Lichfield’s Speakers’ Corner has been officially opened.
Dignitaries joined TV and radio presenter Joanne Malin and ex-Coronation Street actor Chris Walker in the ceremony on Dam Street.
Chris said at the opening:
“I am proud to close the Speakers’ Corners celebrations and officially open it to the people of this district, so they can use it to air their views and be heard, and to listen.”
The only other permanent Speakers’ Corner outside London was launched in Nottingham last year.
Nottingham’s Speakers’ Corner has already proved very popular encouraging stimulating debate on issues ranging from crime and technology through to football and encouraging more visitors to the city.
Peter Bradley, Director of Speakers’ Corner Trust, said:
“I thought nothing could top the opening of Nottingham’s Speakers Corner, but Lichfield’s celebrations were just fantastic. It was a real community event with hundreds of people gathered throughout the day to enjoy speeches, performances and appearances from local people, dignitaries and stars. To see nearly 50 people get up on the podium and have their say on issues close to their heart, and to watch the reaction of the crowds was inspiring.
“I am really proud to have played a part in the launch of Speakers’ Corner in Lichfield and I’m sure it will become something the local community will cherish for years to come. I would like to say a thank you to everyone who helped launch the Corner in Lichfield – it was a real team effort!”