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.
THE FOUNDER of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Christian street pastors – who patrol the town on weekend nights looking after drunks – is stepping down after nearly three years.
Esther Roberts moved up from Reading in 2011 to start the street pastors charity in Stratford.
What began as 12 volunteers handing out flip flops to nightclubbers and providing a shoulder to lean on, has now grown to a team of 20.
On Saturday two more pastors are being inducted, and Esther is stepping down.
“With any charity that’s fairly new and is brought to any area by an individual, it’s really important to hand it over to a strong management team,” she said.
“The time has come really for me to step down as co-ordinator and to let the charity grow and evolve without me.”
Teams of three or four street pastors walk around Stratford every Friday night and on the first and last Saturday night of the month.
Steering clear of violence, they help the emotional and the needy, giving out ‘space blankets’ to keep people warm and flip flops to girls carrying their heels.
“We have a very important working relationship with particularly CCTV who will ask us to go and deal with a situation,” explained Esther.
The co-ordinator is the only role that receives a salary.
“The reason that’s appropriately paid for is there’s a lot of partnership work,” said Esther.
“We have a lot to do with the council, the police, and referring people to welfare services etc. It’s an incredibly responsible position as well.”
The new co-ordinator is Maureen Green, who along with her husband Eddie, has been part of the church community in Stratford for many years.
“She’s very wise,” said Esther. “She has that important wisdom that you need to deal with people compassionately.”
Esther thanked the people of Stratford for supporting the street pastors over the past three years.
If you’re interested in becoming a street pastor email firstname.lastname@example.org