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.
A 105-YEAR-OLD woman who’s lived in Stratford-upon-Avon her whole life has been identified as a primary school’s oldest ex-pupil.
The Willows CE School have been searching for their oldest former pupils in order to invite them to a party on Friday (6th June) celebrating their new extension.
The oldest primary school in town, it moved to its current location on Willows Drive opposite Stratford College in 1984.
It used to be on Alcester Road and was known as the ‘Traffic Lights School’ among locals.
Jessie Gilchrist was born in a cottage on Alcester Road in January 1909. The eldest of six daughters, she grew up in Henley Street, spent decades of married life in Cherry Street, and now lives in Bull Street.
Current pupils have asked her about her memories of the school, while other ex-pupils have also been quizzed.
A 90-year-old man from Alcester, as well as three ladies in their 80s—including 89-year-old Celia Hanks and 84-year-old May Matthews—were also spoken to.
School head, Janis McBride, decided it was a great way to mark a new stage in the school’s long history.
She said: “We have successfully created a school for the future and we want to celebrate this and at the same time, acknowledge all those who came before us, from the school’s earliest beginnings as a National School in 1823 to the Church of England School, affectionately known as the ‘Traffic Lights School’ founded in 1846 and situated on the Alcester Road.”
Over the last few years, The Willows has increased significantly in size to take account of the increasing need for school places in the town.
The school now has two classes for each year and can accommodate 420 pupils thanks to the new four-room classroom block and an extensive administration block.
On Friday the Mayor of Stratford, Cllr Ian Fradgley, will formally open the new block and plant a new willow tree to commemorate the day.
Staff will be dressed in period costume from the 1820s right through to the 1980s and there will be displays of children’s work as well as entertainment in the form of music, singing and country dancing.
The oldest ex-pupils will be among the invited guests.
Believed to be the oldest ‘Stratfordian’ she has two daughters, Janet and Sue, four grandchildren, Miranda, Katherine, Sebastian and Jessica, and six great-grandchildren, Amy, Zara, Christopher, Harriet, Annabelle and Niall. A lot of her family are still based in Stratford.
Anybody who has been involved with The Willows can leave a lasting imprint at the school by purchasing an engraved commemorative brick which will be inserted into the pathway running up to the main entrance.
“This one off opportunity will create a lasting memory of the rich history of the school and the large part it has played in educating the children of the town over the last two centuries,” said Mrs Lorraine Wilby.
Contact her in the school office on 01789 205811 or e-mail Wilby.L1@welearn365.com to buy a brick for £15.