Mayor’s Week, 28 November – 4 December 2011

Mayor’s Week, 28 November – 4 December 2011

Monday 28th: I attended a “Task and Finish” group of the City Council’s Scrutiny Committee met to discuss the work being done looking into parking issues.

Tuesday 29th: I always enjoy giving talks on my African experiences so I was pleased to be invited by the Claines’ Probus Club to a meeting at the “Mug House”. A quick scamper through Uganda and Rwanda seemed to go down well!

The Rotary Club of Worcester and I had our monthly meeting to continue the planning for our joint charity dinner event on Friday 10th February 2012. It’ll be a great evening so I hope everyone is dusting off their crowns and coronets!

Wednesday 30th: Don’t forget my Mayor’s Charity Concert at 7:30pm on Thursday, 15th December in the Assembly Room of the Guildhall. Tickets: Elgar Chorale 01684 594570 or Worcester Tourist Information Centre 01905 726311. Donald Hunt and I met this morning to add the finishing touches to the plans. All of the readers and singers are giving their services entirely free of charge so do come… it’s only £8 for a great evening.

The Worcester Consolidated Municipal Charity is empowered: “to consider applications for assistance from Worcester City residents or in exceptional cases people who are resident immediately outside of the City but who, in the opinion of the trustees, ought nevertheless for sufficient reason to be treated as if resident therein or who are located or the time being therein.”

The Worcester Municipal Exhibitions Foundation is empowered: “to consider applications for assistance from people of any age who live in Worcester City, the Parishes of Powick, Bransford and Rushwick, and the Ancient Parish of Leigh. Applications for assistance may also be considered from people of any age who live outside these areas but who have attended school in the City for at least two years. ”

The Trustees had their monthly meeting this afternoon in Berkeley Hospital. It is a privilege, as a Worcester City Council nominee, to be part of these great charities that have done so much good over hundreds of years.

One of my charities, Leukaemia Care, arranged a “Wine Man’s Bluff” and Cheese evening in the Guildhall. Great fun. We had to name six wines from three descriptions each (two were false). By more luck than knowledge I managed three out of six!! We are so grateful to Barclays Corporate, Thursfields, Tivoli Wines, and Ansteys for their generous sponsorship.

Thursday 1st: Prince Edward visited the Swan Theatre today to see the renovations and improvements that have been made. It was truly a great occasion.

Welcoming HRH Prince Edward to the Swan Theatre

Excerpts from various productions including “Jack and The Bean Stalk” were played and once more demonstrated the wonderful talent we have in Worcester in the performing arts.

Prince Edward unveils the official plaque
HRH Prince Edward unveils the official plaque at the Swan Theatre

The Worcester Christmas Victorian Fayre is now in its 19th year!! We assembled in the Guildhall with Cathedral clergy and the Cathedral Voluntary Choir.

Victorian Christmas Fayre opening ceremony outside the Guildhall
Clergy and the Cathedral Voluntary Choir – photo by Ida Pettersson (university student)

Carols were sung from the steps of the Guildhall before we processed to the Cornmarket where the Dean conducted a short carol service. This was followed by speeches by Michael Clarke (Chairman of Visit Worcester) and visitors from our twinned towns of Kleve in Germany, Le Vesinet in France and Ukmerge in Lithuania.

Opening ceremony at the Cornmarket
Opening Ceremony at the Cornmarket, Ukmerge Lithuania representative

Opening Ceremony at the Cornmarket!
Opening Ceremony at the Cornmarket – photo by Ida Pettersson (university student)

I had the privilege of formally opening the Fayre. A quick “go” on the horses’ roundabout and back to the Guildhall for a reception.

Opening Ceremony at the Cornmarket
Carousel fun – photo by Ida Pettersson (university student)

The weather was kind to us, the crowds were huge and the atmosphere and general feeling of the Fayre were the best I have known. A lovely selection of photos of the Opening Ceremony & Victorian Fayre can be found on the Worcester Facebook page.

Friday 2nd: I began the day with a talk about the Guildhall and its treasures to a group of Year 7 students from Blessed Edward Oldcorne College.

At mid day Jane and I were taken around the stalls of the Victorian Fayre by Nadja von Dahlen of Visit Worcester. Clearly a huge amount of work has gone into the detailed arrangements for the 120 or so stalls.

Le Vesinet market stall from France
Market stall from twin town Le Vesinet, France

There was a wonderful range: delicious chocolate, fudge, breads, cheeses, meats, mulled wine… handicrafts, pottery, jewellery… and much more. There remains a great atmosphere and the stallholders I spoke to were very pleased with their custom.

The Burgermeister (Mayor), Theo Brauer, from our twinned city of Kleve has arrived and came with his colleagues to the Parlour for an informal welcome.

Saturday 3rd: Our visitors from Kleve are very keen to have a photographic record of their stay so they returned to the Parlour for that purpose.

The Elgar School of Music is a wonderful cultural resource for our City. Gillian Lumsdon (Head of School) and her team put on an amazing four hours of a Festival of Christmas Music in the Assembly Room of the Guildhall this afternoon and evening. Jane and I managed to pop in and enjoy some of it.

At the entrance to the Guildhall are two huge Christmas Trees. Leukaemia Care and Worcester Farmers’ Overseas Action Group (my two mayoral charities) have arranged to sell stars to hang on these trees in memory of past loved ones. Bishop David of Dudley and I launched this initiative with a short carol service accompanied by the Salvation Army. I was supposed to have switched on the lights on these Starlight Trees but the problem was that the lights were already on: because of a bazaar going on in the Lower Hall at the time meant that we couldn’t get at the switch. So we had an imaginary “switch on”.

Sunday 4th: The Victorian Fayre has been a fantastic success. It was a real pleasure to go around this morning with Nadja von Dahlen of Visit Worcester to present the prizes to best stalls and best dressed stall holders.

I am the Chairman of the Oxford University Society (Worcestershire Branch). We held our annual Christmas drinks party and AGM in the parlour at lunch time. It was a most enjoyable occasion and we even managed to substantially renew the Committee (including a new Chairman!!) that organises events throughout the year.

The Carol Service season has begun. Jane and I attended the service arranged by The Chairman of the Wyre Forest District Council in St. Mary and All Saints Church, Kidderminster. Students from Hagley Roman Catholic High School provided the music to accompany the carols as well as delighting us with additional vocal pieces.

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