An amazing year has come to an end! When we moved to Worcester some 25 years ago I never thought I would become Mayor, I never expected to join either St Peter’s Parish Council or Worcester City Council, but all these things did happen. Being Mayor has been a great privilege and an honour, and it has been an absolute delight over these past twelve months to serve our lovely City in this position. Whilst my wife Freda was initially very apprehensive, she has enjoyed it too.
We have been very lucky in serving the City during a year when so many wonderful anniversaries occurred. To name a few, we saw the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, 300 years of The Three Choirs Festival, 150th anniversary of the formation of Worcestershire Cricket Club, 150th anniversary of New College, and the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Canal. It has been a year of remarkable events and activities and we have been to some unexpected places and met many dedicated and hard working people. Wherever the Mayor and Mayoress have appeared, there has been a warm and genuine welcome and it has been a privilege to fulfil those roles.
A wonderful welcome was extended to us when we visited our Twin Town, Kleve, in Germany for the Retirement of Bürgermeister Theo Brauer. This warmth was continued throughout the year across our three local counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and of course Worcestershire. I would like to thank all my mayoral colleagues in the three counties for their support at the numerous events we have all attended: a great “Chain Gang“! Thank you.
I must also thank the Worcester News and Worcester Observer for their coverage of the many events. Their photographers were always present snapping away, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. All the staff from both our newspapers were very supportive and helpful. So thank you to you all too, it was appreciated.
Our last big event was the Worcester Motor Show. What a great day that was; the town centre was not only alive and vibrant with some great cars, particularly the classics and older, but with a vast number of people smiling and thoroughly enjoying the day. There was a great atmosphere and it was during the time I spent walking around talking to visitors and exhibitors when it really came home to me that I was going to miss this very special role, a role I have enjoyed very much.
One last mention and that is of my three mayoral charities: Acorns, Sight Concern and Daisychain. Their support has benn superb and between us all, we have raised just under £35,000 for these great causes, for which I must thank you – and everyone we have met over the course of the year.