Lichfield Mercury – 22 June 2009
Come and have your say in ‘corner’
A bronze plaque marking the site of Lichfield’s very own Speakers’ Corner has been unveiled in the city centre.
The project launched at the start of last month and gives those with something to say the chance to do so.
“It’s brilliant to see the plaque in place by Minster Pool,” said Canon Pete Wilcox, chairman of Speakers’ Corner Lichfield.
“Without it, there would be nothing to give people permission to use Speakers’ Corner the way it is intended to be used.”
It comes to Lichfield during Samuel Johnson’s 300th anniversary year and is only the second ‘corner’ outside London.
The only other permanent Speakers’ Corner was launched in Nottingham by Eddie Izzard last year.
Nottingham’s Speakers’ Corner has already proved popular, encouraging debate on issues ranging from crime and technology through to football.
Lichfield’s answer, by the picturesque Minster Pool in the historical heart of the cathedral city, is now marked by the plaque which reads: ‘Site of Speakers Corner, Lichfield. Inaugurated 2 May 2009.’
“We hope lots of people take the opportunity to speak out at Speakers’ Corner whenever they have something to say,” added Mr Wilcox.
“The founding committee of Speakers’ Corner Lichfield is extremely grateful to Linfords for providing the plaque and especially to Ian Robertson for arranging it.
“Now it just needs some intrepid members of the public to make use of this new opportunity to make Speakers’ Corner Lichfield something to be proud of.”
Speakers’ Corner Trust is a registered charity established in 2007 to promote free expression, public debate and active citizenship to fuel democracy.
At the heart of the project lie programmes of events designed by the local committee to reach all facets of the community.
These could include debates led by local groups, public consultations or discussions stimulated by anyone on subjects which could be global, local or cultural.
But the central principle for them all is that they are accessible to everyone, strictly non-partisan and non-adversarial.
The project welcomes diversity, seeks to inform opinion and, as often as possible, entertain.
Log on to www.lichfieldspeakerscorner.org.uk.