WORCESTER people would welcome new laws to allow Sunday shopping and trading, according to a survey by the Shopping Hours Reform Council.

Val Pulford, the council’s regional organiser, said: “Whatever the vociferous view of the minority, the majority of people in Worcester and elsewhere in the country want the freedom to decide how they spend Sunday. Worcester is a terrific city and its shopping centres are a real attraction.

With another shopping development due to open next year, many local people would like to be able to use the shops on Sundays.”

However, shoppers who took part in the survey said they also wanted to see protection for shop workers unwilling to work on Sunday incorporated into any changes in the trading law.


A GROUP of single Worcester women will be homeless at the end of this month when the city’s YWCA closes its doors. Financial losses and increasing maintenance work needed at the imposing hostel building in London Road have prompted the YWCA to put the property on the market.

YWCA residents have been given until the end of the month to find somewhere else to stay but the girls and women have so far been drawing a blank on rented flats in Worcester. Several of them have jobs in Worcester and fear moving out of the city because of difficulties getting work elsewhere.

Mrs Muriel Pickford, chairman of the Worcester YWCA, said: “It is very sad we are having to close down but we have been operating on a shoe-string for several years. The situation is getting worse and worse and we just cannot continue.”


THE siren which for years has screamed out and awakened people in Worcestershire whenever firemen are urgently needed appears to be fading out – thanks to technological advance. Firemen at Worcester are soon to be issued with pocket sized “bleep bleep” receivers as an alternative to the siren call. Divisional officer R Edmonds at the Fire Brigade’s Copenhagen Street HQ said the radio alert system had been specially designed to meet Home Office specifications.He said: “This advanced system incorporates features which ensure a high degree of operational reliability.”

All firemen in the city are to be given a set, plus a battery charger. Each set will be kept in the pocket and whenever retained firemen are needed, HQ staff will send out a bleep. At night, the receiver is placed by the fireman in a battery charger at his bedside.

Firemen at Pershore and Broadway have already been supplied with these kits.


SHRUB Hill Hospital, Worcester, was featured in a national newspaper report this week under the shock heading “Horror hospitals.”

It was alleged in a survey by Dr Joseph Sheldon, the Birmingham Hospital Board adviser, that Shrub Hill is “a typical Victorian workhouse complex. It is a misuse of words to call it a hospital.”

Health Minister Enoch Powell is to be asked to set up a comprehensive enquiry into the state of the nation’s geriatric hospitals such as Shrub Hill which accommodates about 100 old folk, about 75 of them women. JS Rippier, secretary of the South Worcestershire Hospital Management Committee, said: “It is not buildings that make a hospital but the spirit and devotion of those who work in it. This is certainly true of Shrub Hill Hospital.”