Here we are in lockdown again. After enjoying relative freedoms during the summer and early autumn we are once again being asked to restrict our activities and stay indoors, with the exception of certain exemptions. I expect you, like me, are feeling that it is harder this time round but we must follow this advice if we are to get a hold of the virus and stop it running wild and overwhelming our hospitals and NHS.
Like you, I am disappointed and very sad that the Act of Remembrance on Sunday must be done in our own homes or gardens or on our doorstep, and not as a collective act with parades and wreath laying. I have recorded the laying of my wreath in the Cathedral on behalf of the people of Worcester and I would urge you to watch the service being live streamed on Sunday. The important and poignant 2 minutes at 11.00am on Sunday, when we stop our busy lives and remember those whose sacrifices have enabled us to enjoy our freedom, is very important to all of us – especially our veterans. My deepest thanks go to all our service men and women past and present who have served in the defence of our country.
As Mayor, I was pleased to be able to lay a wreath on the memorial at Gheluvelt Park on Sunday 25th October, to commemorate the achievements of the men of the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at the Battle of Gheluvelt. Those brave soldiers saved Ypres from capture and the British Army from defeat in 1914. 34 of them made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives.
I enjoyed a few days away before lockdown was introduced and since returning, I was pleased to be part of the unveiling of the Worcester Life Stories Art Exhibition at the end of the Shambles. We have taken advantage of the scaffolding on St. Swithun’s Church, and with the consent of the Churches Conservation Trust we have hung there pictures of the Shambles from the 1950s to 70s. There is also a YouTube video here where you to see more images and enjoy past memories of this wonderful part of the city.
Please observe the rules which we will all be under for the next four weeks to protect yourself and others. Hopefully we will then be able to enjoy a more relaxed Christmas period with family and friends.