I was elected Mayor of our Faithful City on 16th May. Never (!!!) did I think such an honour would come my way. I do not undertake the role lightly. I hope I can make a difference to Worcester for its citizens but I cannot do that alone. There is so much going for the City and this sometimes is disguised by the many problems and challenges facing the country. Let us all work together to see what we can put into society for the benefit and respect of everyone no matter what their background or creed.
Monday 23rd: Tours of the Guildhall are an important part of the Mayor’s role. On Monday I had fun welcoming twelve children from Claines CE Primary School with twelve from El Carmen School in Cuenca in Spain. They were so interested and well behaved: such a pleasure. The Spanish children’s English was excellent and they were aged only 9 – 11 years. A message there for us I think!
The Worcester District Scout Council AGM took place in the Countess Huntingdon Hall in the evening with Dr. Derek Barnes (County Commissioner) and Mr. Mark Strain (District Commissioner) present. I had the honour of taking the Chair. We should be proud of the 1,000 scout members, leaders and volunteers of this District. A real success story and an example to all young people. The 10th Worcester Scout Group will be taking part in important wildlife conservation projects in Botswana in July and August next year. These expeditions by young people are real character-forming ventures and at the same time so much will be contributed to scouting in Africa and the local people. The team will begin in northern Botswana and build a campsite and training centre. After three weeks they go to Mokolodi Game Reserve where they will construct a manager’s bungalow and observation tower. They will also have an opportunity to work with the Park Rangers. The trip will be tough with no “home comforts”. Each team member must raise £3,000 so they need our help. Contact: Nigel Barry (Scout Section Leader), 33, Barry Street, Worcester, WR1 1NR and telephone 01905 729031.
Tuesday 24th: The Comenius Programme is named after Jan Amos Comenius (1592 – 1670) a great educator. It brings together schools and colleges across Europe to develop knowledge and understanding between young people and teachers of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and the value of this diversity. It also helps young people to acquire basic life skills and competences for their personal development, for future employment and for active European citizenship. The King’s School is involved in this programme and I was delighted to meet in the parlour 42 students and teachers from five countries across Europe. Meeting (4pm) with The Rev. Canon David Stanton, the chief Verger and my PA, Susan O’Kane (what would we do without Susan!!) at the Cathedral to plan the Civic Service on 19th June. So much preparation goes on behind the scenes for this major event and for that Jane and I are most grateful. In the evening Jane and I enjoyed a production of “The Tempest” at Bishop Perowne College. These young actors, their teachers and parents should be immensely proud. Well done.
Wednesday 25th: Visually impaired people often not only have sight problems but other physical and social challenges. Unemployment in this group is disproportionally high. I was kindly asked to chair the AGM of the Thomas Corbett Charity which does so much for the visually handicapped. A particular “Thank you” to Ann Perry who has been Clerk to the Trustees for many years.
The Worcester Area Group of the University of the Third Age celebrated with a Silver Soiree this evening in the Guildhall. The teachers learn and learners teach, no pay and no exams! Jane and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves from hearing about activities learning about local history and music to tap and line dancing. They even got me line dancing!! Thank you so much to Jane Flynn (Chairperson) and her organisation for a fun evening.
Thursday 26th: Set in the idyllic surroundings of Gheluvelt Park The Pump House Environment Centre is a must visit and admission is free! This morning Jane and I attended the opening of the new cafe and celebration of the Eco Centre Award with Mr. Cecil Duckworth, OBE. This renewed facility will increase the visitor attraction enormously. The Duckworth Worcestershire Trust is now in its thirteenth year. It is dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of the natural and built environments for the people of Worcestershire and the relief of poverty amongst those disadvantaged. The Trust achieves these objectives through an active involvement in a number of projects, a partnership approach in all it does, the provision of funding, information, environmental education and management.
The Charter Trustees of the Town of Kidderminster Annual Meeting and Mayor Making Ceremony took place at 7.30pm. in the Music Room at the Town Hall. Jane and I attended with Mayors and civic representatives of neighbouring cities and towns. A spectacular affair accompanied by the grand organ and entertainment by the church choir…including the signature tune to “The Vicar of Dibley”. The evening was rounded off with refreshments and chatter in the adjacent Corn Exchange.
Friday 27th: It was a pleasure to meet in the parlour representatives of the charities I am supporting this year: Noah’s Ark, Leukaemia Care and the Worcester Farmers’ Overseas Action Group. We discussed a programme of fund-raising: events that will appeal to a wide audience. They are such worthy causes and deserve our help. If anyone would like to assist do get in touch: come and have a chat and a cup of tea with me in the parlour anytime.
Saturday 28th: This year is the 71st. anniversary of the founding of the Home Guard. Jane and I were therefore honoured to welcome ten veterans with families and friends to the parlour for tea. Everyone enjoyed meeting old pals and reminiscing about past experiences. We owe so much to these men who never knew if the mainland of Britain would be invaded in the Second World War. Paul Harding of “Discovery History” and his colleagues Mick Wilkes and Malcolm Atkin (former County Council Archaeologist) put on an exhibition that included a living history corner showing a Home Guard HQ at work.
Sunday 29th: Acorns does so much for children with life-limiting conditions. So it was a great pleasure for Jane and me to attend the “Acorn’s Triple Run” at the Three Counties Show Ground to help to present medals and prizes for the short “Chicken Run”, a 5km. run and half a marathon. Chris Price (Triple Run Committee Chairman) and his team did an efficient job to plan such a successful event. A wonderful morning under the Malvern Hills. Everyone a winner!