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 PILOT instructor was forced to crash land her two-seater plane in a field in Charlecote last week.
A mid-air engine failure meant Christine Bell, who was teaching someone to fly at the time, declared mayday to Wellesbourne Airfield around 2pm on Monday 2nd June before crashing into a field near the Charlecote Pheasant hotel.
The light plane ended up upside-down because the field’s crops got caught around its axle and tipped it over its nose.
Christine spoke to the Herald afterwards and confirmed everyone was OK.
“We were fine,” she said. “We just let ourselves gently down from the straps and crawled out. It’s just unfortunate that the crop was very high and it’s wrapped around the axles.”
Builders working on the roof of a house in Charlecote Road saw the 1971 Piper Super Cub in distress and making chugging noises.
They watched it narrowly clear a large oak tree before crashing into the field. Staff at the Charlecote Pheasant heard the crash from inside the hotel.
“It’s a very safe plane to land in a field,” said Christine. “Because I’m a glider pilot I’ve actually landed a lot of gliders in fields over the years and when the engine stops it’s a glider.”
Christine flew gliders for five years before she took up motorised aircraft 23 years ago. She’s never been forced to crash-land a plane.
“It’s my first accident for 28 years,” she said. “It always sounds very dramatic when there’s an aircraft accident but it was a bit of a fizz really; if the crop wasn’t so high it would’ve been fine, it’s just a shame it turned over.”
The 150-horsepower plane, which she’s had for eight years, is unlikely to survive.
“It’s got quite bent, it doesn’t look very pretty,” said the pilot. “We had to take the wings off to get it out of the field.”
It was a hairy moment for her student, who was flying the plane when the engine cut out, but Christine says he’s not been put off and is getting back in the air.
“I’m going flying with the student again on Thursday to make sure he’s not freaked out about it!” she said. “He’s getting back on the pony!”
This article originally appeared in last week’s Stratford Herald. For all the latest news in South Warwickshire, make sure you pick up the paper each Thursday for 60p.