Monday 6th: Thinking ahead is so important for the mayoral role. Today Jane, Susan O’Kane and I met the “Flower Ladies” in the parlour to consider the flower arrangements for the Mayor’s Inaugural Banquet on 22nd. July. What will be the theme be this year? Well, that’s a secret at the moment but I think it’ll be a pleasant surprise.
“An annoyance of mobile phones”, “A sample of statisticians” and a “Buffoonery of orang-utans” are just a few collective terms (perhaps somewhat humorous). But what is the collective term for a group or gathering of coroners? Any suggestions would be gratefully received. The West Midlands and Central Wales Coroners’ Society met for lunch, to which I was invited, and its Annual General Meeting in the Guildhall. Most interesting conversation at a most enjoyable occasion. During the AGM proceedings three of the ladies came on an informal tour of the Guildhall…the more of these tours I conduct the more I realise how lucky we are in Worcester to have such a fantastic building. If the front doors of the Guildhall are open anyone can walk in and look around. If the parlour door is open do come in!
Tuesday 7th: As Mayor you become one of the Governors of the Bishop Lloyd Charity. We met today in the Chapter Office of the Cathedral. The charity assists children in need of help with certain education costs.
The “Power Park” Play Builder Play Area in St. Peter’s has been completed. It is based on the theme of the Civil War and Battle of Worcester in 1651. The children of Cherry Orchard Primary School had the idea so it was great that the children, with their head teacher, Jeremy Harwood, were there when I opened the play area. It was funded through the Government’s Playbuilder Scheme and the Health Leadership Fund and will be a valuable asset for the community.
The Office of Justice of the Peace celebrates its 650th. anniversary this year. To this end there was a Judiciary Service and Evensong in the Cathedral. It was an honour for Jane and me to attend taking the traditional places, for the first time, for Mayor and Mayoress. It is a daunting experience to be in the front of such a large congregation in this vast building.
Wednesday 8th: David Clark (past City councillor and Mayor) has a great interest in the history of the Guildhall. When he was Mayor (2001 -2002) he wrote some notes which are a valuable resource for successor mayors. Today David brought a group from the “Keenage Club” and with me took the members on a tour of the Guildhall finishing with “tea in the parlour”.
Twinning with overseas towns and cities is important. It contributes to our mutual understanding of each other, our cultures and problems. The City of Worcester is now officially twinned with Ukmerge Municipality in Lithuania. Councillor Jo Hodges, chairperson of the Worcester Twinning Association, and Terry Cole have recently made a visit to Ukmerge. They were wonderfully received and returned with the “Declaration” of our twinning which now has the signatures of the two Mayors. The “Declaration” states: “The most important aim of this twinning is to promote the peaceful relationship which exists between our two countries. This will involve the fostering of social and cultural relationships, to work for a better understanding between our two peoples. Above all we wish to encourage our young people to get to know one another through mutual visits, and by forming friendships through sport, cultural and other activities”.
Katie Love is in the BBC show called “So You Think You Can Dance”. She is through to the final on Saturday 11th June. Good luck Katie, Worcester is rooting for you!! Katie’s parents, John and Susan Love, came to the Guildhall with many friends and supporters for a photo-opportunity to encourage Katie. It was a particular surprise to me because Susan Love and I found we had worked together many years ago at Ronkswood Hospital.
Thursday 9th: As Mayor you still have City Council responsibilities and today that included a meeting of the Planning Committee.
The High Sherriff of Worcestershire, Lady Morrison, lives in a magnificent part of the countryside: Madresfield Court, Malvern. Jane and I enjoyed a drinks party there this evening. It was such a pleasurable opportunity to meet so many people in all varieties of public life.
Friday 10th: The local printed media are so important for our City so I was pleased to have an informal chat, in the parlour, with Peter John (Editor) and David Paine of the “Worcester News”. We covered a wide range of issues and in particular the need to get everyone on board in taking pride in Worcester. I know newspapers have to sell to remain viable and hence the style of “headlines”. But I was encouraged by Peter’s and David’s genuine wish to promote the City.
The Friends of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital raise funds that add just that important extra to the comfort and care of patients. They held their AGM this evening in the Charles Hastings Postgraduate Centre. It was a fascinating event with Professor Richard Lewis giving a talk on the portraits that now hang in the Board Room of the old Worcester Royal Infirmary (Castle Street). These portraits tell the story of healthcare in Worcester from the time of Bishop Maddox who founded the first County Hospital in Silver Street in 1746.
Saturday 11th: The Church of St. Martin in the London Road achieves its Centenary of consecration and dedication this year. To celebrate a Sung Eucharist was held today on the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle. The Celebrant was The Right Reverend Dr. John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, who preached on the theme of “Friendship”. Jane and I were especially pleased to have been invited: so many of our friends were there from the Worcester South East Team of churches and the Rector, The Reverend Canon Ken Boyce, who is my mayoral chaplain.
Sunday 12th: The Worcester “Race for Life” (over 5km.) took place this morning from Pitchcroft to Angel Place. A cold wet day but still competitors came in their thousands…yes! thousands! Jane and I helped at the start of the race and greeted everyone at the finish with a medal: we were drenched but this mattered not. The support for this women-only fundraising event was tremendous showing just how important the community regards research into the management of cancer. This “Race for Life” began in 1994 and has made huge contributions to Cancer Research UK. One in three of us is likely to be affected by cancer at some stage in our life. Worcester as usual is playing its part by being involved in trials to find the best treatment for a type of leukaemia and drug and radiotherapy after breast cancer surgery.
Wychavon District Council held its Civic Service this afternoon in St. Michael’s Church, Salwarpe. Councillor Tony Miller is the new Chairman. Jane and I were pleased to join Tony and his wife, Katherine, for this celebration. The Rev. Jeff Porter (the Chairman’s chaplain) was the preacher in which he used the theme “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you” (Matthew Ch. 7, v.12). Maybe the world really would be a better place if we did just that.
The “Take Pride in Worcester 2011” campaign (13th June – 16th July) is a partnership initiative between the City Council and the “Worcester News”. The next “Britain’s Cleanest City” competition will be run in 2013. So “come on Worcester” let’s claim the award! It can be done if we work together throughout our communities.
By the way, have you heard?!! “Worcester has been chosen for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Route. The world’s most prolific sporting event (has become) a little closer to home with the announcement that the famous Olympic Flame will be carried through Worcester in the final run up to London 2012. An Olympic torchbearer will arrive in Worcester on Thursday 24 May 2012.”