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Let’s find Britain’s Greats - People of Worcestershire invited to join in historic campaign


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The Great Exhibition 2012 is launching an online campaign on May 6th 2011 to poll the nation to find out exactly what we all love about Great Britain. From favourite dishes, to glorious beaches, great inventions or even best retailers, this ground breaking survey will give everyone young or old a chance to record their views and leave a snap shot for posterity. Simon Tipple, Manager of Destination Worcestershire says ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for us all to celebrate and champion the unmistakably English area where we live. Worcestershire is the perfect destination; from walking on the Malvern Hills to wandering around the Cotswolds village of Broadway and the Vale of Evesham, exploring the Wyre Forest or shopping in the Cathedral City of Worcester.

Worcestershire is the birthplace and inspiration of many of Sir Edward Elgar’s famous works and boasts many stunning heritage attractions, waterways and gardens. The county is also the home of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Asparagus and Plums. However everyone can express their own views about what makes Worcestershire great by voting at

The campaign is supported by a host of illustrious British celebrities including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Terence Conran, Dame Ellen Macarthur and Dame Evelyn Glennie. Sir Michael Parkinson says ‘For me Great Britain is about humour and the hospitality of the people. It’s about a landscape as glorious and beautiful, as any you’ll find anywhere in the world. It’s actually about a lousy climate, which gives a good sense of humour. It’s about art galleries and cathedrals and places with a sense of history, a sense of past. It’s about fish and chips, and blue nose comics and scouts. ” The Greats of Great Britain campaign covers 13 categories including: characteristics, commerce, entertainment, events, food and drink, hobbies, landmarks, nature, places, people, product and sports, to give a truly representative view of how the British Public viewed their past, the contributions they value most highly, the love they have for their surroundings and a glimpse of how they see their future.

Julie Benson, the founder of The Great Exhibition 2012, explains, “I remember clearly the street parties and community celebrations surrounding the Queen’s Jubilee and it made me think that we should always feel that close as a community and a country. It is very easy to be overtaken by the headlines of gloom and doom and forget about all that we as a nation have to celebrate. I wanted to create a platform where everyone could be involved and be part of generating a historic record of our achievements at a time when the eyes of the world will be upon us and that we can begin to lift the spirit of the nation and stand proud in the knowledge of who we are and what we do - Great Britain at its best”.

The campaign launches on May 6th 2011.

The Great Exhibition 2012 , people , and sports ,

Notes to Editors The Greats of Great Britain Online will culminate in The Great Exhibition 2012 live event in August 2012. It will be a vast space with many different zones to explore including interactive, walk through exhibits including The High Street of the Future and The Footprint of Britain – a snapshot of Britain today which will in part be drawn from the online Greats of Great Britain.

There will also be great family entertainment taking in the story of regional food and the journey from field to plate. Music, comedy and live entertainment will add to the ingredients for a truly unforgettable day out with appeal for any and every age group. Interesting facts about Worcestershire Famous people who live here include Stella McCartney, Toyah Wilcox, Alistair McGowan.

Worcestershire is The Archers Borcetshire Composer Sir Edward Elgar's father ran a music shop at the end of the High Street; a statue of Elgar stands near the original location of that shop. His birthplace is a short way outside Worcester in the village of Broadheath Hannah Snell, famous for impersonating a man and being enlisted in the Royal Marines in the eighteenth century was born and raised here. Sir Charles Hastings, founder of the British Medical Association lived in Worcester for most of his life. The newly built Worcestershire Royal Hospital stands in a road named in his honour. William Stephenson 2007 British streetluge and buttboard champion and 2009 world number three streetluger and number two buttboarder was born and lives in Worcester. Philip Henry Gosse, naturalist, was born in the city in 1810. Sir Thomas Brock, sculptor most famous for the Imperial Victoria Memorial in London was born here in 1847. Edward Leader Williams, designer of the Manchester Ship Canal, was born and raised in Worcester, living at Diglis House (now the Diglis House Hotel) with his brother, noted landscape artist Benjamin Williams Leader. William Morris, Lord Nuffield, (founder of the Morris Motor Company and philanthropist), spent the first three years of his life in the city. Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, poet and author, famously known as “Woodbine Willy", was for some time the Vicar of St. Paul's Church in the city. He rose to fame during World War I when he became an army chaplain, his sermons and poetry helping boost morale to the troops. He acquired his nickname from his habit of handing out “Woodbine" cigarettes to the men in the trenches. Mrs. Henry Wood writer, was born in Worcester. Fay Weldon writer, was born in Worcester. Rev. Thomas Davis, hymn-writer, was born in Worcester in 1804. He is an ancestor of Kate Middleton. Worcester was home to electronic music producer and collaborator Mike Paradinas and his record label Planet Mu, until the label moved to London in 2007. Dave Mason musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist, was born in Worcester. Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power of experimental music group Fuck Buttons were both raised in Worcester. Ernest Payne was born in Worcester and rode for the local Worcester St Johns Cycling Club. He won a gold medal in the team pursuit at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. Sheila Scott, aviatrix James White (1775–1820), founder of the first advertising agency in 1800 in London, was born in Worcester. Ann Hatton, writer of the Kemble family was born in Worcester The Three Choirs Festival takes place at the Cathedral this year and Worcestershire is home to the Malvern Theatres where many of the West End productions are first trialled. Asparagus is the most famous of Worcestershire vegetables and the focus of the British Asparagus Festival. Malvern Hills are the oldest hills in the UK and were the inspiration for Tolkiens Middle Earth, Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe as well as Elgar's music. Worcestershire produces Stilton Ice Cream, the world's most dunkable biscuits, Worcester Sauce Chocolate and sprout cocktails. Worcestershire is most pet friendly county in the UK for visitors.

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