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Welcome to the Stratford Society
Your Local Civic Society charity registration No. 251182
The Stratford Society aims to protect the  heritage of our historic market town and its residents. Founded in 1966, it  offers non-political, professional expertise on the town's buildings and their  surroundings. It works with councils and other organisations locally and  nationally and promotes high quality design in keeping with the character of  this world famous and much visited town.
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Latest News
Stratford Historic Buildings Trust Press Release 2nd February 2016

Public Consultation sessions for Old Toll House Restoration Project

Stratford Historic Buildings Trust will be running three public consultation sessions on the Old Toll House restoration project next week.

The sessions will take place at Cox’s Yard between 10am and 12noon on:

Wednesday 10 February

Thursday 11 February

Saturday 13 February

The sessions will provide the Trust with an opportunity to update local residents and visitors on the scope and progress of the project, but just as importantly get people’s feedback and ideas for how best to tell the story of the building and the once busy industrial area that surrounded it.

The Trust is also keen to engage people with the project through heritage trails, talks, ‘behind the scenes’ tours and volunteering opportunities.

The Old Toll House, located on Clopton Bridge in Stratford-upon-Avon, was builtjust over 200 years ago in 1814. With its crenelated roofline and gothic windows it is a familiar local landmark and an extremely important Grade I listed building. However, over the last 30 years it has fallen into serious disrepair and has been included on Historic England’s Register of Buildings at Risk.

The restoration project will preserve the historic fabric of the building and provide it with a new use as office space at ground floor and mezzanine level. In addition, the project will include the creation of an exhibition about the history of the building in the basement area.

Roger Davis, SHBT trustee said ‘We are delighted that the project has now got to the stage where we can shout about it a bit more to the people of Stratford. But we also want to hear the views and ideas of local people to ensure the maximum amount of public interest and community involvement. Whilst the restoration of the Toll House building is our main objective, the other important element of the project is to share with people the little known story of how the Bancroft/Bridgefoot area was once the industrial hub of the town.’

The project has attracted significant grants from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as smaller awards from the Architectural Heritage Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and a number of other trusts and charities.

 Further information

For further information about Stratford Historic Buildings Trust please contact Roger Davis (trustee) on 01789 298339 or Chris Rice (project organiser) on 07808 887183.


Stratford Historic Buildings Trust

Stratford Historic Buildings Trust is a registered charity established in 2012.

The Trust’s purpose is to: ‘preserve for the people of Stratford upon Avon and the Historic County of Warwickshire and the Nation, the historical, architectural and constructional heritage that may exist in and around Stratford upon Avon and the Historic County of Warwickshire in buildings of particular beauty, or historical, architectural or constructional interest.’

15th February 2016 6.15pm

Jenna Harvey, General Manager, reports on the first year of the re-vitalised former Civic Hall and shares the hopes and plans of the new ArtsHouse Trust.
Members Newsletter December 2015

The Society is now be issuing a regular newsletter to it's members and the second one is now available.

It features

Old Cattle Market Site
Transport Strategy
Shop Front Scheme Update
Toll House Update
Improving the Town
Subscriptions and General Information

Click Here to download a copy

Heritage Open Days, Stratford Town Hall, 11-13 September 2015

James Saunders’s drawing
of the old Town Hall
Pencil drawing of the Town Hall
showing palisades erected in 1781
Current Town Hall
The Society was again represented at Heritage Open Days this year. The overall theme suggested by the Town Council was, “ The history of the Town Hall and things relating to the Town Council.” As a result, the Society decided to contribute a short film – with sound track – outlining the history of the Town Hall from its inception in 1634 to the present day. The film was based on a booklet, “The Town Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon,” prepared by Mairi Macdonald and published by the Stratford Society in 1986, together with a power-point presentation based on this book.

The sound track was read by Robert Lister, a professional actor who is also a member of the Society. At the end of the film there was a 5 minute interlude before the presentation started again. The piano piece played during the interlude was Sonata in D (first movement) by J Haydn. It was played by Peter Summers, a noted key board player, who is also the husband of Stratford’s current Town Clerk. The recording was done by Dudley Simpson (Simpson Sound and Vision Ltd.), while Chris Wheeler (Chris Wheeler Graphic Design) added the sound tracks to the film.

The presentation attracted a great deal of interest. About 2,000 members of the public visited the Town Hall during the 3-day event and several left written comments on the Society’s film. Comments included:

“We’re locals and found the presentation extremely informative – thank you.”

“Most interesting and well put together.”

“Like a trip back in time, well preserved and presented, friendly and approachable staff, thanks.”

One visitor – the Treasurer of a civic society in Swindon – commented by saying, “this is exactly what a local civic society should be doing!”

eprints of Mairi Macdonald’s booklet, “The Town Hall: Stratford-upon-Avon”; are available for £2.00 from Rosemary Applin, the Society’s Events Organiser.
Report on the Members Meeting 19th October 2015 - The Core Strategy

At its October meeting the Society received an update on the District Council’s Core Strategy from Dave Nash, the Council’s Planning and Housing Manager. As Dave said, planning policy often seems to exist in “a parallel universe”, which is hard to penetrate by ordinary mortals. However, judging by the question and answer session after his talk, he succeeded in giving a clear explanation of the current position, hot off the press afterthe draft was agreed by the full Council earlier in the day.

The key change since the Core Strategy was last discussed by the Society is that following a public examination by an independent inspector, the Council has agreed his recommendation to increase significantly the number of new houses and flats across the District. There is expected to be substantial growth in the number of jobs in the area and in order to avoid a big increase in in-bound commuting, the number of dwellings proposed has increased from just over 11,000 to about 15,000.

Much of the increase is proposed at a major new settlement at Long Marston Airfield, with 2,100 new houses to be built before 2031 and more to follow later, and 450 to be built at Bishopton Lane to the north of the town. The Society’s concerns at both locations have so far centred around the need for high quality design, and for sufficient investment in new roads, schools, health facilities, etc. This continues to be the case, and we expect the Council to flesh out the details of these proposals in due course. The access arrangements to a new development at Bishopton Lane will need to address the canal bridge constraint and the continuing problem of heavy traffic on Birmingham Road.

One thing we do know is that the Airfield developers propose to pay for a new secondary school and local health centre as well as a new link road from Shipston Road, across the Clifford Chambers Road, eventually skirting the racecourse and joining Evesham Road. If it goes ahead, together with existing roads andthe A46 to Evesham Road link to be built as part of the Shottery development, it will almost give Stratford a complete ring road. The only gap would be across the river from Warwick Road, through Tiddington and around to Banbury Road.
Dave hopes that the revisions to the Core Strategy will be submitted to the Inspector soon, so that the examination hearings can be resumedtowards the end of this year. Following this, the Inspector can then produce his final report and, subject to there being no legal challenge,it is hoped that the Core Strategy will be adopted as the formal basis for future planning in the District by next summer.
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