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.
SHIPSTON-on-Stour has set its sights on winning the newly launched Great British High Street Awards, based on its innovative loyalty card scheme, the vibrancy of the town centre, and the increasingly diverse range of shops and services Shipston has to offer.
The awards, launched last month by the Department for Communities and Local Government, are designed to recognise examples of innovation, collaboration, transition and outcomes in towns across the UK.
Shipston Promotion Group, which runs the Shipston Loyalty Card, is submitting the application on behalf of the town square, highlighting some of the many reasons why Shipston should be the judges’ choice.
Shipston Loyalty Card
The successful launch of the card, which brings together diverse businesses, has enabled the community to benefit from discounts as well as news about latest offers designed to encourage people to shop in the town. More than 2,000 people have signed up to the scheme, which has been running for more than two years. Funded in part by Operation Footfall, the card has enabled local businesses to attract customers through e-mail marketing and social media, as well as on the spot discounts in stores.
Local volunteers organise a raft of events for the community. Principal among them are the Wool Fair, Shipston Proms, the Food Festival and Shipston Rotary Victorian Evening. Each year, Shipston’s traders get involved, supporting them through stalls, special offers, and products and themed window displays, as well as advertising support. With each event drawing thousands of people to the town, it is a great opportunity for local businesses to make a positive impression while also encouraging visitors to return.
Growth in retail outlets
In the past year, Shipston has seen significant growth in new retail outlets and cafés, with about 95 per cent of available retail and catering units now occupied in the town centre. Church Street has seen a real revival with the opening of two clothes shops, a bookmakers and a children’s toys and clothes store, while the town centre now benefits from a choice of florists, cafés, delicatessens, butchers, hardware stores, food stores and newsagents.
Kate King, administrator of Shipston Promotion Group and local retailer, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have such a vibrant town centre which is well supported by shoppers.
“We hope the whole community will get behind the scheme by endorsing our application and sharing what they love about Shipston’s town centre.”
Shipston will be entering the Market Towns category of the new award scheme, which is a UK-wide competition. Category winners will be announced in September.