Phil Red­mond’s di­ary

Life a step be­hind the High Sher­iff

Cheshire Life - - Inside -

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

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