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The first festival opened on 3rd July 1982 with the Band of the Royal Marines playing in the market square and marching into the cathedral close to finish at the great west door. It was a kind of trumpet call to the City to be aware of our plans for pleasures to come. There were orchestral concerts by the Halle Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic, both under leading conductors. The quartet in residence was the Endellion and artists included Cecile Ousset, Ruggiero Ricci and the Cambridge Footlights Review with Emma Thompson, Hugh Lawrie and Stephen Fry who did four performances in the Civic Hall. There was a first performance of The Tower of Babel – an ‘original music drama’ in which ninety-six children from local schools took part. There were the Suzuki Tour Company from Japan and Antiqua Cologne and Rouen Officium Pastorum from Europe. It was a foretaste of what was to become normal festival fare. The festival has always been, and I hope always will be, a team effort working for and with the community as a whole. Of the four of us who started it – Patrick, John, Gordon and I – I am the only survivor. I retire in this, its twenty-fifth year, confident that the Lichfield Festival will become even more strongly established than it is already. Here’s to the next twenty-five years!

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