Monday 4th: Theo Theobald was the winner of the Worcestershire Poet Laureate competition held in the Cathedral on 17th June at the opening of the Literary Festival. He, the runner up Fergus McGonigal and Lisa Ventura, came for a chat in the parlour this morning. They are such fun characters. I am sure we shall be hearing more of them over this next year.
Jane and I were invited to the annual dinner of the Rotary Club of Worcester in the Worcestershire County Cricket Club. This was at the time of the President’s handover. It has become customary for the Mayor to be made an honorary member of the Club so I was inducted this evening. This was a particular pleasure for me having been sponsored on many occasions by the Rotary Doctor Bank of Great Britain and Ireland for my working visits to Uganda and Rwanda.
Tuesday 5th: Twenty four students (aged 13 – 14 years old) from Stuttgart (Germany) Grammar School arrived for a tour of the Guildhall. They came with The Principia School of Language and since 2008 have close links with Christopher Whitehead Language College. They were courteous, attentive and interested: a real pleasure to entertain.
Peter Rogers brought two visitors (Benedicte and Barry Reynold) from our twin town Vernon (France) for a chat in the parlour. I am always so pleased to welcome friends from our twinned towns.
The Olympic Torch comes to the UK on 18th May 2012 to begin a 70 days’ journey (“Olympic Torch Relay”). Worcester is one of only five cities to be selected in the West Midlands to host a Community Celebration event. The torch will arrive in Worcester on 24th May 2012. If you would like to nominate someone, who has made a difference in the community, to carry the torch you can do so online at www.lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame until 12th. September 2011. Jane and I attended a touring mobile exhibition in the Cornmarket and had our photographs taken with the prototype London 2012 Olympic Torch.
We do not normally have two Full Council meetings a week apart. The one this evening was an extra for the special consideration of the paper on the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP). As Mayor, I was in the chair. The debate was wide ranging the message being that this is a consultation document. At the beginning a member of the public spoke in the “Public Participation” slot. Fifteen councillors spoke each making significant contributions. It was overwhelmingly agreed that the SWDP should be accepted and go out for consultation in September.
Wednesday 6th: The City Council quite often has students from local schools for a “Work Experience Programme”. I contributed to such a programme today for a student from the Royal Grammar School. My role was to tell him about and demonstrate the job of the Mayor.
The Annual University of Worcester Garden Party took place on the St. John’s campus this evening. These occasions are always enjoyable with the added opportunity to meet old and new friends and colleagues from across the county. I am proud of our successful University, the advantages it brings to Worcester and what it contributes to the wider world.
Thursday 7th: Nine American students (aged 16 – 18 years) came to the parlour this morning for a tour of the Guildhall. They were from all parts of the USA and were visiting several towns in England. During their stay they are making a film on “British youth culture” under a title of “Experiment in International Living”. They were a real pleasure to show around and to be interviewed on film by them.
St. Mary’s Girls’ Preparatory School held its “Day of Celebration” today. It was clear that the achievements of the girls were outstanding with cups and certificates being presented. We were entertained during three interludes by a demonstration of music: yet more examples of Worcester’s musical contribution.
Lyppard Grange Primary School has amazing talent among its children. Their performance of “Archibald’s War” was fantastic! It portrayed the Second World War, the evacuation of London’s children to the relative safety in the countryside and the loss of a little girl’s teddy bear, Archibald, on the evacuation train. Eventually they were reunited. The representation of the events was a true reminder to the few of us who remember the latter years of that conflict. My mother had evacuees at our home in Sussex.
Friday 8th: “King’s Day”: a day of celebration by The King’s School, Worcester, with displays, exhibitions and events. At mid day we enjoyed a Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration in the Cathedral.
Saturday 9th: The Valedictory Evensong for the 43rd Wessex Association was held in the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Exeter this afternoon. This was preceded by a reception in Exeter’s Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor. The Worcestershire Regiment, which served with the 43rd Wessex Division in the First and Second World Wars, had been invited to this event and it was a privilege for Jane and me to join them. Time has moved on and very few of the Old Comrades remain so the recognition for the 43rd’s will now be invested in the 43rd Wessex Heritage Trust. After the service there was a “Sound Retreat” outside the Great West Door of the Cathedral. A wonderful day we would not have missed for anything.
Sunday 10th: Jane and I attended the Annual Luncheon of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire in the Chapter House of the Cathedral followed by a Service in the Cathedral. It was a most elegant and enjoyable occasion.
A quick dash home to change into something a little less formal and then on to Crown East Woods for a “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” organised by the 10th Worcester Scouts and their Leader Nigel Watkinson. Nigel and two Explorer Scouts are organising an expedition to Botswana in July next year. They will be helping to construct a building as a base for conservation and working with local scouts. This is a most important contribution within the scouting movement and to international cooperation. They need help with raising the funds for this expedition so if anyone would like to help do contact Nigel (33, Barry Street, Worcester or telephone 078 2653 8112).