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 Cricket Club has secured the services of former England coach Andy Flower for their weekday training sessions at Swans Nest Lane.
The 46-year-old Zimbabwean, who lives locally, is currently coaching the first team who play in the Birmingham and District League, on a voluntary basis.
Flower ended his tenure as England coach in January this year but he is still working for the England and Wales Cricket Board in a new development role, which enables him to spend more time at home.
He told the Herald: “In my time with England I never had the chance to belong to a local sports club and get involved with the community because of the intensity of the job. I was away from home for 250 nights a year, which is not healthy especially when you have a young family.
“So when Stratford got in touch with me with a view to helping out I saw it as a chance to put something back into the game that has served me so well. In many ways the club reminds me of my old one back in Harare with all the other sports sections that are based there.
“I have told the club that I will try and make as many practice nights as possible when my work allows it. There is a great spirit amongst the players and a great level of commitment as well.
“I enjoy their company and it’s a chance to improve some talented young guys. I think the club is moving in the right direction both on and off the field under the new set-up and I’m happy to help out.”
Flower also revealed that he is still settling into his new role with the ECB. “There are several strands to the job which include running leadership programmes, direct one-to-one coaching with young players who are on the fringe of the England team and working with up-and-coming coaches,” he added.
“I enjoyed my time as England coach but that’s someone else’s job now and I have moved on. But I still get enormous satisfaction from coaching and getting involved with players at all levels.”
Asked about his most memorable time in the game he said: “When I first played for Zimbabwe it was a special time because we were a new Test side. On the coaching front, winning three Ashes series with England was special as was winning a Test series out in India. We also won a first ever international trophy with the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies in 2010.”
Stratford Cricket Club chairman Steve Cootes said: “We were all taken aback when Andy agreed to do some coaching at the club. If someone had asked us what we would have wished for, then having Andy Flower involved would have been top of our list.”