Lest we forget and new sculpture for Lido Park

I recently attended Warwickshire College Group’s graduation day in Leamington Spa, which included some Pershore Horticultural College students, looking forward to a potential career ranging from garden design to veterinary nursing.

An interesting talk was given by  previous graduate Jake Meyer a world record breaking mountaineer and adventurer who told of his feats of endurance including climbing the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on each continent one of them being Mount Everest. One of the others being Mt. Vinson in Antarctica where Jake told of temperatures dropping to minus 70C where having a wee involved being very quick to avoid creating an icicle.

Remembering those who fought and lost their lives in service to this country has been at the forefront of my visits during the early part of November. On 8 November I attended the Remembrance Sunday service in Pershore Abbey where thanks were given to those who have given their lives protecting this country, standards were proudly carried and poppy petals floated down from within the Abbey tower.

On the 10 November a similar occasion was held at Pershore High School where the roll of honour of previous pupils who have fought was rededicated. Children were encouraged to ask questions of the veterans present when one pupil discovered to his horror that pizza and burgers were never on the menu!

Then on Armistice Day itself (11 November) I attended a  service in the Pershore Commemorative Garden in Abbey Park with children from the local schools taking part laying wreaths and reading poems. Later a service in Pershore Cemetery honouring the many Commonwealth airmen and where Ryan Murdock laid a wreath against his Canadian grandfather Alton O’Neil’s grave.  The family only discovered where Alton was buried after sometimes heated discussions took place regarding the naming of the adjacent new development (whether to be named after plums or Canadians) which apparently went viral bringing quite a few Canadian visitors to see family graves.

Armistice Day 11.11 (4)

I was also delighted to unveil a 9 ft high wooden carving of a salt worker in Lido Park, Droitwich.  Designed and sculpted by Tom Harvey with the aid of a chain saw on a beech tree which recently had to be topped due to the crown becoming diseased.  This amazing carving is an addition to what is becoming known as Tom’s Trail in our parks – where next?

 

Me with artist Tom Harvey and in the background Tim Oldham, from Wychavon's parks team who came up with the idea for the sculpture

Me with artist Tom Harvey and in the background Tim Oldham, from Wychavon’s parks team who came up with the idea for the sculpture

Finally, I visited Pershore Tennis Centre to see the first of the free tennis lessons being given thanks to a grant by Wychavon District Council to children ranging from four years to ten years of age and which also coincided with various Save the Children fundraising activities which eventually involved me playing with Brad, one of the club’s young stars (to be truthful this only meant me lobbying a ball very gently over the net several times).

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