th: It was a special pleasure this morning to welcome ten children from Gorse Hill Community Primary School to the Parlour. This was a treat for them as a reward for being the finalists in a recent “Junior Youth Speaks Competition”. Their keenness to learn about our local history was very gratifying. They were well behaved, confident and a credit to themselves, their parents, their school and their community.
A local Ladies’ Luncheon Club came for tea in the parlour and a tour this afternoon. Judging from their delight at what they see it has become more and more clear to me that still few know just what there is to see in the Guildhall.
The first Annual Mayor of Worcester’s Lecture, in association with the Civic Society (President Professor Michael Clarke CBE), was presented on 22nd. April 1999 by Sir William Lawrence, Chairman of the Heart of England Tourist Board, with the title “A Vision for Worcester, a Place to Visit and a Place to Live”. This evening over 100 people came to the Guildhall and heard an excellent and thought provoking lecture by Gavin Stamp entitled “Britain’s Lost Cities”. Gavin is a well known historian and Channel 5 TV Presenter. He demonstrated the fact that, although there was much destruction during the Second World War, there was also huge amounts of damage and demolition that took place before and after the war. We have lost so much. Although Worcester did not suffer significantly from bombing there has certainly been a great loss of wonderful historic buildings in the name of progress. I quote from “Wikitravel”: “The city was heavily renovated during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and not very sympathetically. Numerous old roads and courtyards were demolished. The last Cathedral Lychgate in England was demolished along with Sir Edward Elgar’s shop to make way for a charmless hotel and a multi-storey car park. This is known locally as “The Rape of Worcester””. I hope, and believe, we have learnt from those days.
Thursday 19th: College Luis Ortiz Saint Dizier in France has a partnership arrangement with Hagley High School. Forty nine 13 – 14 year olds from the College are on a linguistic visit. Part of their visit included a trip to Worcester to see the Guildhall especially. As always they were impressed by our history and also to learn that we have links with two French towns namely Vernon and Le Vésinet.
Friday 20th: An early meeting in the Parlour with representatives of the armed forces, police and others to discuss the plans for the parade through the City on Wednesday 27th. June prior to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30th. June. Watch this space: it will be spectacular.
“Café 43”, in the Upper Tything, have joined with the Royal Grammar School to arrange a competition to design pictures for table place mats. There were many very colourful entries and the three winners (Danielle Greening, Natasha Bratton and Keira Brady) came along to “Café 43” so that I could present the prizes. Well done girls.
At the end of the morning I entertained 16 visitors from Bangladesh. They are here (14th. April – 26th. May) from the Ministry of Public Administration of the Government of Bangladesh studying a number of projects from waste management to health clinic arrangements.
It was an additional special pleasure this afternoon to welcome twelve children from St. Barnabas’ Church of England Primary School to the Parlour. As for the children from Gorse Hill Primary School on Wednesday this was a treat for them as a reward for being the finalists in the “Junior Youth Speaks Competition”. They were yet another group of children who are a credit to our City.
Worcester really is ahead of the game for planning the marking of the Centenary, in 2014, of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The mayoral committee met in the parlour to gather progress. Another space to watch.
The magnificent French Suite in the Chateau Impney was the venue for the Annual Civic Charity Ball of Councillor Mike Barratt (Mayor of Droitwich Spa) and Mayoress, Mrs. Lynda Barratt. A great evening raising a lot of money for St. Richard’s Hospice and MacMillan Cancer Support.
Now that was a busy day!!
Saturday 21st: To be interviewed live can be a daunting prospect. But this morning was an enjoyable occasion on “Choice Radio” at the Richard Young Centre in the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Tony Deakin was the Presenter and we chatted around my life and the role of mayor. My six selections of music were:
- A Rwandan piece (“Kamalila”) that had been sent to me by friends in Rwanda.
- “Rain drops Keep Falling on My Head”.
- The Alleluia chorus from Handel’s “Messiah”.
- “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.
- Concerto No. 2 in G minor “L’estate” Presto by Vivaldi and played by Nigel Kennedy.
- The South African National Anthem: “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica”.
You can listen to the recording on: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=c1653b287b22ffcf&resid=C1653B287B22FFCF!130&id=C1653B287B22FFCF!130
Jane and I visited the “Wustock” 2012 (Worcester Rock City) Concert held in the Christopher Whitehead Language College and at which I gave a short speech. “Wustock” is a family friendly community music festival celebrating home grown musical talent. Worcester Rock City was founded in 2009 and since then it has hosted over 100 bands. This initiative has facilitated individual bands to work together to promote the collective music movement.
What a week this is turning out to be! Another big dinner event this evening for St. George’s Day. Jane and I were invited by Major Stephen Dwyer and 214 (Worcestershire) Battery at Dancox House to attend this evening to celebrate. A great military occasion
Sunday 22nd: The Worcester District Scout Council held its St. George’s Day Service in the Cathedral and led by The Rev. Caon Alvyn Pettersen. Hundreds of scouting members and their leaders, family and friends packed the pews. The service was followed by a march past at which Worcester District Scout Commissioner Mark Strain and I took the salute outside the Guildhall. The scouting movement in Worcester is undoubtedly thriving demonstrating the best of our young people.