Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
SCHOLARS are expressing considerable excitement as a result of a potentially significant find at Shakespeare’s School—King Edward VI School, in Stratford.
As reported in the Herald of 20th March, a chance discovery has been made by workmen in the medieval guildhall which houses “Shakespeare’s schoolroom” and where teaching still takes place. The artefacts, including the first copies of the school magazine, have turned out to be more interesting than first thought.
Wrapped in rough brown paper was a very early edition of poems by John Dryden. MacFlecknoe, Absalom and Achitophel, the Medal, dates from 1692 and is a rare copy of some of the major works of one of the finest 17th century English poets and playwrights.
This is, of course, tremendously exciting in itself. However, the cover of the book has obviously been reinforced at some point in a rather amateur fashion. Inside the back cover there is a piece of parchment that appears to be a list of school sanctions (beatings and detentions) together with the boys’ misdemeanours.
There is a date that is partially obscured but seems to refer to “April 1573.” There are seven names listed, two are quite illegible; four others can be identified as Richard Tyler, William Smith, John Lane and Robert Debdale. The seventh name appears to be that of William Shakespeare (Gulielmus Shaxspere) who seems to have been beaten ten times—six of the best doesn’t seem to have been enough for young Will—for weaknesses relating to his studies in rhetoric. His knowledge of Latin is reported as “small” and his Greek was worse still (“less”).
This appears to connect with another fragment, a set of council disbursements, whose handwriting is typical secretary hand of the later Elizabethan period; the date is partially erased but is possibly June 1578.
It is the record of a meeting of the council including Shakespeare’s father John on the fifth of that month. The legible part of the new text reads: “At this hall yt was recorded that wm sonne of the said ioh. shaxpeare was brought into the councell chamber before the bayliffe and aldermen where very manifestlie and apparantlie yt was provid agaynst the said wm certayn mysdemeanoures; for which these receiptes: Item paid by m. ioh shsp for mending ye scole deske and a bord and nailes for it—iis. Item for mending ye quarrelles [glass panes] in ye scole howse—xiiid. Item paid for wm his sonne defaycing with inke of Ovid’s booke of Metamorphoses—xvd.”
Scholars are privately excited but as yet understandably cautious in their public response to the new find: “How this escaped the great 19th century biographers like Halliwell-Phillipps it’s hard to imagine,” said historian Michael Wood. “We thought everything is known that could be known about Shakespeare the Man”.
Emma Smith, Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, enthused: “It’s long been thought that the hapless schoolboy Will in The Merry Wives of Windsor might have been a self-portrait—this is exciting new evidence for that theory.”
The book is currently undergoing further scrutiny in the rare books department of the British Library in London.
It is, of course, a remarkable coincidence that such a significant find should be announced on the first day of the very month of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.