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 TEN-year-old from Temple Grafton has realised his dream and qualified to compete against adults at next year’s Crufts.
Jack Biddle started dog agility when he was six years old.
For the past two years he’s been to Crufts with rescue sheepdog, Bailey, taking part in the junior event on a smaller arena.
But earlier this month he qualified for the Adults Novice Cup, and now he can’t wait to step out in front of the crowds next March.
“It’s really good because I am finally going to be in the main arena at Crufts,” he beamed.
“In the junior ring there’s no crowds, I like it when all the people are watching.”
On his way to Crufts qualification, Jack told mum Julia he was bored of the junior ring and wanted to be in with the adults.
“I told him it would be highly unlikely,” said Julia. “People try for years to get there and it is very difficult to get in but he wanted to try so we went for it.”
It was no easy feat. First he had to get a top five finish in an adult agility competition at a Kennel Club Show. He ticked that off in May, coming 4th out of 175 adults.
This qualified him for the Kennel Club Festival earlier this month.
Up against 540 adults, he had to be in the top 30 after two rounds to get to the final. Two clear rounds saw Jack and Bailey place an incredible 17th. Only 16 dogs went faster with no errors.
The next day they had to finish in the top ten to get through to Crufts. Another perfect, speedy round and the young boy and his dog finished an unlikely 8th.
“It was such a major achievement,” said Julia. “He will be in the main arena on Thursday 5th March and will have to do two rounds, a jumping and an agility round.
“It will be ten-year-old Jack against the other nine adult finalists. He is so excited.”
Jack and Bailey train once a week in Harvington with Jo Bird.
The working sheepdog is owned by Mel Ashwin, but Jack needs more money for training and his mum is now looking for sponsorship. Call Julia on 07881627110.