Volunteer visit to the Mayor’s office
By Clancy Radley, Senior Outreach Worker
Deaf Direct is lucky to have a fantastic team of volunteers who regularly and selflessly give their time. To say thank you, Deaf Direct invited 9 volunteers to the Mayor’s Parlour at the Guildhall on Worcester High Street.
We met outside the Guildhall on a very cold January morning, and were met by a photographer from the local newspaper who took a photo with the Mayor before our tour began. Once inside, the Mayor showed us around the grand Guildhall in all its glory. We started in the upstairs hall, with its beautiful chandeliers and beautifully painted ceiling. The Mayor informed us that what appeared to be gold paint on the ceiling was in fact real gold leaf. We were shown to the far end of the hall, where the Mayoral chair was: a huge wooden chair with engraving in the wood. We were invited to sit in the chair to see how big it was, most of us couldn’t touch the floor if we were sitting back in it. The Mayor explained how he sat there during big council meetings and also explained how the different political parties sat during the meetings.
Next was to a balcony that looked over the downstairs hall, before looking around the downstairs hall. On one side of the hall are wooden panels behind which are all the names of the Worcester regiment who served in the First World War. We were able to have a quick look to see if any relatives were on there. Soldiers who had been killed in battle had a gold cross painted next to their name. At the far end of the hall there are over 40 old buckets, the Mayor informed us that there should be 48 buckets in total, the reason being was that it would take exactly 48 people standing hand to hand in a line passing buckets of water from the River Severn to the Guildhall if there was a fire.
We also went down into the cells underneath the Guildhall and were told how poor the conditions were for the prisoners. Many of the prisoners were also sent to prisons in Australia, with no means of returning.
Our final port of call was the Mayor’s Parlour. We sat and had tea and biscuits in the luxurious surroundings, before the Mayor answered our questions. He showed us all the precious items in his Parlour and explained his ceremonial dress and the cost of insuring his chain etc.
Before we left we gave all the volunteers a card to thank them for their time and effort and for making a big difference to Deaf Direct.