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.
ANXIOUS parents walked Stratford-on-Avon’s MP to their primary school in Temple Grafton today (Friday), in order to highlight the dangers of the road.
Scared for their children’s safety, eight families from nearby Ardens Grafton showed Nadhim Zahawi the perils of walking the mile between the villages.
For 300 yards along Grafton Lane the narrow road increases from 30mph to 60mph, and with narrow pavements and bends, parents believe it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.
“It’s incredibly dangerous,” explained mother-of-two Mary-Anne Vitty.
“We’re stuck in that Catch 22 where we desperately want to walk our children to school, but you feel like you’re running the gauntlet every day.”
Concerns have been bubbling for a while but then a month ago there was an accident outside the school involving two cars.
The road is used as a ‘rat run’ between Bidford and the A46.
“There’s not been any children injured, but there are regular bumps and scrapes,” said the 37-year-old mother, whose five-year-old daughter Milly started school last September.
“It’s a scary walk, to be honest, and you feel like you’re constantly shouting at them [the children] to get back with you,” said the campaigner, who also has to take her three-year-old son Thomas with her.
Parents want the speed limit reduced to 30mph along the road, and more signs alerting motorists to the school.
“As they drive out of Temple Grafton approaching Ardens Grafton it just has a national speed limit sign, and the road does curve so they won’t necessarily know there are children coming towards them,” said Mrs Vitty.
“You just fear for that moment, especially if they don’t know there’s a school there.”
Over the past two years the number of children walking from Ardens Grafton to the school has increased.
More families have children old enough for school and now 14 of their 99 pupils get to school that way. More would walk if it weren’t so dangerous.
Although the parish council has tried to raise awareness of speeding on that road, the issue is not going away and parents are worried new homes in Bidford will mean more cars racing through Grafton Lane.
Mrs Vitty is worried nothing will be done “until there’s a fatality”.
“But we don’t want to get to that point,” she said and so she invited the MP to walk from her house to the school and meet headteacher Sarah Hendry.
Mrs Hendry said: “We are very supportive of what Mrs Vitty’s trying to do. It’s been an ongoing concern for some time. A lot more parents who live within walking distance would like to walk their children to school.”