Once again it was great to see just how much volunteers and voluntary organisations contribute to our life in the City. Worcester Lions Club Grant Awards evening highlighted a number of groups who had successfully bid for grants to help their work to continue; it was an impressive evening demonstrating a wide range of activities. These charitable organisations can be said to be the mortar that holds together the bricks of our society here in Worcester.
Last Friday some 70 Italian students visited the Guildhall and they were a very lively lot! The last group were from Sorrento and were a pleasure to talk to – we discussed both Worcester and their home town, which I know quite well. It’s always easier when you have something in common and talking about my memories of their home really broke down the barriers.
This year was Hereford’s turn to host The Three Choirs’ Festival and the Mayoress and I had a very enjoyable visit there; we were both made to feel very welcome – as were the City Council’s Mace Bearers and of course, Frank, our Sword Bearer.
BBC Hereford and Worcester radio held a household waste and recycling event in Crown Gate Shopping Centre earlier this week, where they asked shoppers questions about their recycling habits and challenged them to select the correct bin into which the waste material should go. It was interesting to watch and confirmed the need for more information to help our residents recycle more.
A number of issues came to light – for example a number of passersby said they place their recycling in the green bin already bagged up, when actually it should be placed loose in the bin. Cans and containers should be rinsed out to avoid smells and to improve the quality of the recyclate material – not to mention the working conditions at the Norton Recycling Facility where clean material is so much more pleasant to handle.
Waste should of course be separated where materials are mixed – for example cellophane should be removed from card or paper and placed in the general waste (black) bin and tops removed from milk bottles and similar containers. Cardboard should always go in the green bin, together with any kind of paper. Where families need more recyclate capacity an additional green bin may be requested; this does not apply to the black bins as this would be contrary to the goal of reducing the volume of household waste to landfill. So if you need more green bin capacity, ring The Hub on 01905 722233 and request an additional bin.
It’s been a quieter week, for which I was grateful as it allowed a little space to deal with a very sad family matter. However, it’s still been quite lively, starting with a Rotary lunch at the Cricket Club during which I was enrolled as an Honoury Member. Rotary do some remarkable work in Worcester and the Mayoress and I have attended a number of school events where Rotary members have committed considerable amounts of their time and resource to help children express themselves through speech and poetry. They quite often roll their sleeves up and really get stuck in on projects, an example being the creation of the children’s garden at Holly Mount School.
This year’s outdoor production of Shakespeare, A Comedy of Errors, took place in the garden of the Commandery. Unfortunately we managed to pick the only evening during the week when the weather wasn’t good. It drizzled and drizzled but it was still a very enjoyable evening; the casting was superb, the performance great and, even in the rain the ambiance was just so good. A production masterminded by Ben Humphrey and as always, with these outdoor performances, the audience just loved it. Put a date in the diary for next year, it’s a great evening out!
The annual service on St Swithun’s Day in St Swithun’s church, just off the Trinity, is an interesting event. The church is one of few that have a Mayor’s chair and above it, to the rear, is a rack to hold Worcester’s Sword of State. The chair is set at a forty five degree angle to the congregation leaving one with a rather exposed feeling – and it’s designed for a very tall person! The bells are now back in order and sounded very good, much to the pleasure of Stephen Inman, a former Mayor, who campaigned for the restoration of church bells across the City.
The Mayor’s Banquet was a great success, even if I do say so myself! The setting, in the Assembly Room on the top floor, is always excellent and this year the flowers, guests and food were all exceptional. The Deputy Mayor, Mike Whitehouse; Deputy Leader, Marc Bayliss and Ben Humphrey all gave great speeches. The evening was based on a Celebration of Worcester and Ben gave an extremely informative and entertaining talk on the history of Worcester; he had all those present in the palm of his hand. A really enjoyable evening!
Frankie Tsang, owner of Worcester’s Four Seasons restaurant, was one of 150 guests at the Mayor’s Banquet.
Both tourists and residents will now be able to learn more of Worcester’s past as Blue Plaques are appearing all over the City denoting sites where significant events have taken place – as well as the renewal of the plaques showing the location of the old City gates back in the times when Worcester was a walled city. Thanks to the Worcester Civic Society together with the Milestone Society, we have a bronze plaque to mark the position in Worcester of the original Old Cross – and the Civic Society has also unveiled the blue plaque in honour of John Williams (1773-1853) at Pitmaston House in Malvern Road, St John’s.
For cricket lovers there is now a plaque to mark the formation of Worcestershire County Cricket Club which occurred at Whitehouse Hotel 150 years ago, then named the Star Hotel, and is now on view to the general public to admire after being unveiled on the Foregate Street wall of the Whitehouse Hotel.
On the subject of visitors, we have had the pleasure of receiving well over a hundred foreign students at the Guildhall in just one week alone. They came from Germany, Italy and China and all, without exception, were a credit to both their teachers and countries alike. It was a pleasure to talk to them about Worcester and to show them around the Guildhall.
Worcester Vigornia Rotary Club celebrated their Presidential handover in great style with dinner on board a river boat, cruising up and down the Severn. It was a lovely evening, blessed with good weather and delightful company. I wish Victoria well in her year as President and every success in her fund raising efforts for worthy causes including Sight Concern, a nominated charity we both share.
Junior Youth Speaks at Hollymount School, organised by the Rotary Club of Worcester, gave us another impossible task of choosing winners! The problem is that these are impossible choices, in my mind they are all winners and show what incredible talent Worcester youth has to offer.
Similarly, RGS The Grange had their School Speech Day, again also exhibiting some remarkable talent and prizes for achievement were awarded across all six year groups. A former Head Girl at the school, Miss Ellie Ives, now a graduate of Oxford University, was the guest of honour and gave a brilliant speech – as did the current Head Girl, who was a pleasure to listen to!
A couple of weeks ago I mention that I attended the showcase production of Harlequin Dance prior to their trip to Romania where they were to compete in the World Dance Cup. I wrote, “Has Worcester got Talent?” Well it seems we most certainly have, and here’s the proof!
Eighty three children (aged 6 to 18 years old) from Harlequin Stage School represented our country in Team England at The Dance World Cup held in Romania last week and helped ENGLAND to be crowned overall CHAMPIONS. Paula Dymock, Principal of the School, was overwhelmed by their performance – and on top of the world with the superb results!
The Team won 15 Gold, nine Silver and nine Bronze as they competed against performers from 44 other countries! Harlequin also won the prize for the most outstanding classical group “The Orchestra” and Felicity Gibbons, aged 9, was named the most outstanding performer in the World Cup mini performance category. Well done and congratulations Felicity!! I am sure that when The National Anthem was sung, the whole team must have been bursting with pride.
Their trip to Romania proved to be the journey of a lifetime. Well done, you are all a great credit to Worcester and indeed our Country.
Also showing great talent were the children performing at RGS The Grange years three and four end of term concert. They were a delight to watch and performed beautifully, a great credit to the school!
I attended a special event to mark the one hundredth anniversary of Fort Royal Park on Monday 29 June. The celebrations included cutting a specially designed and beautiful cake, a performance by Stanley Road Primary School pupils and an informal outdoor service of evensong. The Friends of Fort Royal Park organised the event very well and it proved to be a very pleasant evening, made even better by the lovely setting and being blessed with good weather.
A delegation of government officials and business leaders from Hezhou in China visited Worcester last week when we welcomed them to the Guildhall for the signing of the Sister City Agreement. My thanks go out to the Worcestershire Ambassadors, to Mr Frankie Tsang, The Chamber of Trade and Council Officers who all worked to make the visit such a success.
- 04/08/2015 09:30Discuss a possible environmental project
- 04/08/2015 13:30Attend a session of the Worcester’s Free Multi Sports Activities
- 06/08/2015 11:00Meet with representatives of this years Mayoral charities
- 06/08/2015 19:00WODYS production of ‘Annie’