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 YOUNG boy was saved from drowning by an heroic dad from Warwick who jumped into the River Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon and pulled the youngster to safety.
Shocked onlookers started shouting for someone to help when the youngster, who is believed to be aged about four, ran to the river’s edge, lost his balance and toppled into the river on the recreation ground side opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Sunday morning before the River Festival.
Within a split second Struan Robertson, from Warwick, who had been enjoying a Sunday morning stroll with his wife and young family, jumped into six feet of water and grabbed the little boy who by this time was lying face down floating on the surface of the water.
“I screamed when the boy fell in,” said Struan’s wife Suzanne.
“It literally happened so quickly my thoughts were whizzing at a hundred miles per hour, suddenly Struan had got hold of the boy who was crying and brought him safely to the river bank.
“Everyone standing round cheered and called Struan a hero and I was very proud that I could say it was my husband who jumped in to save the boy.”
Not much is known of the small lad who was re-united with his grateful dad who thanked Struan for his lifesaving bravery.
Suzanne and Struan think the boy’s family come from Southern England—judging by their accents—but despite initial phone contact to establish if he was safe and well when he got home, the Robertsons have not heard anything further from the boy’s family.
They don’t even know his name.
After his heroic act, Struan dried off on a nearby narrow boat and the family made their way home.
“We were hoping to have a good look round the Stratford River Festival on Sunday but we can always do that next year,” said Suzanne.
“The main thing is the little boy is safe and hopefully not too shocked by his experience.”
This article first appeared in the Herald on Thursday 10th July. For the best exclusives in South Warwickshire buy the paper each Thursday for 60p.