Every year, Christmas seems to arrive surprisingly early. It feels like it was still summer a couple of weeks ago. Autumn seems to have been very short and we are about to move our clocks back which, for me, signals the start of winter.
On Tuesday, mayoress Lynn and I were surrounded by colourful calendars and Christmas cards when we opened the charity card shop inside the Guildhall. There was an extensive choice of designs and I was impressed that over 70% of the money paid for the cards goes to worthwhile charities. Well done to the volunteers who will be running this shop during the weeks ahead. I’m sure Worcester people will support their efforts.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester launched his latest book Disconnected: Broken Links in Britain’s Rail Policy with a talk at The Hive. This fascinating talk reminded the audience that successive governments have failed to give proper commitment to developing a really good national rail network – little wonder that we have increasingly congested motorways and crowded trains today.
I had the honour of hosting a visit by officials and business people from Anhui in China. Fortunately, they were accompanied by interpreters so that they, and our council leader, cabinet members and officers could understand each other. It is hoped that these early talks will, over time, bring mutual benefits to both Anhui and Worcester.
The Worcester Repertory Company have been staging Shakespeare’s lesser known play King John before sell-out Cathedral audiences and we were lucky enough to have seats for the final show. Coinciding with the 800th anniversary of the death of King John, this production took place next to his tomb, which added poignancy to the atmospheric setting.
We rose early on Wednesday for breakfast with Worcester Vigornia Rotarians at their regular Fownes Hotel gathering. Good to hear plans for collections of food and cash for food parcels for those in need in our city. It must be Christmas!