Visit to Worcester – May 2022
15 members were treated to a most interesting and enjoyable day in Worcester, hosted by Worcester Civic Society. We were welcomed to their newly-opened History and Heritage Pod in the Crowngate Shopping Centre. This impressive space includes a Timeline covering Worcester’s history in the context of national events since Roman times. After a welcome with refreshments, we were taken on a fascinating walking tour of 10 of Worcester’s 14 Grade 1 listed buildings, conducted by John Wickson, ably assisted by artist David Birtwhistle. Some of the buildings such as the Cathedral or Guildhall are quite well known to many of us, but other jewels in the city centre are often passed by unnoticed and it was illuminating to hear more of their history. We saw several of the Blue Plaques installed by the Civic Society (recent Plaques include Sir Sterling Moss and another to commemorate the Jewish community in Worcester, which was based around Copenhagen Street).
We contrasted the delightful Tudor and Georgian buildings with the brutal architecture of the 1960s and 70s, finishing our tour at The Hive and learning about its eco-credentials. We pondered whether this will be a listed building in the future…. We also looked at the project to refurbish Worcester’s iconic railway arches into a modern workplace for creative industries.
We were able to visit the Civic Society’s Worcester News archives rescued from disposal, which are now housed in an underground room of the Shopping Centre, which currently involves 10 volunteers who weekly sort and file 130 boxes of press cuttings and articles, as well as storing thousands of old photographic negatives and bound copies of the Berrows Worcester Journal.
We finished the day with a guided tour of Tudor House Museum with its rare 16th century plaster embossed ceiling among other treasures, and displays focussing on the house’s past – as a home to Tudor weavers through to its use as an ARP Warden’s office in WW2, a public house and a school clinic. This was rounded off by tea and biscuits in their charming cafe.
A splendid day was had by all.