TS Ark Royal Navy Training Corps held their Annual Presentation Evening at KGV Community Centre; it was a delightful, very well organised evening that was a privilege to attend. On arrival we were met by a Marine Officer and were “piped” through the main door to the hall – the Mayoress and I were most impressed!
TS Ark Royal was launched on the 10th November 2009 and the first Cadet to join was Charlie Cooper, who has made her way through the ranks and has continued on to become Chief Petty Officer. Corporal Jones, not of Dad’s Army fame I’m sure; and Officer Cadet Vaughan Griffiths are still active right through from its formation, which is testimony to both Officers and staff.
It was a moving end to the evening as the Commanding Officer, Lt. Cdr Jackie Cooper, said her goodbyes as she was standing down as CO. Several of the Cadets could not hold back their tears as they had grown so fond of her. That said a tremendous amount about the way she had carried out her role over the past six years, and the following she had earned from the Cadets.
Also on the subject of youth organisations, the Hereford and Worcester Scouts held their Japan Presentation Evening at Hereford Town Hall on Friday 13 November.. The International Scouting Jamboree was held in Japan last summer and representatives from both counties had the opportunity to attend. They spoke of their experiences, showed videos and presentations were made. It was clear that the trip had created a lasting impression with them and they all had wonderful memories. The fascinating culture and the great hospitality of the Japanese people had made a great impression on them.
The Christmas Lights are up and on, brightening up our High Street. They were switched on by Georgie Gibbs, aged three! Georgie, from St John’s, Worcester, has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and her parents are hoping to raise £60,000 so she can receive pioneering medical treatment in America.
It is hoped that by raising her profile, we can assist mum Clare and dad Carl to be able to raise enough money for Georgie to receive the treatment. To find out more, go to:- https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelpGeorgie?
Having Georgie switching the lights on made a lovely occasion wonderful, and the turnout for the event was absolutely amazing!!
We said farewell to Ruth Mullen this last week; she has been with the Council for just short of five years and was the Corporate Director for Service Delivery. I worked very closely with Ruth during her time with us, particularly when I was the Cabinet Member for a Cleaner and Greener City. Ruth was always helpful and focussed on resident and visitor needs. Under her leadership her Team grew in both confidence and strength, increasing in performance and service to our great City.
Ruth is off to West Wales where apparently she will need to be able to speak Welsh; I wish her luck with that – as although there is a lot of Welsh blood in my family, the most I could ever grasp was “Nos da”; or ‘good night’ in English! Good luck Ruth – and thank you for your tremendous contribution to Worcester.
I was present at an unusual event in the Guildhall on the 4 November, when Mr Key was awarded the British Empire Medal, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, by the Lord Lieutenant. He is a member of the Worshipful Order of Turners, one of the oldest Livery Companies in the City of London. The Turners’ Company was already a Guild in the 12th Century. To this day the Company continues to celebrate and support the art or ‘mysterie’ of turning.
Mr Key has spent many years passing on his skills and working in a voluntary capacity to encourage others to take up and enjoy the craft. In 1987 he established the Association of Woodturners Great Britain, and was its President until 2013. He has also presided over an ongoing programme of national and international seminars and exhibitions. Because of his hard work and dedication, the Association now has over 3,500 members.
Remembrance Sunday was a very moving experience; Worcester saw the greatest turnout of people lining Cathedral Square and the streets that I’ve ever experienced. The Cathedral Service was very well planned, perfect to the last detail and executed with just one hiccup! The multi faith candles just would not light – well, one lit out of four, as the wicks of the other three proved too short to hold a flame. The sermon was very well delivered by Cannon Michael Brierley, and it was very appropriate.
Following the Service and the Wreath laying ceremony, the procession back to the Guildhall was heart warming as there were so many people who had turned out to remember and honour the fallen. It was great to see our City live up to its reputation as the “Faithfull City”.
The Mayor of Bewdley, Cllr. Mrs Calne Edginton-White, arranged an event to raise funds for her charities and it took place on a steam train! We met at Kidderminster’s Severn Valley Heritage Railway Station, boarded a lovely old train and made steam to Bridgnorth. We passed through a number of stations: Bewdley, Arley, Highley, and Hampton Loade – before terminating at Bridgnorth.
We were very lucky with the weather and, to be honest, I had forgotten just how pretty a route the line takes. We had a brief view of West Midlands Safari Park and spotted a Rhinoceros having a bath – and were treated to scones and tea as we went past.
The railway stations on route are all maintained to a very high standard and the event brought back memories of my childhood with the sound, smell and impressive presence of those powerful steam locomotives. The Heritage Railway is one of the many attractions we are blessed with in this part of the country; sometimes we just take them for granted and fail to properly enjoy them. It’s a great ride through beautiful countryside – and at this time of year there is the added benefit of the splendid autumn coloured leaves on the trees!
The sixth of eight plaques, marking the location of the medieval gates of Worcester when it was a walled city, was unveiled on the corner of Union Street and City Walls Road. These plaques will form a trail around Worcester and each plaque has an illustration of how each gate would have looked. The project cost of this work is around £5,500 and John Eden and his family have been very generous in funding a number of these. We have some incredible history, but often fail to broadcast it – so hopefully these plaques will support our ambition to be recognised as a “Heritage City”.
St Peter’s experienced a tragedy in this past week, when a magnificent circa 400 year old Oak Tree partially collapsed. A limb came crashing to the ground and fortunately no one was injured. I say tragedy, because it was one of the finest examples of an oak in St Peter’s -if not in the City. It was found to be completely rotten through the core of the trunk, and therefore the remaining part of the tree needed to be felled. Every effort is now being made to plant an appropriate sized tree to eventually replace this iconic specimen. Residents, County Councillor Marc Bayliss, the City Council and Parish are all working together to achieve this.
Acorn’s hospice’s charity lunch at the rugby club was a great occasion. Not only was the food and company very enjoyable, but those present were entertained, after the meal, by Lady Atherton. Dressed and acting as a war time WI lady, Lady Atherton gave a talk on measures to be undertaken to ease both the burden of war, which was creating major shortages, as well as suggestions to support the war effort. She was very entertaining and gave an insight into the severity of living conditions at that time.
The lunch was a mix of two extremes, the poverty and restrictions of the 1940s and the generosity of those present helping to support such a worthy cause.
Each year a Shrievalty Evensong Service is held in the Cathedral, an event led by the High Sherriff of Worcestershire. The Lord Lieutenant represented the Queen, the Court Judges were present in full regalia and the Dean and Bishop looked equally splendid. Sir Antony Winnington, The High Sherriff (an office over 1,000 years old and the oldest continuous secular office of the Crown), read St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians and I have to say he has my admiration. Some of the names within the text were the most unpronounceable I’ve come across and he didn’t hesitate or make a single mistake. Well done Sir Antony!
Little treats come up occasionally and we experienced a rather nice one when Bürgermeister Theo Brauer, the Mayor of our Twin City of Kleve in Germany, invited the Mayoress and me to his retirement celebration. Theo always visits Worcester during our Christmas Fayre and has treasured the links to Worcester over the years. He has been Mayor of Kleve for 11 years and has achieved much; he has a very strong following which was reflected by the 600 people that attended his farewell reception. It was an astonishing number and many of them spoke highly of his leadership and achievements.
Kleve supports the idea of twinning in a much stronger way than we have done. They have a bench with the Worcester coat of arms outside their court, they have named a bridge “Worcester Brϋcke”, a sign reading “Worcesterplatz”, a marble column with our crest and script as well as a red post box and a red BT telephone box. The hospitality we experienced was superb and really matched their love of being twinned with us. Kleve is a great town with lovely welcoming people.
- 25/11/2015 10:00Asha Women's Centre open day
- 25/11/2015 10:45The Rocky Horror Show
- 26/11/2015 10:00Tea with Perrywood School students
- 26/11/2015 16:00Opening of Victorian Christmas Fayre