11 Oct The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, reflects on a busy quarter.
It is with a heavy heart that I write the first part of this blog.
On the 8th September we learned about the death of our much loved and respected Queen. She has been the longest reigning monarch in British history. We will miss her for the sense of continuity and stability she has given us during a time of rapid social, cultural and technological change.
We have enjoyed her dignified manner and the love given to her people for all the years of her reign. It is with deep affection and admiration we remember her, but now we must look forward to the reign of a new monarch.
One of the many joys of being a Lord-Lieutenant is that nearly all of our duties are celebratory.
We congratulate, we thank, and we give honours on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
This summer has been no different in Shropshire.
In June it was my pleasure to unveil the plaque and officially open the new premises for the Shrewsbury Ark. This fantastic organisation offers basic living facilities to their clients, such as a hot shower, laundry, internet, phone charging and hot meals and drinks. In addition to these basic resources, they can provide warm clothes, sleeping bags and food supplies.
In the record-breaking temperatures that Shropshire experienced in July, the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth games arrived in Shrewsbury. I attended a welcome event at Shrewsbury Castle to greet the baton and the baton bearers before they continued the journey to the Quarry where huge crowds had gathered to cheer on the baton to the next destination.
Also, in July I attended the third excavation dig that was being undertaken at Shrewsbury Castle. Archaeologists explored the motte at Shrewsbury Castle to try get a clearer idea of what may be hidden beneath the earth.
At the end of July, I was back at the Castle and thrilled to be able to welcome HRH Princess Alexandra to Shropshire.
Her Royal Highness arrived at Shrewsbury Castle; she viewed a special exhibition before inspecting troops from the Royal Yeomanry Regiment prior to them exercising the Freedom of the City.
Princess Alexandra is a regular visitor to Shropshire. In 2014 – she visited the Shropshire Star offices to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, 2017 – she visited Lyneal Wharf near Ellesmere, 2018 she visited Church Stretton and in 2019 she visited Telford and met with community heroes.
In August I was my delighted to join volunteers from three Shropshire organisations who were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) earlier this year and present them with their Awards. Each year, outstanding examples of volunteering are celebrated through the QAVS awards. Equivalent to an MBE, QAVS is the highest awards given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life.
It was my absolute pleasure to give awards to West Mercia Search and Rescue, Shropshire Rural Support and PODS (Parents Opening Doors)
I still have one more QAVS award to present to East Shropshire Talking newspaper and very much look forward to meeting them in the near future.
It was an also an absolute pleasure to present the Queens Award for Enterprise(QAE) to Derwen College recently and I am very much looking forward to presenting further QAEs to three other fantastic Shropshire businesses – i2r Packaging, Stallion AI and Jesmonite Ltd.
Earlier in the summer a good number of Shropshire citizens were recognized in the Queen’s birthday honours and it was wonderful to present four of them with their British Empire Medals in a fabulous ceremony at The Anstice in Telford last month.
It was wonderful to see the Flower show return to Shrewsbury following the forced postponement due to the pandemic. Jenny Wynn, Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Colonel Mark Cuthbert-Brown CBE DL were present and told me how fantastic the show was (if a little warm!)
As Autumn approaches we are now looking forward to the start of tree planting season once more and being able to re-commence planting more trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy and pinning Shropshire on the map. Earlier this year Shropshire’s Queen’s Green Canopy campaign was given a huge boost thanks to a generous legacy from the late Richard Mayall and his wife Anne who lived near Harmer Hill. Free trees will once again be available to residents of Shropshire via both Councils – more details to follow. The tree planting season is October to March, but you must put your pin on the Queen’s Green Canopy map before Christmas 2022.