VIDEO: Herald first to give Stratford’s Big Wheel a whirl


THE STRATFORD Herald today took the very first spin on the town’s new Big Wheel which is up and ready for its first paying customers tomorrow, Saturday 1st April.

The controversial 35-metre structure has divided opinion in town – love it or loathe it – but now the talking is over for the time being and the wheel turns for the first time at 10am.

As final preparations took place on a sun-blessed Friday afternoon on the Recreation Ground a small number of curious passers-by gathered at the foot of the construction as it prepared to turn its first revolution.

Herald editor Amanda Chalmers and photographer Mark Williamson were officially the first to ‘give it a whirl.’

Find out Amanda’s verdict in the Herald Viewpoint column next week.

“I think it’s very tastefully done, I thought it was going to be quite gaudy but it’s not,” Kate Bishton of Stratford said.

Her mum Jean Watts – also from Stratford – said the wheel was a nice way to see the sights of the town.

“I’ve been on the wheel in Weston and it was fun. I think it will draw people to the town,” Jean said.

Seventy-nine-year-old Robert Wilcox said he thought it looked all right but didn’t think he would be going for a ride because of his age.

However, even as the clock ticks down to the first ride, the wheel continues to draw stinging criticism from some quarters.

A resident who lives nearby to the wheel’s location said: “I am speechless about it. We opposed this from the start and thought we would win and while it might look OK during the day at night it’s going to be lit up. I still object to it.”

The big wheel is in place for six months and is a temporary structure.

if you plan to take a ride on the wheel this weekend – or have an opinion on how this latest addition fits into the Stratford skyline – let us know what you think at:

See next Thursday’s Herald for a full report and reactions.

  • RJH

    Can’t see the problem or the harm. Looks good and will help bring in a few more tourists and much needed revenue to the town.

    • James C

      Since when does Stratford need MORE tourists? The place is gridlocked for most of the summer especially at weekends. And how much is the town earning from this exactly …?

      • RJH

        There’s always going to be NIMBY’s.

        • James C

          Indeed. It’s not in your back yard though is it?
          Neither is it in the back yard of any of the councillors who voted it in.

          • RJH

            I would have it in my back yard for certain. Especially if you were my neighbour 😉

  • James C

    Noticeable in the video that Amanda sat with her back to the town and faced the houses for most of the time.
    No coincidence that it goes up on April 1st – The Fools’ Wheel.

  • Mr Teapot

    Project ‘Blackpool Upon Avon’ is a GO!

    This is exactly what Stratford needs, not a return of independent stores, not attractive greenery, music, art, museums, great dining experiences, or a bustling night-life. It needs big, tacky fair rides. The next step? Surely we need to re-name the town ‘Shakespeareland’.

  • milo

    Looks great, hopefully bring more visitors to our town. cant wait to bring along my long lens camera and get some good shots of my house and garden:) fantastic addition

  • Centre Parting

    It is more pleasing on the eye than most of the planning decisions granted by the council.
    Waterside? All of the ‘rubbish’ on McDonalds roof, Crowne Plaza, etc..