Runaway Mop changes are on the way

Last Year's Mop Fair, which is traditionally followed by the Runaway Mop

In less than a month’s time Stratford’s historic Mop Fair will come to town, but it is changes to the scheduling of the Runaway Mop two weeks later that that have worried businesses.

Traditionally the Runaway Mop follows two weeks after the Mop Fair on a Thursday and Friday, but in a change this year, the Runaway Mop will take place on a Friday and Saturday instead, on 25th and 26th October.

It is the prospect of the fair occupying much of the town centre for two Saturdays in October that has caused a stir, with a number of businesses unhappy about the re-scheduling.

Many have complained that the Mop Fair and Runaway Mop have a dramatic effect on trade, something they worry could have a particularly negative affect on the town this year because the main RSC Theatre is dark until 8th November.

Joe Baconnet, director of Stratforward BID has previously expressed misgivings about the rescheduling and complained of a lack of consultation with town centre businesses about it.

Earlier this year Emily Wilson from Mop organisers Bob Wilson Funfairs, explained that the change was to enable children to enjoy the Runaway Mop without having to take days off school.

The Mop and Runaway Mop fairs have long been a part of Stratford’s history, with the town originally being granted a charter to hold the event by Edward VI in 1544.

Traditionally the fair was concerned with the hiring of agricultural and domestic labourers.

  • kingcoil

    The runaway mop in the charter is for the second Friday after the main mop , the organisers ( wilson family ) say that they cannot be moved from the town due to the ancient charter.BUT they can deviate from the charter to make more money , If this charter is law then surely any deviation is a breach of the so called charter. This has nothing to do with allowing the kids to attend without having to take time off of school , it is so that the Wilsons can make more money.Every business in town should close down when both the main mop and the runaway mop are on and claim loss of earnings from SDC as they were the people that rubber stamped this disgusting mop.Can we have the clean up costs published from last years mop with all of the cooking oil poured down the drains and oil from the vehicles all over the roads, Not to mention the noise pollution and the stink of filthy old cooking oli that fills the town. Time to move this off of the streets and onto the Recreation ground.

    • Darren Mark Butler

      The Runaway Mop Date is actually on the Friday, not the Thursday. It was added a few years ago, so now they want to move it to a Saturday. What is the harm in that? It is two weekends out of 52 a year. The Runaway Mop has suffered a lot in the past 10 or so years so yes I don’t blame them for trying to make the most out of their visit and by moving it to a day when more people can attend I think is a good business move – any other business regardless what they are would move it to a date that would appeal to more people!

      • kingcoil

        You fail to get a grasp of this do you ? As i said the runaway mop in the charter is the second Friday after the main mop ( that i stated in my original post ) Many people want the mop moved to the recreation ground but every time that question comes up the mop organisers quote the CHARTER. The said charter is now being adjusted to please the mop owners and to make more profit ( they give less than £500 to charity ) I would like Christmas to be on a Saturday every year but as the lord was born on the 25th December this is not possible.Why should the mop organisers ( Wilson ) be allowed to cherry pick which parts of the charter they want to abide by ? Why also should the mop be moved to the two days that most shops and businesses in the town are busy and rely on to survive.Shops have for the last three years or so had to put up with the street market outside of their shops in the six week run up to Christmas every Thursday and that affects their turnover.Do you know how much the shops pay in rent and rates ? Maybe you will be a happy chap when there are no shops left except for charity shops and coffee shops.

    • KJ

      Please sign the community led petition to Save the Picture House from demolition!! Tell everyone!!

      • kingcoil

        I signed it as we really do not need yet another hotel when the ones we already have only run at 65% capacity

      • Big Jim and The Twins

        Will do. Stratford is full of guest houses. Why don’t the council want to support them???whats wrong with Stratford councils? Never listening to residents, I think someone somewhere is making some good money.

  • Big Jim and The Twins

    I was brought up in Stratford and still live here. I remember walking to school and watching the mop being set up, being excited all day along with the rest of my schoolmates knowing that our parents would take us in the evening. It wasn’t an option to pull a sicky and skip school to go to the mop.
    Wilsons.. Stratford council .. the tail is wagging the dog.
    Range Rovers, Ford Ranger pickups, private number plates etc, yep, Wilsons are clearly struggling.