Later on when I lived and worked in the city, my boss was the Treasurer of the club, so it has always held a place in my heart. But not as big a place as the cathedral itself.
In 1216 when King John died in Newark, he stipulated that he be buried in Worcester Cathedral and his tomb lies in the Quire in front of the high altar. John is a fascinating character. A paranoid evil man, out to get everyone before they could get him, but an absolutely brilliant administrator who moved between bouts of enormous energy and complete lethargy. I wonder if today he would be diagnosed as bi-polar?
The other royal tomb is that of Arthur, Prince of Wales, elder son of Henry VII. In common with many people, I have pondered on what might have been had he not died and the future Henry VIII had been given, as was the custom for second sons, to the church. Of course, when Arthur was buried here, it was still Worcester Priory and part of the monastery founded by Oswald. Wulfstan began the building we know today in 1084.
Moving to the 20th century, former Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin was the man who, in 1936, almost single-handedly made the situation regarding Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson so uncomfortable for the monarch, he abdicated. Baldwin is buried in the nave in front of the west door.
Of course, the cathedral suffered during the Civil War and a comprehensive rebuilding programme was undertaken by the Victorians. That programme continues today.
In the mid 1970s until the early 1980s, I sang in Worcester Festival Choral Society and in some of the Three Choirs Festivals. I loved every minute of it and was heartbroken when I had to move to Yorkshire.
The plot for Dearly Ransomed Soul was born during a Three Choirs concert of Dream of Gerontius, the same concert that began my lifelong love affair with the music of Edward Elgar. Extras in the book include links to all the music mentioned in the text and the first chapter of the second Georgia Pattison mystery, Laid In Earth, which is scheduled for publication in spring 2017.
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