I have been a member of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) since it started in the seventies. This consumer organisation was set up to protect traditional brewing, then threatened by a few very large drinks manufacturers who wanted to replace “real ale” with more profitable very fizzy, pasteurised, filtered and characterless beverages made in large factories.
So I was delighted to open this year’s CAMRA beer, cider and perry festival on Pitchcroft. Around 200 real ales and 100 ciders and perries were available, many from our local area. CAMRA is rightly proud of its achievement – and thanks must go to the army of volunteers who worked to make our festival such a success.
On Monday, daughter Lucinda accompanied me to help celebrate the first birthday of Sanctuary Grove in St John’s Bromyard Road. This includes a 60-bed care home, 24 retirement living apartments and bungalows, 60 independent living apartments and 14 apartments for adults with learning disabilities. As we live longer, there are more and more elderly people who need these services and I was delighted when residents told me the staff are so caring and friendly. Residents enjoy excellent facilities and we saw many taking advantage of the entertainment and activities on offer.
Visitors from Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, arrived this week and I invited them to tea in the Guildhall. I also joined them and members of our own Twinning Association for dinner. It is good to continue these friendships with our twin cities.
Jenny Meadows, the World and European 800m runner, came to the Countryside Centre near County Hall on Wednesday to support our Worcester 10K run, which takes place on Sunday 18 September. It was a pleasure to welcome her. We watched large numbers of children enjoying the free activities organised by Freedom Leisure; it was good to see so many youngsters having fun in the sun.