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.
TWO women, one a great-grandmother, have jumped out of a plane to help raise nearly £15,000 for the Shakespeare Hospice.
Gladys Allman, aged 69, and Pearl Tustain, 72, took part in the skydive to give something back to the hospice who helped both widows when their husbands passed away.
“It was amazing, it was absolutely amazing, the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life!” said great-grandmother, Gladys, who lives between Honeybourne and Mickleton.
Only 4ft 10ins tall, the diminutive 69-year-old was at the hospice last year when the group of people she was with were asked if anyone wanted to take part in the sponsored skydive.
The hospice have held two skydives to mark their 15th anniversary and the total money raised is now touching £15,000.
“Without any signs from my head, my arm went up,” laughed Gladys.
“Then I was motivated because my oldest son said, ‘I’ll sponsor you not to do it’.”
“I think she’s nuts,” said 47-year-old Wayne, who, Gladys pointed out, builds and races drag cars that can travel nearly 180mph.
After struggling to get into the plane Gladys was strapped to her skydiving partner, Ed.
“I couldn’t actually get in ’cos my legs are so short, I had two crates, and even then I had to have a shove,” she said.
“Suddenly the door opens and you’re sliding towards the door and then you’re out.
“It’s a bit of a shock when you fall out because you’re quite cold and its windy.”
“I did have one eye shut but I didn’t scream,” she promised. “Then, you have a little jolt for the parachute and he says ‘now you can relax’.”
It was then she opened both of her eyes. “The view was absolutely amazing, it was a beautiful day, blue sky, it was perfect.”
Gladys’s husband Ray was diagnosed with meta-static melanoma a few years ago and the couple were told there was no treatment.
He didn’t want to go to the hospice, so they brought the hospice to him.
“I would not have managed without them, because he had lots of operations,” said Gladys.
“They didn’t just look after Ray, they looked after me.”
Ray passed away three years ago, but Gladys continued to go to the hospice once a week to see other widows, widowers, and carers.
Her skydive raised £1,800 for the hospice.
Pearl, who lives in Norton Lindsey, raised £1,300 in memory of husband Brian, who died in February aged 84.
Rather than take up the hospice’s time, Gladys and her friends have made a breakaway group called ‘The Breakaways’.
“We now meet up once a month at the Food of Love café in Stratford,” she explained.
“There’s 12 or 14 of us, we all met at the hospice, either bereaving or carers,and we’ve just remained friends.”
Gladys and Pearl did the skydive in May, but the hospice has only now counted up the money after a second skydive earlier this month.
Fifteen people took part in this jump, which was for local businesses.
Staff from Johnsons Coaches in Henley, Alcester design company CaB studios, Cooper Solutions, in Barford, and Richard O’Dwyer from Guy Salmon Land Rover all took part.
John Johnson, 54, commercial director of Johnsons Coaches, raised £1,500 with his son Richard, 26, and daughter Sarah, 24.