Phil Redmond’s diary
Life a step behind the High Sheriff
Heritage seemed to be this month’s flavour. From Nantwich Food & Drink Festival to the installation of the new Dean at Chester Cathedral, it was a month highlighting what Britain does best, enjoying its customs and traditions.
As the High Sheriff was headlining the dignitary list in Nantwich Civic Hall, it was the stats in the speeches that caught my attention. Approximately 50,000 visitors over one weekend, experiencing offerings from over 200 exhibitors, really gave a feel of what an historic bustling market town must have felt like. To put that in perspective, the Royal Cheshire Show attracts around 80,000 and has been going for 180 years. Nantwich started 10 years ago. No small feat.
It was also impressive to hear that Nantwich has the biggest firework display outside London, so apart from trying to squeeze that in to the HS diary later this year, as Chair of the UK City of Culture programme I know that anything that brings new life into
“It was an opportunity to learn about the development of modern policing”
our towns and attracts people, with cash to spend, has to be welcomed.
If you are tempted to ponder if community-led regeneration really works, consider the New York Marathon. Started in 1970 it had 127 entrants circling Central Park for a chance to win a cheap watch. In 2018 entries were capped at 50,000, to run though five districts and the opportunity to win $100,000. From a simple way to keep fit, it is now one of the world’s biggest media events, generating over $500 million in economic impact. Tiny acorns do need time to grow.
The following week saw National Heritage Weekend, when the HS attended an Open Day at Warrington Police Museum in Arpley Police Station. It was both an opportunity to learn about the development of modern policing, listen to the police band drummers and get up close to the cars, motorbikes and firearms. Although not too close.
Like Nantwich, it was another example of volunteers stepping up, as they did at Tarporley Memorial Hospital’s garden party. There the HS joined staff in thanking all the volunteers, fundraisers and supporters who work so hard to keep this great local facility viable. This time during the speeches, I was struck by how valuable a resource it was, not least in saving the long drives to even longer waits in centralised regional hospitals.
Another slice of Britain’s heritage was visible in Chester Cathedral when the HS joined the Lord Lieutenant and massed ranks of clerical copes and civic gowns for the Installation of the New Dean of Chester Cathedral, the Venerable Dr Tim Stafford. It was an ecclesiastical tour de force.
Yet, it wasn’t the speeches, pomp or ceremony that made an impact this time, but the fact that the Venerable Tim is, like myself, and Stevie G, a Scouser from Huyton. The Cathedral seems to be in good hands.
I’m looking forward to...
Autumn colours and the smell of log fires
I’m not looking forward to...
Autumn rain and keeping the log fires going