We joined Will Lindesay, representing the Lord Lieutenant, The Bishop of Hereford, the Dean of Hereford, the Mayor and Junior Mayor of Hereford and the Chair of the Herefordshire Youth Council to process from the west end of the cathedral to the Left Bank village for the opening ceremony of this festival. Take a look at their web-site to get the idea! It was a hot day and those in their livery (thank goodness I was not) got very hot indeed.
Many thanks to Stuart Fox, Jo Henshaw and the team for organising what is a complicated event.
Music in Herefordshire schools is now run by Encore Entreprises who took on the Herefordshire Music Service. Do look at their web-site to understand all that they do to bring music to our young people and help them to make music.
We attend this concert to hear the Intermediate Concert Band, The Herefordshire Youth Brass Bands, the Junior Concert Band and, finally and quite spectacularly, the Herefordshire Youth Concert Band playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, written to celebrate the victory of the Russians over the French in that year. It contains pyrotechnics and other crashes and bangs which, in this performance, were not held back. The orchestra played as if it happened all the time. Just great. All the orchestras were of a very high standard. There were a lot of proud parents there.
It would be impossible to overstate what a great charity this is. Its origins go back to 1856 when the then vicar of St. Peters’ in Hereford and his sister, Amelia, set out to help in a number of ways struggling families in the city.
Today (to steal from their web-site) Vennture remains a Christian cross-church initiative true to John and Emelia’s original vision of loving those who are marginalised or vulnerable. Their work relies on an army of rigorous trained volunteers, incredibly diverse (from retirees to students) but all who share a passion to make a difference by ‘Loving people better.’
This is put into practise in a number of ways. They run teams of Street Pastors helping people who get into trouble on the streets at night. The Street Pastors may have to pass people on to the “Lean on Me” volunteers to access their needs. They may otherwise end up at the police station or the hospital. The Ambassadors help people out and about during the day. Their Family Pastors help people at home.
These volunteers are given considerable responsibility to make decisions about people’s needs and they go through a rigorous training. Today, new volunteers, having been through this training were “passed out” and given certificates by Paul Deneen on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant and Street Pastor tea-shirts by the High Sheriff.
Air Vice Marshal Mike Smart and Hereford Cathedral with their respective teams created a memorable celebration of this important anniversary. We heard accounts and poems that illustrated many aspects of the service – the bravery, especially in those early days, the dangers and tragedies, the excitement and joy too. Humour played its part with the gentlemen of the choir singing “Those magnificent men in their flying machines”.
The service was followed by a March past with the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire taking the salute.
CUP Ceramics is an open access project aimed at all who want to make things in ceramics and work together so doing. We attend this fund-raising. They hope to launch this Autumn. CUP Ceramics.
Barton Court, a beautiful Georgian House near Colwall, north of Ledbury, has been turned into an events venue and place to stay. This was their launch. Barton Court.
I was unable to attend the opening of the Hereford Labyrinth, on the South side of the Wye in Hereford opposite the Cathedral. I joined the party at the Kindle Centre next door to Asda just over the bridge on the South side in Hereford and was then given a tour of this impressive Community Facility by Amanda Evans who runs it. Kindle Centre.
On a subsequent day, I found myself between meetings in the area and have walked the labyrinth to the centre and back most carefully. Hereford Labyrinth.
The County was honoured by the presence of HRH The Countess of Wessex and was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant, the Dowager Countess of Darnley, who then presented HRH to a number of county dignitaries and their partners.
Air Vice Marshall Mike Smart escorted HRH to the “Weeping Window” display of ceramic poppies that had been set up as a cascade from a high window on a tower to the East of the North door of Hereford Cathedral. The poppies were the same as were on display at the Tower Of London in 2017 to commemorate the fallen of the First World War and made a powerful impression on the viewer.
HRH was then introduced to a group of former munition workers at the munitions factory in Rotherwas that was still in production until well after the second world war finished. I was told some hair raising stories told with remarkable understatement. https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200164/herefordshire_archive_and_records_centre/273/rotherwas_munitions_project/2
HRH was also shown the new SAS Memorial Window, ‘Ascension’, a beautiful new addition to our Cathedral. http://www.sasmemorial.co.uk/ HRH was presented with a (delicious looking) hamper of Herefordshire produce by Mrs Dorothy Knight, a former munitions worker now aged 96. I had talked to her beforehand and was struck by the way she talked about her experiences.
HRH was escorted across the road to the Hereford Museum to see the “Herefordshire in the Great War” exhibition as well as artwork by Herefordshire artist, Brian Hatton, a man of remarkable talent from Hereford, born in 1887 and, tragically killed in 1916. In his short 39 years of life, he produced over 1,000 art works. One can’t help but reflect on what might have been. HRH also met a group of children who had won prizes for their artwork remembering the First World War and met the sponsors of the prizes, former High Sheriff, Bob Tabor and his wife Bea. HRH was also given a briefing on the work of Caplor Horizons in Commonwealth Countries. https://www.caplorhorizons.org/
HRH was then taken to the Hereford Cider Museum, formerly a Bulmer site but dedicated to all cider making in the county where we all enjoyed tours of the Museum. We also all enjoyed a good lunch. Finally, HRH was given a briefing of the work and continuity of the Brightspace Foundation. https://www.brightspacefoundation.org.uk/.
HRH then made her departure.
The High Sheriff was asked to be dressed in full 18th century Court Dress for this great fun occasion. Bromyard have devised a Heritage trail from the Heritage Centre via St. Peter’s Church, the Alms houses and the Falcon Hotel (that was part of the carrier/coach and mail system when the horse was the only alterative to ones feet), past the most beautiful black and white houses and important refreshment opportunities to end at the Petty Bridge Toll House. www.VisitBromyard.org.uk.
Bromyard was in festive mode. Before the High Sheriff cut the ribbon on the Trail, everyone was entertained by the Belle d’Vain Morris dancers “ranting” the Trail. I recognised the Scottish dance tune that was being played but misremembered its name in the speech. Luckily few spotted it. We met a Highwayman (a number of times) but I was better armed than he.
I was escorted by Cadet Stephen Gow, who ushered Laura and me to where we should be at any time and was clearly anxious when we dawdled. He did a brilliant job and his boots shone like mirrors. A credit to the Cadet Force.
Thanks are owed to Jan Scrine, the Mayoress of Bromyard and Winslow, who made the Heritage trail happen, to Fred Clarke, the Mayor, and the Heritage lottery fund who helped pay for the Trail information boards.