There is a lot to learn for a new Mayor. It’s often said that it’s really only at the end of the year that the Mayor is finally fully trained up and ready to go. It’s customary for the Mayor to show pre-booked important visitors and small groups around the Guildhall. Whilst Deputy Mayor I had the chance to tag on to one of Adrian’s guided tours. Worryingly, Adrian being a proper historian and archivist set a pretty high bar to follow.
Fortunately Paul Harding, of Discover History, has now kindly trained me up to at least be able to give a basic tour. Thank you Paul. I’m sure very many Worcester residents have not really looked around the Guildhall – it really is a hidden gem. The Discover History professional guided tour of the Guildhall is competitively priced and very good.
I don’t want to give away all of Paul’s delightful tour anecdotes but I will just share a nearly two hundred year tale of Cllr Henry Clifton, Mayor of Worcester. In many rotten boroughs of the time people were quite rightly rising up to demand the vote. Cllr Clifton evidently on the wrong side of history almost died in the Lower Hall in 1831 after being struck by a brick to the head standing on the Guildhall steps whilst trying to dispel the crowd by literally reading the Riot Act.
Turning from Guildhall tours to another of the Mayor’s responsibilities that of choosing the Mayoral charity. This year the Mayor’s charity will be Age UK. The council have made great strides over the last few years to encourage more wildflowers to grow in many of our parks and roadside verges. I’d like to give a shameless plug for a talk on wildflowers to be given by the Mayoress, Katey Stephen, on Thursday 22nd June. The talk will be in the field at Battenhall Park, is family friendly and free to attend. Donations on the night warmly welcomed on behalf of Age UK. Book here