THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
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.
REOPENING the railway line between Stratford and Honeybourne will have absolutely no disadvantages for locals, according to a report published today (Tuesday).
Renewing their efforts to get rid of the railway dead-end in Stratford, the Shakespeare Line Promotion Group say they have got the cost of building a new railway down 30 per cent to an estimated £53 million.
They believe a six-mile track to a new station at Long Marston will have huge benefits for tourists, businesses, and residents in Stratford, providing a direct line to both Worcester via Evesham, and Oxford via Moreton-in-Marsh.
Today around 60 local councillors and business group members were sent a copy of their report.
Alan Bevan from the group said: “By eliminating the ‘dead end’ terminus with a reopened southern rail link, lots more tourists will be able to reach Stratford from the Thames Valley, Oxford and the Cotswolds.”
The single-track line would follow the line of the old railway along Summerton Way, the cyclepath behind Albany Road, dive under Evesham Place and travel alongside Seven Meadows Road in a trough before tunnelling under Wetherby Way and picking up the old line on the Greenway.
The report states: “Train services along a reopened rail route could beneficially offer easy and faster travel for residents in the Long Marston and Quinton areas where some 2,000 households will reside within 3km of a proposed station.”
The group reckon the rail link would reduce road traffic in Long Marston, Welford and Binton.
“Overall, there is an unassailable case for the new rail link to regenerate Stratford’s tourist economy; secure greater connectivity; and environmental sustainability to benefit everyone in and around Stratford.”
Residents have previously protested against these plans, arguing the noise would be unbearable for residents, and the railway line would damage green spaces and footpaths.
There is a No Avon Line protest group and Warwickshire County Council noted the “local concerns” after a business case study was produced last year.
Mr Bevan pointed out that a survey in the town last year found 70 per cent of those who responded supported re-opening the line.
This week’s report argues “the trains would not bring any undue noise for residents” because the trains would not be travelling in a trough between two and eight metres below ground level and confined to 30mph before the Greenway.
The footpath on Summerton Way would remain, and the cycleway on Seven Meadows Road relocated to the other side.
As for the environment, the report states: “the general amenity of the Greenway would remain throughout and greater rail use would assist safer, healthier and less-crowded streets for all.”