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 TEMPORARY outdoor swimming pool is being put in the car park of Stratford Leisure Centre while the existing pool is refurbished.
Work on a £5 million renovation of the leisure centre is due to start at the end of September and last 22 weeks until the start of March 2015.
During that time, a marquee tent with an 18m x 6m pool inside will be erected in the coach car park out the back.
Heated throughout, swimmers will be using the sports hall changing rooms before walking through a tunnel into the marquee.
Stratford Leisure Centre is owned by Stratford District Council and taxpayers’ money is paying for the refurb, but it is run by EveryoneActive.
Jon Senior, Regional Director for EveryoneActive, said: “We wanted to think outside the box a little bit. We have around 1,900 children on Everyone Active swimming lessons, swimming clubs, aqua aerobics sessions, schools and casual usage in both Swimming pools.
“This allows us to rehouse the majority of our swimming lesson programme as well other bookings. We are currently working through the detail of the temporary pool programme.”
Just over one metre deep, unfortunately the canoe club and sub-aqua diving club will not be able to use it.
The temporary pool is being provided by Total Swimming, a company set up by former Olympic swimmer Steve Parry in 2006.
The Liverpudlian is best known for winning Bronze in the 200m Butterfly at Athens 2004.
“It’s a substantial cost,” admitted Mr Senior, who confirmed EveryoneActive were paying for the temporary pool.
“It’s certainly not the sort of thing you have in your back garden, but it will ensure our customers remain active and we can continue to teach people how to swim for the duration of the refurbishment.”
The £5 million refurbishment was due to start in Spring, but work has been delayed while the council look for contractors.
A large portion of the money is going on new pool facilities, but perhaps the most eye-catching addition is a children’s climbing turret near the entrance.
Earlier this year, users complained at plans to create a unisex changing village with individual cubicles.
A small male and female group changing area was added, but some users were still unhappy.
Opened in 1974 with a life expectancy of 30 years, Stratford Leisure Centre is overdue a redesign.