19 September to 26 September, 2011

THIS WEEK IN 1961:

AN audience of more than 800 gathered around the base of St Andrew’s Spire, Deansway, Worcester, on Thursday evening as part of a specially staged demonstration to press for a theatre, six years after the closure of the historic Theatre Royal. The “cast”

included members of 29 different societies, all dramatic groups within the city and surrounding villages, music and light opera groups, staff and pupils of 12 senior schools, doctors, lawyers and clergy of several denominations. “Leading ladies” for the evening, who received huge ovations, were Dame Peggy Ashcroft, president of the Worcester SAMA organisation, Vanessa Redgrave and Geraldine McEwan from the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon. Miss Redgrave said: “I think Worcester is setting a fine example in pressing for a theatre. All large towns should have one.”

THIS WEEK IN 1971:

THE citizens of Worcester were extremely co-operative in the April National Survey and, although many “census dodgers” are reported to be in peril of prosecution throughout the country, there are only a few refusals in the city. The first case against the “dodgers,” who could each face a maximum fine of £50, is to be heard next week. In Worcester, however, officials were delighted with the response of the 25,000 households in the city. R Trotter, one of the three area census officers, reported that there were only three or four people who would not fill in their forms. He said: “It was definitely one of the most satisfactory surveys ever held in Worcester. People were very co-operative and the response was almost complete.”

THIS WEEK IN 1981:

CHURCH officials hope to have put a stop to Worcester becoming “the Las Vegas of the Midlands,” but their triumph could be short lived. City councillors are now to make a site visit to see if a café next door to St Nicholas Church in the city centre is suitable to be turned into an amusement arcade. The owners want to create an area with 42 gaming machines with prizes in the front part of their café.

They say their aim is to attract middle aged customers to the café which is why they are not proposing to install “space invader” machines. But members of St Nicholas Parochial Church Council fear the amusements will attract “more undesirables”

to the area around the church. Worcester Civic Society and the Chamber of Commerce have also lodged objections on the same grounds.

Members point out that an amusement arcade already exists at Angel Place.

THIS WEEK IN 1991:

AIDS experts in Worcester are warning local people, and women in particular, to be extra careful while holidaying abroad where the risk of catching the deadly virus is high.

Nationally, the number of women suffering from AIDS has nearly doubled in the first half of this year.

Sheena Stewart, Worcester District’s HIV/AIDS coordinator, said: “Although I do not have exact figures, I can tell you that we have a very high incidence of females who are HIV positive in the district.”

She thought the reason many women caught the virus was because they did not think they were in a high risk category. They tended to think that only drug addicts and gay people caught it, so they did not practise safe sex.

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