Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday Alison and I were invited to events which commemorated those who lost their lives in the First World War – and other conflicts since. At Crowngate a large sculpture of a Poppy, which contains numerous crevices for poppies to be placed in, has been erected. It is hoped that people will buy poppies and decorate the sculpture, with the end result appearing as one large flower.
On Saturday I launched the annual Poppy Appeal on behalf of the Royal British Legion, which along with other organisations supports ex-servicemen and their families when they need some assistance. I did ask for generous donations to reflect the sacrifices that military personnel had made during service to their country.
And then on Sunday we were at Gheluvelt Park to mark the 103rd Battle of Gheluvelt where the Worcestershire Regiment, under the command of Major Hankey, captured the village of Gheluvelt against terrific odds. The consequent closing of the gap in the British Lines meant that nearby Ypres was held and the Channel Ports were saved at that time.
Last Wednesday brought a completely different Mayoral duty; opening the new Wilko’s store in Cathedral Square. Commitment from major retailers like this will assist with the economic growth of the city, as well as assisting with employment in the locality.
This was followed by opening not only the Christmas Card Shop in the Guildhall where customers can support their own preferred charities by selecting particular cards, but also, the Worcester Porcelain Museum Shop. The museum itself is closing for some months while it is being refurbished. In an agreement with the City Council, it was decided that the shop will temporarily be housed on the ground floor of the Guildhall. I wish it every success.
That evening we used the Mayor’s Parlour to host a reception on behalf of Steve Cram and Alison Curbishley who organise the annual Worcester City Run series of events. The occasion was to say thank you to the volunteers who acted as stewards, without whose help the event would not have taken place.
Finally, on Thursday after meeting HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Chancellor of the University of Worcester, we processed with Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and other members of the University to the Cathedral, where numerous students received their graduation awards. This was a delightful ceremony enjoyed by the teaching staff, students and their relatives.