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.
STRATFORD-upon-Avon’s new mayor for 2014-15, Ian Fradgley, has been living ‘The Good Life’ in Stratford for over 40 years.
The 69-year-old, whose wife Jenny was mayor in 2009-10, grows most of the couple’s food in their garden on the Banbury Road, just like Tom Good and his wife Barbara in the classic 1970s sitcom.
“We’re pretty much self-sufficient,” he told the Herald. “Jenny looks after the flowers, and I look after the fruit and vegetables.
“However, you will see me in the market on a Friday; I go and buy the things I can’t grow.”
Ian worked in the IT department at NFU Mutual for over 30 years until his retirement in 2004.
A Liberal Democrat councillor for the Alveston ward, he belongs to the town’s bridge club, and looks after 180 people in the squash club in his role as membership secretary.
A keen cyclist, Ian has outlined his desire to push forward Stratford’s neighbourhood plan over the next year.
Once it is finished, the people of Stratford will get to vote in a referendum on issues like pedestrianisation and traffic measures.
Outside of council matters, Ian is a long-term season ticket holder at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“I’m from the Black Country,” he said. “We lived equal distance between The Hawthorns and Molineux and my father was a Baggies supporter, so I supported Wolves! I remember going to my first game in 1951, we beat Middlesbrough 4-0.”
For years he’s sat in the Billy Wright Stand and after Wolves were crowned champions of League One this season, he said the most difficult part of his mayoral year was the inevitability of missing a few games.
Proud to be following in his wife’s footsteps, Ian joined the town council in 2009, the year Jenny was mayor.
“She will give me advice,” he said. “Which you’ll ignore,” laughed Jenny.
The couple have two children, Richard and Jane, and two grandsons. Richard’s twin sons, Jasper and Lucas, will be three in June.
Excited by the prospect of the next 12 months, the new mayor said: “I may have only been on the council since 2009, but since then I’ve met a lot of people I wasn’t aware of.
“However, having worked at NFU Mutual for 30 odd years I know an awful lot of people and an awful lot of people know me.
“I just think it’s a lovely town to live in, most people are exceedingly friendly and willing to have a chat. I just love living here.”
The new deputy mayor is Tessa Bates, whose husband, Charles, has been mayor twice. The deputy mayor is usually elected as mayor the following year.
Ian was elected as mayor in town on Thursday (15th May). For a report on the ceremony, see this week’s Herald (22nd May).