In Arkwright’s words, it’s been a funny old week. Mourning and reflection: pageantry and moments of exultation. Despite years of planning, much of the detail has been last minute and so the full range of communications has had to be employed. The instancy of social media is fine, but sometimes, as at the Proclamation on the Guildhall steps, we have to resort to age-old methods of getting the message across!
Hundreds of people were part of history on the Guildhall steps at the Proclamation of the new monarch by County and then City. This was followed by a short council meeting where councillors paid their respects and tributes to Queen Elizabeth II.
There has been wall to wall coverage, tribute programmes, news report, across most TV channels 24/7, as well as daily written memories and comment. Some programmes bear the hallmark of having been made a while ago and held ‘in the can’ until ready for use. Others have been sprightly and incisive and delivered with raw immediacy. Both have their place.
For some, saturation coverage is not welcome. For political reasons, or more personal, perhaps dealing with their own grief or troubles. We must respect each other’s views and need for space at this time.
Since I opened the Condolence Books at the Guildhall last Thursday evening there has been a steady stream of hundreds of people of any age, creed, and persuasion, residents and visitors. I want to thank publicly the Guildhall staff, especially the small team of Macebearers, who worked over and above expectation to add dignity and solemnity to this week. I have been struck by the amount of children and young people expressing their sorrow and respect here, and also in the floral tributes at the Cathedral. The books are open until Tuesday 20th September.
One of the condolence messages Worcester received this week was from our twin city of Kleve, Germany. Fitting then that one of my visitors was John Cave, a retired member of staff who for many years was involved with the Twinning Association.