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At the heart of general practice since 1960

How a Mercy Ship puts the NHS in perspective

Where: Nestling between the West Midland battlefields of the Civil War lies Worcester, a city built on the banks of the Severn and where it is said the ancient and modern walk hand in hand.

Any sauce with that? Lashings. It's home to Worcestershire sauce. Concocted by two chemists, Lea and Perrins, in 1835, the original mix tasted foul so it lay neglected, brewing away for two years until someone braved another sip. The rest, as they say, is history.

Work? There are 71 GPs ­ 19 salaried ­ and there are nine practices. All come under South Worcestershire PCT.

Homes? The average price for a four-bedroom detached house is £265,000, but there are distinctive, individual properties in and around the local countryside.

Schools? The King's School is the highest-ranked school in Worcester according to The Times school league table for A-levels in England and Wales 2004, with 342.6 UCAS points per candidate, although Malvern and Malvern Girls' College are close by and average around 410 points per candidate.

Leisure? Two cinemas, three art galleries, three sports centres and four golf courses to keep anyone from feeling idle. Annual 'Victorian Christmas Fayre' is also held.

From the local press:

A trip to the dentist might sound more like a punishment than a present but research shows it could be this year's top Christmas gift, Worcestershire residents are being told.

This is Worcester, Dec 12

Famous residents: Patriotic composer Edward Elgar, manic comic Rik Mayall.

Anything else? Worcester's motto is 'Faithful City' as it remained Royalist throughout the English Civil War in mid 17th century. It was also a major glove-manufacturing centre during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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