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.
STRATFORD’S Keir Lewis admitted being roared down the home straight on The Mall by hordes of fans at the Prudential RideLondon Youth Grand Prix would live long in the memory.
The 16-year-old was one of 48 talented young cyclists picked to contest the Youth Grand Prix in front of thousands of cycling fans who lined the route in support in the capital.
The 45-minute race followed a 1.3-mile loop around St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace and saw 12 teams from regions across the UK compete for the £4,250 pool of prize money.
It was the same route tackled by some of the world’s best females just minutes earlier, including world champion Marianne Vos and double Olympic champion Laura Trott for the Women’s Grand Prix.
And Lewis, who finished 39th for the West Midlands boys’ team, admitted his outing in London had been an experience to savour despite the stiff competition.
“It was a really good experience for me and it was pretty great to have cycled down The Mall,” said Lewis, who attends Stratford School.
“It’s a shame I couldn’t take it in more but when you come around that last corner and there is just a sea of people around you it’s great.
“It was a really hard race and was relentless really; there was constant attacks off the front which made it very difficult.
“I’m not too happy with it because I went early on the last lap and committed and gave it everything and when my break didn’t work out I had nothing for the sprint at the end.
“I’m glad I did it though because I committed and it was one of those tactical decision that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
“I put in one too many attacks and my legs were pretty battered by the last lap so I just couldn’t pull away.”
In the end it was the Yorkshire boys’ team who would come out with top honours ahead of Lewis, with their four riders picking up the best combined results for a £500 bonus.
And, despite missing out on the overall prize, Lewis believes the experience is one that can only serve to further his cycling ambitions.
“It was a big learning curve for me and something that is going to make me a better rider,” he added. “It was pretty surreal actually to have some of the best riders in the world going before us.
“There were just great views everywhere although I didn’t really get the chance to enjoy it that much because I had my head down the whole time.
“It was my last race as a youth rider so it was incredible to finish with a huge crowd instead of at a small race with one man and his dog watching.
“It’s something I will always remember because it is the first big race I’ve done of this type. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve never had to deal with crowd noise like that and it distracts you a bit.”
Prudential RideLondon took place on 9th & 10th August. To find out more, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk