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.
OLLIVER West is playing Shakespeare for the day on Sunday when the Olympic torch relay comes to Stratford-upon-Avon after winning the ‘S-Factor’ competition organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Olliver, aged 17, a student at Colchester’s Sixth Form College, was enjoying a school trip to Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre when he saw the poster for the S-Factor auditions and wowed the judges with a beautiful rendition of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 – “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
Describing himself as a fan of Shakespeare and theatre, ranging from Richard III to Shrek, he is studying creative writing and his ambition is to write a short story from the perspective of a minor character from Shakespeare’s works, like Cinna the poet.
He said, “I’m studying Fine Art, Classic Civilisation, Drama and Theatre and English literature, but I consider myself an English student at heart.
“I'm an avid reader and as a result I also love to write. One of the reasons I enjoy Shakespeare so much is because of his talent at crafting different worlds and kingdoms. I love the escapism that both reading and theatre can offer.
“I particularly love The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for their fantasy. I'm a firm believer that magic and dragons will only improve something!
“If I could play any role in Shakespeare I would play Macbeth. As a performer, his murderous downfall would be dramatically fun to play. As a character he is captivating; as Terry Pratchett muses on his Macbeth character in Wyrd sisters, his Shakespeare-esque novel, 'somewhere in that heart of coal, madness had pressurised a diamond of crystal clear insanity'.
“I'm thrilled to be Shakespeare and I can't wait to welcome the Olympic flame in doublet and hose!”