I had an early start to the week, joining other local civic leaders to celebrate a new Sunday rail service to Birmingham and Hereford. The Cotswold Line Promotion Group sponsored the event and Cllr Rob Adams, the County Chair, waived off the Birmingham train while I simultaneously waived off the 9-05 to Hereford. Lord Richard Faulkner and Julian Palfrey had arranged the event, which was well supported by officers from London Midland.
During the afternoon, Jill and I presented prizes to winners at the Droitwich winter archery tournament held at Royal Grammar School Worcester, in Little London. It was interesting to meet competitors who were from a wide age range, and most welcoming! I confess to being unaware about the technical details of this popular sport.
On Monday Jill and I were welcomed by Biddie Furlong to the KGV Sports and Community Centre, where we joined members of the Grandee Club for Christmas Lunch. Biddie and her family members have been organising this event for over 50 years and clearly her efforts are well appreciated. It was great to meet local residents and join them in this annual event.
Later that evening I chaired the meeting of the Full Council, where we approved the South Worcestershire Development Plan for further examination. Councillors then joined me in the parlour for seasonal refreshments.
The following day I attended the annual Christmas event with my local U3A History Group and Wednesday saw me going to a meeting of the Grants Committee of Consolidated Charity, where we celebrated a special birthday for one of our long-serving members, Cliff Lord.
I attended the Christmas meeting of Voluntary Organisations of Worcester on Thursday, where Sally Ellison updated members on local news of concern to the voluntary sector. This is an important meeting for voluntary organisations in the city, and provides a good networking opportunity.
During the evening we hosted a fund raising concert, “the Joys of Christmas”, performed by Worcester Elgar Chorale with readings by Gabrielle Bullock and Tim Watson. It was clearly enjoyed by all, and we thank the Chorale and Dr Donald Hunt for such a fantastic evening. Thanks to all those who supported the two Mayoral charities to help the homeless.
On Friday a chest infection forced me to cancel a visit to see Miss Saigon at Worcester’s VI Form College, but by Saturday I was well enough to attend the annual Christmas Fayre of ONSIDE at The Guildhall. This local charity offers an advocacy service to vulnerable members of the community. It was pleasing to note how well supported the event was.