Plans to create a Speakers’ Corner in Lichfield are gathering speed following a positive public consultation with local shops and residents.
Lichfield Speakers’ Corner Founding Committee is now moving forwards on plans for the launch event on May 2 on Dam Street, near Minster Pool.
Committee Chairman, Canon Pete Wilcox said:
“We’re really heartened by the responses we received from local businesses and residents. The vast majority of people were incredibly supportive about both the concept of a Speakers’ Corner in Lichfield, as well as our chosen location on Dam Street, just near to Minster Pool. We also received some really positive feedback about how a Speakers’ Corner fits well into Lichfield’s heritage, and how it will help to push Lichfield even higher on the tourist map and boost businesses and tourism during these challenging financial times.”
It is hoped that the launch event will be a day-long affair and feature contributions from local people on a range of topics, as well as performances from local groups, celebrities, local dignitaries and pupils from local schools and colleges. A series of debates will also take place over the summer to help celebrate the launch.
To get local people get involved, the Lichfield Garrick is set to host a series of three public speaking workshops for people interested in performing at the Speakers’ Corner as part of the launch event. The sessions will include voice coaching, confidence building and how to project your voice. Each workshop will be led by Lichfield Garrick Repertory actor Tom Roberts and other professional actors. They will take place on the April 5, 19 and 26.
Tom Roberts said:
“Public speaking is a real art and these workshops will be great fun. We held a similar workshop earlier this year and everyone involved had a great time while learning an invaluable life skill. And, at the end of it you’ll get to play a part in launching a new chapter in Lichfield’s history and help to launch one of the only Speakers’ Corners in the country.”
Places are available on a first come, first served basis and those who apply must be willing to attend all three workshops and perform as part of the launch celebrations.
Peter Bradley, Director of Speakers’ Corner Trust, said:
“We chose Lichfield as the second Speakers’ Corner outside London because it’s steeped in history and famous for its contribution to politics, science and the arts. It will also be a fitting tribute to Samuel Johnson during his anniversary year. We want local people to feel that the Speakers Corner is for them, and to help launch it by getting involved in this unique event.”