September’s engagements

image at proms

We had a great time at proms

Saturday 1 September – Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park

Lichfield District Council’s free annual Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park took place on Saturday 1 September. The sun shone and an estimated 15,000 people descended on Beacon Park on Saturday to enjoy the council’s twentieth Lichfield Proms.

The end-of-summer event featured music from the City of Lichfield Concert Band and the British Police Symphony Orchestra. The City of Lichfield Concert Band played as proms-goers found their spaces. This led up to the British Police Symphony Orchestra taking to the stage at 7.30pm. The 75-piece orchestra, conducted by Richard Jenkinson, was joined by experienced compere, Danny Mizon and the singers Claire Prewer and Anando Mukerjee.

The main music programme included music from La Bohème, Star Trek, Adagio from Spartacus, the Dambusters March, a World War One medley, Sea Songs and more. The evening ended with everyone on their feet, waving their Union Flags to the proms anthems, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Pomp and Circumstance No 1, to an extra special firework finale overhead.  Always a joy to attend this concert many thanks to organisers, performers and workers for a great evening!

Tuesday 4 September – Lichfield Fire Station                                                                                                                   

Eileen and I were invited to visit the recently re-built fire station in Lichfield by the Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant. We were met by senior officers and introduced to the duty watch and then shown around the new fire station. We then had refreshments and a long and interesting conversation with our fire officers who gave us an insight into modern prevention and fire-fighting techniques. We were very impressed with all we had seen and heard.

Saturday 8 September – Sheriff’s Ride Lichfield
 
The Sheriff’s Ride at Lichfield is an ancient boundary marking custom – around 50 plus smartly turned-out horsemen and women accompany the Sheriff on a sixteen-mile trek around the boundary of the old City and County of Lichfield starting from the Guildhall at 10.30am.

The officials of the party assembled in front of the Guildhall for brief speeches wishing this year’s Sheriff Michael Mullarkey well before joining the main cavalcade and starting the morning part of the ride. After lunch at Freeford, enjoyed by myself and others, the cavalcade continued its perambulation and returned to town by around 6pm to be met by the Sword and Mace bearers who escorted the company back to the Guildhall via a greeting by the Dean at the Cathedral. The custom dates back to the 16 century when the town was given a charter with the right to appoint its own Sheriff.

An enjoyable day not spoiled by the continual threat of rain.
 
 Sunday 9 September – Lichfield and Hatherton Canal
 
We joined the stalwart members of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust at Gallows Wharf to enjoy a barbecue in celebration of their thirtenth birthday. The opening of the canal is the ambition and aim of the trust who campaign, fundraise and work toward the restoration of the Lichfield Canal and the Hatherton Canal through Cannock.

Eileen and I really enjoyed our afternoon with members and admired their pluck and determination to succeed in their ambitious project.  I wish them luck they have many years of work ahead of them!

Friday 14 September – Lichfield Cathedral
 
Eileen and I attended a Eucharistic service in Lichfield Cathedral to celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The service marks an important holy day in the church calendar, but included the formal dedication of the new cruciform icon Christ Crucified, Risen and Lord of All. The icon will hang in the nave of the cathedral. It will be a constant focus to redemption, peace and reconciliation. A good and fitting dedication to this the centenary year of the 1918 Armistice that ended the First World War.
 
Sunday 16 September 16th – Fradley Battle of Britain Service
 
We were delighted to accept an invitation to attend the annual Battle of Britain commemorations at St Stephen’s Church Fradley with a service in the church followed by wreath laying.
The event was to remember those who were lost during the Battle of Britain, particularly those buried in Fradley churchyard and to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

The service conducted by the Reverend Elizabeth Wall included a ‘reminisce’ by two elderly gentlemen, one of whom was my old friend Terry Finn former Chairman of LDC. They were schoolboys in Fradley during the war and gave a wonderful picture of a life ‘scromping’ for apples in the summer and scavenging souvenirs from crashed aircraft! The innocence of childhood alongside the apparatus of war.
 

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Cutting the ribbon

Wednesday 19 September 19th – Juniper Launch, Lichfield
 
Along with the Mayor of Lichfield, Cllr David Latham, I was invited to the launch of Juniper’s new training hub in Lichfield. We are grateful to have their presence in Lichfield District where they will be working with 16-24 year olds in our local area to progress them via one of their pathways to apprenticeships and employment. We wish them luck in this valuable work.
 
Friday 21 – Sunday 24 September – Lichfield Heritage Weekend and Samuel Johnson birthday celebrations
 
The weekend celebrating the 309th birthday of Lichfield born Dr Samuel Johnson and incorporating Lichfield Heritage Weekend contained a crowded number of events for all to enjoy.

With free admission to attractions and lots going on around the city, including tower tours at the cathedral, guided walks of the city and an afternoon packed with entertainment on the Market Square.

Erasmus Darwin House celebrated Remarkable Women and Wade Street Church commemorated the first woman to be ordained in the Congregational Church. Youngsters tried their voice at the Mini Town Crier competition and followed a fun hopscotch trail around the city.

I too had a busy weekend starting on Friday evening by attending a reception in the Samuel Johnson Birthplace to welcome our guests, including visitors from Australia and the USA. On Saturday morning I was at the ‘Wreath Laying’ ceremony at Johnson’s statue by Mayor David Latham and in the evening Eileen and I were guests at the annual Johnson Supper. The following morning, we were at the cathedral for a commemorative service and on Monday attended an event in memory of Johnson’s penance in Uttoxeter market place the historical reasons for which readers can investigate for themselves without me going into detail! Altogether a hectic few days.
 
 Tuesday 25 September – Award Ceremony, Curborough
 
This event was to attend the Kendall and Wall Charitable Trust being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Mr Ian Dudson.
Kendall & Wall Charitable Trust’s charitable objectives are

‘The promotion of social inclusion for the public benefit by organising and providing wheelchair-accessible outings to help prevent people from becoming socially excluded, relieving the needs of those people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society’

Some of these outings include visits to stately homes, horse racing events and many other enjoyable trips, memories of which were related to me by the happy recipients of the volunteer’s efforts. A happy, well attended occasion and a well-deserved award.
 
Wednesday 17 September – My Fair Lady at the Lichfield Garrick
 
A performance of My Fair Lady at the Lichfield Garrick by the Lichfield Operatic Society. There cannot be too many who don’t know the story of the cockney flower girl who becomes a lady. There was some great acting and singing, superb dancing and great performances from the whole cast. Scenery and music great, well done everyone involved and thanks for inviting us.

August’s engagements

Monday 6 August – Best Kept Village Awards, Gnosall

The results of this year’s Best Kept Village competition were announced on Monday 6 August, at Gnosall Memorial Hall, by John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the Best Kept Village Working Group. (Which organises the competition on behalf of the Community Council of Staffordshire).

We joined a large audience made up of civic dignitaries, sponsors, judges and representatives from many of the villages which took part in this year’s competition. 

The awards went to all those highly commended villages, the best large and best small villages in the four judging areas, the overall county winners; and to the winners of the spirit of best kept village competition. 

In the Lichfield/Cannock Chase area, sponsored by the Leavesley Group, Fradley won the competition with Hednesford second and Longdon/Longdon Green third.

In the small village, Haughton won, followed by Edingale, with Harlaston and Upper Longdon joint third. Kings Bromley, Stonnall and Wall were all highly commended.

A great effort from all our villages that entered the competition and hopefully more will give it a go next year.

Trying my hand at milking a cow

Trying my hand at milking

Saturday 11 August – Canwell Show 

Eileen and I were delighted to accept an invitation to attend the Canwell Show at the delightfully named Spion Kop Farm, partly because this was the first but, I hope, not the last time that I had attended the show.

This event, organised by the Canwell Agricultural Society, showcases a mix of livestock, horse events, live music, trade stalls, craft-food-horticultural marquees, to name just a few of the wonderful activities on show. It takes pride in being one of the largest and oldest one day agricultural shows in Midlands.                                                         

We had a most enjoyable afternoon and were well looked after by members of the committee. There was much going on creating a great deal of excitement among the large crowd, despite the disappointment that due to the prolonged spell of dry weather the organisers had no alternative other than to cancel this year’s show jumping events as they were unable to provide a safe and suitable ground upon which to jump. That did not detract from what is a superbly organised event and a credit to all involved. A truly great English summer’s day out with wonderful sights and sounds that were a delight.
 
 Sunday 26 August – Lichfield Cruising Club Huddlesford
 
We were invited to join club members for afternoon tea to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lichfield Cruising Club 2000 at Huddlesford Junction near Whittington. In contrast to the sunshine enjoyed earlier in the month the event took place on an extremely wet Sunday but thankfully indoors in the clubhouse.

The Lichfield Cruising Club can trace its origins back to 1959 but after one or two partnerships with other local cruising groups settled at their mooring location on the Wyrley and Essington canal at Huddlesford in 1978. At that time a lease on the canal side cottages was secured and the Lichfield Club was formed.

Like many others locally, they are under threat from the proposed HS2 but are enthusiastically preparing plans to take their club forward. All this mattered not as we enjoyed a very English teatime with sandwiches and fancy cakes. We enjoyed the company of the members and wish them well for the future.

Civic service

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It was a beautiful service

The annual Civic Service, for Lichfield District councillors to pledge their commitment to Lichfield District residents, took place at St Michael’s Church in Lichfield on Sunday 22 July 2018. 

I led the Act of Commitment during the Sunday service, inviting parish, district and county councillors to acknowledge their responsibility to the community and pledge their commitment to the service of the people of Lichfield District.

I would like to thank St Michael’s for a beautiful service. I was proud to lead my fellow councillors in the Act of Commitment, confirming our promise to serve the people of Lichfield District.

July’s engagements

Armed Forces Day Queens Park, Stoke on Trent – Sunday 1 July

Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom is an annual event celebrated in late June to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces. Veterans’ Day was first observed in 2006. We attended this event at an extremely hot Queens Park in Stoke. A mixed parade of military personnel along with service veterans, cadets and scouts, paraded smartly before an over-heated Lord Lieutenant in his heavy uniform. Parade over, all escaped to the shade and a cool drink.
 
Judging – Best Kept Village
Wednesday –  Hednesford, Upper Longton, Longton Green, Longton
Thursday – Fradley, Harlaston, Haunton Edingale
Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 July
 
The competition, organised by the Community Council of Staffordshire, has a long tradition in the county, having run continuously for 60 years. Each year between 50 and 60 villages participate and some 70 volunteers are involved in judging them. The aim is to encourage community spirit within a village by bringing together the whole community with the common goal of becoming the Best Kept Village in Staffordshire.   

There are also a number of complementary competitions running alongside the main competition including; children’s poster, and poetry competitions and a Spirit of Best Kept Village painting and photography competition for adults.

image of Chairman and his Lady

Here we are at the Puppet Parade

It has become a bit of a tradition to invite civic leaders to join the judges in their deliberations. Eileen and I are no strangers to this task she being a trustee of the Community Council and we both having been judges in the past. We and our fellow Judges, Jan and Richard did our duty the results of which will be declared later in the year.

Lichfield Festival Puppet Parade – Saturday 7 July 
     
Created and brought to life by local community groups, giant puppets of the Festival Animal Puppetry Parade processed through the City Streets, accompanied by music from local performers.

orking with professional artists, groups created puppets in workshops leading up to the Festival before revealing them in the parade. We joined the Mayor and Mayoress to process to Lichfield Cathedral to mark the beginning of this year’s festival.

The puppet parade was partly funded by a grant from the council’s Lichfield City Art Fund of which I am a member so I was delighted to see so many people out on the streets to witness what was a spectacular and successful event. 

Eileen with a Chelsea Pensioner

Eileen with a Chelsea Pensioner

WRAC memorial service NMA – Sunday 8 July

We attended a short act of rededication to the replacing of the ATS statue into the WRAC Association plot at the National Memorial Arboretum as well as to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the ATS in 1938.

This was a very impressive occasion attended by former army service woman many of them quite elderly and including half a dozen or more Lady Chelsea Pensioners. The weather was oppressively hot and I was impressed by the care taken by younger members of the association for their older comrades. Eileen and I were looked after very well especially myself being one of very few men amongst a large gathering of ex-military ladies!
 
Staffordshire University Awards Dinner – Monday 9 July

We attended as LDC representatives the University’s Award Dinner for 2018. Staffordshire University has one main campus based in the city of Stoke-on-Trent and three other campuses, located in Stafford, Lichfield and Shrewsbury.
 
Beacon Park – 11 July

A photo-shoot to launch this year’s Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park, which is being held this year on Saturday 1 September. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/lichfieldproms
 
The Spires Care Home Lichfield – Wednesday 11 July

Eileen and I joined staff and guests when Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson, and the Mayor of Lichfield, Councillor David Leytham, officially opened Lichfield latest care home The Spires by unveiling a plaque at a well-attended ceremony.

The Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor greeted residents and guests, and gave speeches before unveiling the plaque, marking the formal opening of the home. During our visit, guests were given tours of the purpose built home which has great views of the cathedral in the distance. 
 
Civic Service Cannock – Sunday 15 July

The Civic Service and Reception for Cllr Paul Witton held at St Luke’s Church Cannock followed by a reception at the Civic Suite Cannock Chase Council.
 
National Memorial Arboretum, Ulster Constabulary Association Memorial – Saturday 21 July

Another memorial event this time for the Ulster Special Constabulary Association. We were invited to attend their 12th anniversary and parade at the NMA.

This was amusing and interesting in that it was a ‘proper’ parade taken by Captain Stephen Mc Michael former Regimental Sergeant Major of the Irish Guards. The parade of veteran policemen and the LDC Chairman were ordered into three ranks, turned to the right and marched in step to the memorial. I think I acquitted myself well!

Eileen and I were delighted to be looked after by Harry, the eight-year-old grandson of the association secretary who was immaculately uniformed as a Major in the Ulster Defence Regiment.
 

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It was a beautiful service

St Michael’s Church Lichfield – Sunday 22 June

Today was the Chairman’s Civic Service held at St Michael’s Church Lichfield. The service, taken by the Rev Linda Collins, was in the presence of invited civic representatives and council colleagues and friends. A thoughtful civic service followed by cake and coffee was most enjoyable and my thanks go to Eileen, Linda, Lesley who put together the service and organised the afternoon. Not forgetting all those who helped and all those who attended. 

image of meeting Prince Charles

I was honoured to meet Prince Charles

Pool House Equine Centre Fradley – Tuesday 24 July

We were delighted to be invited along with many other guests to welcome HRH Prince Charles, who opened the new multi-million-pound veterinary hospital at the Pool House Equine Centre at Fradley and privileged to be in the introductory line-up.

The equine hospital is a state of the art facility for the treatment of injured horses. As you can imagine the Staff and partners of Pool House Equine Clinic were delighted at having the Prince of Wales on hand to officially open their multimillion pound centre at the Crown Inn Farm site.

Prince Charles took a tour of the hospital, where he was able to see a host of demonstrations as to how horses are prepared for surgery, ultrasound scanning, electronic lameness location and advanced dentistry He then joined guests for a reception and unveiling of a commemorative plaque. On his departure guests were also given a guided tour of the facilities. 
 
Cannock Chase – Wednesday 25 July

For many years young people from Germany have visited Staffordshire and have joined with local youngsters to tend the war graves at the German Cemetery on Cannock Chase. Apart from their good work the teenagers get the opportunity to practice their English and to forge new friendships. During their fortnight stay a service of peace and reconciliation is held at the British and German Cemeteries and we attended to represent the people of Lichfield.

After the service we joined the youngsters for a lunch at County Buildings in Stafford. Thankfully it isn’t all work for our German visitors and their friends as they will have some leisure-time events including visits to Alton Towers and Beaudesert Activity Centre.
 
 Mayoress at Home, Lichfield’s Guildhall – Saturday 28 July

A pleasant end to the month’s activities: afternoon tea with the Lady Mayoress of Lichfield Jan Leytham Ganes. In the Guildhall in good company and in aid of her charities, scones and cakes while outside the rain started to fall bringing an end to the heat wave and a busy month.

launching Lichfield Proms

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Eileen and I at the launch

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Launching Lichfield Proms with all the sponsors

As the representative of Lichfield District Council, I was pleased to join the sponsors of this year’s Lichfield Proms in launching the big event at Beacon Park.

We were all decked out with Union flags and hats to promote the patriotic event.

This year’s Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park is on Saturday 1 September and is extra special as we’ll be celebrating 20 years of Lichfield Proms.

So, put a date in the diary and join us for what will be a stunning evening of music, entertainment, picnics, flag waving and fireworks.

Find out more about Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park.

Some more June engagements

Baden Hall Eccleshall on 8 June

We attended a reception given by the High Sheriff of Staffordshire.  Traditionally a welcome to incoming ‘chains’ and others. This year’s High Sheriff is Mrs Philippa Gee.
Monday 11th June.

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NMA Baton Relay

RAF Baton Relay at the National Memorial Arboretum on 11 June

On 1 April the Royal Air Force celebrated it’s 100th birthday. As part of the celebrations a specially designed baton set off on a journey around the UK and abroad visiting 100 sites associated with RAF over 100 days with the intention of finishing its journey on 10 July on Horse Guards Parade.

The runners arrived at the NMA about midday in very hot weather. There followed, in front of RAF personnel and invited guests, a Memorial Service for all ex and serving members of the RAF. Afterwards we met up with Flight Lieutenant Nosheen Choudry and her team and wished them well for the rest of their marathon relay. 

AGM and open evening – 1206 (City of Lichfield) Air Trianing Corps on 11 June

Lichfield City Council recently presented the 1206 Air Training Corps with an illuminated address and the title City of Lichfield. As part of their fiftieth birthday celebrations, we attended the AGM and open evening of our local cadet force.

Commanded by Flt. Lieutenant Chris Kelly cadets get the opportunity to experience flying, sports, target shooting, adventure training and great fun. The youngsters get the benefits of their own efforts achieving and earning BTECs and DoE Awards. They are expected to take part in as many activities we as possible, and they are supplied with a uniform! What’s not to like. We were very impressed, had an enjoyable evening and I commend Chris, his staff an the cadets.  
 
Tamworth – 12 June

Eileen and I attended the commemoration service for the 1100th anniversary of the death of Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians which was held at a crowded St Editha’s Parish Church Tamworth in the presence of Prince Edward.   

Aethelflaed was the warrior daughter of King Alfred the Great. She rebuilt and fortified Tamworth in 918 AD and from there pushed the invading Danes out of Mercia. Michael Wood the TV historian who spoke at the service said that ‘without her there would be no England as we know it’.

The event was most enjoyable with local people dressed as Saxon warriors and citizens all in attendance on a most regal Lady of the Mercians splendidly played by our own councillor Olivia Shepherd.

Bishops Palace, Lichfield – Wednesday 13 June

This was the Annual General Meeting of the Johnson Society.

Stafford – 17 June

Chairman of Staffordshire County Council Cllr Michael Greatorex’s civic church service at St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Stafford followed by a buffet lunch at the county buildings.                

image of ribbon cutting

The ribbon cutting

Sandford Street, Lichfield – 18 June                                           

I accepted an invitation to cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening of Bromford’s new outright sale development, Lichfield One, at Sandford Street in Lichfield. This new 33 apartment complex has been built on the site of the old Sandford Gate sheltered housing scheme which was demolished as part of the Friary Outer project.

I think it important to note that profits from the sale of the apartments go to finance the community developments and services provided by Bromford. Needless to say that though I was rather taken by the penthouse flat overlooking the cathedral no generous discount was offered to me to purchase the apartment.

Tamworth – 24 June                                                                                       

The Mayor of Tamworth Cllr Peter Thurgood’s civic church service at St Editha’s Tamworth followed by a buffet lunch at Bolehall Manor Club.

St John’s, Lichfield – 26 June

Evening prayer in the Chapel to celebrate the birth of their patron saint John the Baptist.

Lichfield Cathedral – 30 June

We attended, in the company of Cllr Chris Spruce and former LDC Chairman Terry Finn and his wife Gussie, the Speech Day and Annual Prize Giving of Lichfield Cathedral School at Lichfield Cathedral on an extremely hot Saturday morning.

The crowded congregation of pupils parents and guests were entertained by talented youngsters with music and song. The many prizes were presented by the TV personality Carol Kirkwood after giving the assembled audience and particularly the pupils a very interesting and encouraging speech.

Ribbon cut on Lichfield city centre development

image of ribbon cutting

The ribbon cutting

I was delighted to cut the ribbon on 18 June to formally mark the completion of Lichfield One, a new £6m city centre development built by Bromford.

The site in Lower Sandford Street had laid empty ever since Bromford residents were moved out of the former Sandford Gate sheltered housing scheme in 2013 as part of the overall £14m The Friary project.

The new homes are providing 33 modern apartments with car parking for outright sale. The two-bed properties, many offering panoramic views of Lichfield Cathedral, sit in the heart of the regenerated part of the city where a new hotel, shops and restaurant was built around four years ago.

I was joined by my wife, Eileen Awty, Cllr Norma Bacon, Vice Chairman, as well as Housing & Wellbeing manager, Lucy Robinson and a number of Bromford directors, in having a guided tour around the new site.

This is a splendid new development, offering residents a select location right in our beautiful city centre. With so much on their doorstep, from Beacon Park and the cathedral, to all the shops and restaurants, I am sure the apartments will make very happy homes for years to come.
 
Anyone wanting further information should visit www.bromford.co.uk/lichfieldone/.

June engagements so far

cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral

Saturday 2 June – Lichfield Cathedral Chorus

Eileen and I attended a concert in the Cathedral by the Lichfield Cathedral Chorus who entertained us with an evening dedicated to the works of Hubert Parry. Lichfield Cathedral Chorus is a choral society based in Lichfield Cathedral. It has around 120 members and performs two or three concerts each year with orchestra or organ to large audiences.  

The chorus sang with great depth and feeling providing their audience with a most enjoyable evening. Their next performance will be The Creation, which will be performed at the catehdral on Saturday 8 December.
 

we love lichfield

We Love Lichfield

Friday 8 June – We Love Lichfield

The We Love Lichfield fund awarded around £25,000 to various groups and organisations at its presentation day held at The George Hotel. The fund, which was only started in 2011, has gone from strength to strength.

We Love Lichfield works in partnership with Lichfield District Council on the management of our community grants programme. It is also funded by local businesses and organisations and receives charitable donations.
 
A very pleasant morning was spent in the company of carers, volunteers, scout leaders and helpers of all sorts who were presented with cheques to support their ongoing, superb activities within Lichfield, Burntwood and the other villages within Lichfield District.  

For more information contact www.welovelichfield.com

Friday 8 June – High Sheriff of Staffordshire

We attended a reception given by the High Sheriff of Staffordshire.  Traditionally a welcome to incoming ‘chains’ and others. This year’s High Sheriff is Mrs Philippa Gee.
 

May engagements

Wednesday 16 May

I enjoyed a visit to Keele University for the installation and reception for the incoming Mayor of Newcastle.

Friday 18 May

Another installation – this time it was to Burton on Trent for the installation of the incoming Mayor of East Staffordshire.

Sunday 20 May

I attended the Mayor of Lichfield’s Civic Service in the Guildhall Lichfield. This year’s traditional service was held in the Guildhall owing to the ongoing conversion works to St Mary’s. Although potentially our new library and visitor centre, St Mary’s will still have a consecrated chapel for the city’s civic use. The Rev Linda Collins conducted the service.

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With Lichfield’s Mayor, Cllr Leytham at the launch

Lichfield Memory Cafe

Launch of Lichfield Memory Cafe

Friday 24 May

Eileen and I, along with the Mayor and Mayoress of Lichfield, Cllr David Leytham and Jan, opened the Memory Café in the Methodist Church Lichfield.

For the last 20 years, Lichfield Dementia Café was held at Wade St Church. However, an opportunity arose for the Alzheimer’s Society to work with Home Stead Senior Care to pass on the running of their monthly café to a weekly café that could run and therefore support people with dementia in the wider Lichfield area.

This was a very rewarding experience and congratulations to all who contribute to making a safe friendly place to those who have a need.

For further information, phone 01543 625 002

Sunday 27 May

We attended the Lichfield Greenhill Bower service held at St Michaels Church Lichfield. This is a long standing tradition where civic leaders and members of the Bower committee gather in the Guildhall together with the Bower Queen, Prince and Princess and process up to Greenhill for a thanksgiving service at St Michael’s – some of us spent the previous day praying for a rain-free trek up Greenhill!
 
Monday 28 May

bower

With my fellow dignitaries at Lichfield Bower

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Travelling in style thanks to FM & J Wait

Bower Day started grey and threatening after the storms of the previous night – a worry for the success of the Bower that relies on visitors from around the district.

The day started well with a very lively Court of Arraye. The highlight of the day was the presence of over 200 Air Cadets on parade. To celebrate 100 years of the formation of the RAF and 50 years of Air Cadets in Lichfield our local unit had been granted the new title of 1208 City of Lichfield Squadron. An illuminated address was presented to the squadron to commemorate the event.

After the crowning of the Bower Queen the procession, led by the cadets, did the traditional perambulation of the town.

Thankfully the weather had set fair by then so Beacon Park filled, the fair prospered and hopefully everyone had a good day.

I have the privilege of following the Mayor in the procession in a limousine provided by a local undertaker. This attracts different responses, from the children a cheery wave, from most adults a respectful nod and a muttered ‘who the heck is that?’ Eileen and I enjoyed all comments and the day.

As we say goodbye to a very frenetic start to our term of office we look forward to June and hopefully engagements further afield within our Lichfield District.

Thank you to Robert Yardley for the photos taken at Lichfield Bower.

New Chairman and council roles announced

Cllr Bob Awty, Chairman of Lichfield District Council

Cllr Bob Awty, Chairman of Lichfield District Council

The new Chairman and Vice Chairman of Lichfield District Council have been sworn in at Annual Council.   
 
At Lichfield District Council’s Annual Council meeting on Tuesday 15 May 2018, Cllr Bob Awty was sworn in as the new Chairman and Cllr Mrs Norma Bacon was sworn in as Vice Chairman.
 
As the Chairman, Cllr Awty will represent the district at a wide range of functions across the region, including royal visits, community and charity events and formal openings. He will also chair council meetings and work throughout the year to raise money for charity.
 
Cllr Bob Awty, Chairman of Lichfield District Council, commented: “As a proud Lichfieldian, having been born here and lived here for nearly all of my life, I am delighted to take on the role Chairman.

“Lichfield District is growing and progressing all the time. I love its history and tradition and I look forward to championing and promoting the district and all we have to offer at the many events that I will attend throughout the year.”

The Chairman’s charity is Lichfield Memory Café. This is a new charity that offers a weekly café at the Methodist Church on Tamworth Street. Taking place every Thursday between 10am and 12noon, it is for people living with dementia and their carers to meet, make friends, reminisce and stimulate their memory.  

Cllr Awty took over the role of chairman from Councillor Mark Warfield.  

Cllr Mark Warfield, Chairman of Lichfield District Council from May 2017 to May 2018, said: “The past year has flown by and has been wonderful.

“A highlight for me was meeting primary school children who asked if I wore the chains of office at home, of course I replied ‘Yes – all the time!’ and they were delighted with that answer.

“As Chairman I had the opportunity to raise funds for the Lichfield & District Talking Newspaper, which included a hosting a fantastic civic lunch at Qmin for the charity.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support and kindness to me over the last year – it has been a privilege and has gone by far too quickly.”