Two addition plaques were recently “unveiled” noting the locations of Trinity Gate, near the Corn Market, and St Nicholas Gate, (which was also known as Gaol Gate), in St Nicholas Street. I believe originally there were nine gates through which Worcester could be entered back when it was a “walled city”; most have now been identified and plaques erected, thanks to the efforts of the Civic Society and sponsors. I’m very much in favour of these plaques as they help to bring Worcester’s history to life and preserve important locations. They are helping to make Worcester more interesting for our visitors while making us, the people of Worcester, more aware of our city’s past.
The ribbon was cut to open Colmore Tang Construction’s transformation of the former MEB offices on Blackpole Road into luxury apartments, known as Bridgewater House. The £10 million redevelopment by property developer Seven Capital has seen the building revitalised into one and two-bedroom properties, with a penthouse suite at the top of the building. providing residents with scenic views across the city towards the Malvern Hills. Demand for the apartments has been high, with all 75 apartments selling in just two months!
Whiston Court retirement community, off Upper Tything, opened its doors to reveal 37 one and two bedroom apartments, beautifully-designed and finished. But most importantly, it’s a not-for-profit development run by a local charity called the Abbeyfield Worcester Society, which is dedicated to combating loneliness among older people in Worcestershire. Aimed at the over 55s, Whiston Court offers assisted living accommodation for those who want to remain independent. It has the option of on-site support if needed, and it prides itself on its caring community ethos.
Recently I had the pleasure of making a speech from the pulpit. Not being ordained, this was a bit unusual, but the congregation seemed pleased with my few words. The venue was the lovely St Swithun’s Church, which lies rather hidden (just off the High Street and adjoining The Shambles). Built in the 1730s, it is often described as a “Georgian gem in the heart of Worcester” and has changed little since. Owned by the Churches Conservation Trust, they are about to embark on major repair work to make the roof watertight and provide some much needed toilets and heating facilities. I had been invited to see what could be achieved if a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and monies raised locally can be secured. There are some exciting plans which will bring the church back to life, if all goes to plan. I wish them every success.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Warndon, (just off Chedworth Drive), which opened in 1966, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a service led by Archbishop Bernard Longley. Fr Paul, who is the Parish Priest, was delighted by the number of people that attended, in fact the school hall was packed to capacity and it was a lovely service. The children were incredibly polite and well behaved and were a credit to both the school and their families.
On a sporty note, it was a pleasure to welcome representatives of the University’s “Champion” Netball and Wheelchair Basket Ball Teams to the Guildhall to celebrate their recent success. They were all great ambassadors of both their sport and our University and they made the occasion a very enjoyable one. I wish them every success in the future.
The Queen’s 90th Birthday was celebrated here in Worcester by the lighting of a beacon on the top of Fort Royal Park. Fortunately it was a dry, albeit chilly evening, but ideal weather to celebrate outdoors. As we lit our beacon we could see the Worcestershire beacon alight on the Malvern Hills. It was a great event with a lovely atmosphere and everyone present enjoyed the event!