It’s been a bit frantic recently so I’ve missed a couple of weeks – sorry to those who look forward to these blogs! But what a couple of weeks for the project!
First we launched our Community appeal, which is a chance for local people to do something exciting and captivating, and at the same time raise some money to he towards our overall total. The launch was at King Richard III Infants School, down the road, and the children were brilliant as kings and queens, princesses and princes. Having seen the children interviewed, we were a little disappointed in the regional BBC lunchtime news coverage coverage, which whilst understandably short also managed to pick the two clips that made the children sound far less clued up than they really were. Still, that’s the media for you!
I have fond memories of the school (which is named for the road it was built on not because Richard ever studied here as an infant!), because when I came to Leicester in 2000, although it was just outside my parish,it fed into the Shaftesbury Juniors, which was in my parish, and where I was for many years chair of governors, so I knew it pretty well back then. Getting then best form stroppy parents, teachers and juniors – maybe some preparation for my next job but one??? I couldn’t possibly say. Anyway, as far as the community appeal goes – look out also for interesting events at the Leicester Tigers v Bath Rugby match on Sunday 4th January. Is all I’m saying…
Then this week we were able finally to announce what I’ve known for some time but not been able to say – that 600 of those coming to our reinterment week services – that’s pretty much one in 3 of those to be invited – will be drawn from the general public, by means of random ballot from all who want to apply. (You can read the details of all that in our news release here.) We’ve always felt that whilst, of course there are certain people and groups you would really want to invite to these events, as far as possible we would want to be able to respond to the immense public interest that’s been there form the start of this amazing story. We have divided that 600 into 50% ‘Leicester & Leicestershire’ and 50% ‘everywhere else in the world’ as this has been for over 500 years Leicester’s story, even if its finale is on behalf of the world.
I’m glad so many have welcomed this news – even if a predictable few have still managed to grumble! (There are certain websites we occasionally go to for a quiet smile, to see how the axiomatic desire to apparently find nothing whatsoever good about Leicester or its Cathedral is demonstrated this time.)
The picture at the top of this Blog, by the way, is looking our over Leicester, taken from the car park looking west. Not THE car park, where the grave was found, but the one over the road, covering the western part of where Greyfriars Priory once stood. the view is of newish student accommodation for De Montfort University – but in Richard’s time it would have been the Newark!