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Special Features


Richard Pasco – A Shakespearian great

RICHARD PASCO, the distinguished Shakespearean actor whose career spanned theatre, films and television, has died at his home near Stratford at the age of 88 on November 12. He and his wife, the actress Barbara Leigh-Hunt, were both heavily committed to the cultural life of Stratford.…

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Tony Brooker – ‘One of Stratford’s leading entrepreneurial figures’

TONY BROOKER, businessman and former chairman of Stratford Town Management Partnership, has died aged 77 on the Caribbean island of Antigua. One of Stratford district’s leading entrepreneurial figures during his business career, Mr Brooker was passionate about the town.…

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David Biddle – KES pupil and teacher

THE life and work of David Biddle was celebrated by his family, friends, students and staff at King Edward VI School where he was a member of staff between 1992 and 2014 and also a former student between 1949 and 1957. David Biddle died in July, aged 76, after battling a brain tumour. He was a much loved member and a huge part of the KES – and Stratford – community.…

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Gary Davies – F1 mechanic

GARY Davies, a well-known former Formula 1 and Le Mans-winning mechanic from Stratford died on 16th September, aged 63. Mr Davies, who died of pneumonia, enjoyed a lifetime of success in motor racing and was a top racing mechanic in Formula 1 in the 1970s and later with Jaguar.…

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RSC leads tributes to Sir Donald Sinden who has died, aged 90

SIR DONALD SINDEN, one of the towering figures of theatre, film and television in the post-war years – and a passionate champion of Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon – has died at the age of 90. He had been suffering from prostate cancer and died at his home in Kent. His family described his death as “a huge loss”.  …

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Phil Hart: a life-long volunteer

THE death has been announced of Philip S Hart, or Phil Hart, as he was popularly known. Mr Hart moved to Stratford from Somerset in 1975 to take up the post of contracts co-ordinator at Stratford District Council (SDC). Immediately after coming to live in the town he volunteered at Tyler Street Youth Clubs and did almost 30 years’ service, finally becoming chairman of the committee until his health started to decline when he developed Parkinson’s Disease. …

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Diana Jaggard: lover of life and captivating teacher for 60 years

DIANA JAGGARD, who died last Friday at the age of 90, was a captivating teacher who served pupils in the Stratford area for some 60 years. The daughter of Sir Edward Salt, the Conservative MP for Birmingham Yardley from 1931 to 1945, she took a Froebel Degree, a modern form of child-centred education, at Roehampton University. The university was evacuated to Knebworth House during the Second World War and Diana completed a three-year course in two. …

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Stephen Pratt: former headmaster of KES

STEPHEN PRATT, who was headmaster of King Edward VI School, in Stratford, between 1963 and 1981 has died at his home in Chipping Campden. Born in Sussex, Mr Pratt, pictured left, came from a family of teachers and was educated at Worthing Grammar School for Boys. He won a History Scholarship to Hertford College, Oxford, in 1938, where his studies were interrupted by the Second World War. From 1940 he served with the Royal Artillery and by the end of the war he was engaged in Austria in the rehab…

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Jeffery Dench: a Shakespearean treasure

STRATFORD-upon-Avon lost a true Shakespearean treasure last week when veteran Royal Shakespeare Company actor Jeffery Dench died, aged 85. Born in Greater Manchester in 1929, Mr Dench has been described as the kind of actor who has made the RSC what it is today—having had a five-decade career on stage in Stratford. Mr Dench, who lived in Clifford Chambers, was the older brother of Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench. And although he may not have always been centre stage his performances …

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Kate O’Mara: glamorous Dynasty actress from Long Marston

LONG MARSTON’S star of stage and screen Kate O’Mara, who started out working behind the scenes at the Royal Shakespeare Company, has died at a Sussex nursing home, aged 74. The actress, who became a household name for her role as Joan Collins’s screen sister, ‘Caress’ Morell, in the 80s soap opera Dynasty, had a great passion for acting and loved talking about the theatre. She had a long and successful career, appearing in cult television series such as Danger Man a…

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