Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, attended yet another plaque unveiling with the Civic Society this Saturday after attending the launch of a new All Party Group for Civic Societies in Parliament last week. He joined the Little Family, the Mayor of Worcester, the Dean of the Cathedral and representatives of the Worcester Historical Society, the Worcester Civic Society and the Elgar Birthplace Trust to unveil a plaque which commemorates Edward Elgar’s time living in a house in College Precincts, just opposite the Cathedral. The plaque joins a smaller plaque from the Elgar Society outside the cottage that is open to visitors as a wonderful city centre short let, bringing tourists into the heart of Worcester. The MP has also welcomed the launch of a new Select Committee Inquiry at how the Government’s spending on culture and the arts could make more of an impact on Counties and Regions outside of London and is urging local groups to respond to it.
Robin has previously attended a number of events around the city to celebrate Worcester landmarks and the city’s history and has congratulated the Civic Society on their campaign to make more of Worcester’s heritage. Smart new plaques have been unveiled at each of the city’s gates, at the hotel where visiting American Presidents stayed and at other key historic locations around Worcester. He strongly supports Worcester City Council’s drive for Worcester become an official Heritage City and to revamp the Commandery Museum to make more of its English Civil War links. Robin is member of both the Worcester Civic Society and the Worcester Historical Society as well as the Battle of Worcester Society.
Last week the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, which is chaired by the MP for Hereford, Jesse Norman and on which Robin’s neighbour Nigel Huddleston MP also sits, launched its ‘countries of culture’ inquiry to look at how arts and heritage funding should be spread across the country and explicitly setting out to improve the balance between investment in London and elsewhere.
Commenting Robin said:
“Worcester has so much to offer and it is wonderful to see the plaques going up around the city that better connect us with our past and with the wonderful artistic and cultural legacy we have inherited. Edward Elgar is the composer who most evokes the spirit of England and it is only right that we should celebrate his connections with Worcester. Nothing is quite so English as the gradual build up of Nimrod from the Enigma Variations at the end of a church service or the singing of “land of hope and glory” to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance on the last night of the proms. That we are celebrating our heritage in a way that will also boost tourism and make our city centre more special is an added bonus and a reflection of the wider value that heritage can offer.”
“I want to see Worcester recognised nationally as a Heritage City and I want to see more local arts and cultural organisations gain national recognition. With this in mind the new Select Committee Inquiry from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee could not be better timed. With a number of MPs on that committee from our neck of the woods, they will understand the view that historic County towns deserve a fairer share of cultural investment and be sympathetic to the views of councils and organisations in our area. We must not miss the chance to get involved.”
“As regeneration is underway in our city centre, correcting some of the mistakes of the past such as the concrete monstrosity opposite our beautiful medieval cathedral, I hope that Worcester can undergo a real renaissance as a historic and cultural city. I welcome the development of a cultural quarter around the Cathedral and the regeneration of the plaza opposite it. From Elgar’s music to its exhibitions on King John and the Magna Carta, from school and University graduations to our annual and ever growing Remembrance Sunday events, Worcester Cathedral plays a vital role in the cultural life of Worcester and I would like to see that celebrated more.”
Notes to editors:
For more information on the Culture Media & Sport Select Committee Inquiry see:
For Civic Voice and the new All Party Parliamentary group on civic societies see:
For the Worcester Civic Society see:
For the Worcestershire Historical Society see:
For the Battle of Worcester Society see:
For Robin’s previous press releases on tourism, heritage the city’s history and culture see: