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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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The Chairman's Summer Party Friday 4th July from 7pm at Springfield Farm, Ettington - sat nav CV37 7NT
The Summer Party is an annual opportunity for Stratford Society members and their guests to enjoy a convivial evening in a very special location, while also raising funds for a local good cause.   

Our hosts this year, Sarah and Tony Brooker, invite you to explore their museum of vintage cars and tractors, enjoy a buffet supper and support their chosen charity, Ettington Community First Responders. 

Tickets are £19.00 each and include food and a welcome drink;  there will also be a bar for wine and soft drinks.  Please book your tickets by Friday 20th June to avoid disappointment.

Click Here to download an application Form
New book on Stratford’s Historic Spine!!

The Stratford Society has been working for some time to promote the town’s Historic Spine, the route running along High Street, Chapel Street, Church Street and Old Town, lined with many of the town’s finest buildings. In particular, two members of the Society, Paul Burley, retired architect and practising artist, and Bob Bearman, formerly Head of Archives at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, have spent the last three years working on a project to get the story of the Spine into book form. Paul has drawn every building along it in the form of eight continuous friezes and underneath each building Bob has provided notes of its historical and/or architectural interest. Some members may have seen the fruit of their labours displayed as panels at Heritage Open Day in 2012. Now, using an ingenious ‘fold-out’ system, these have been put into book form.

The Society has been very happy to support publication costs in the hope that this study will be of interest and help to local schools, town planners, local historians and visitors to the town but, above all, to do justice to this remarkable collection of buildings of which Stratford should be proud.

Copies, price £7.00 will be on sale at the Annual General Meeting on 14 April but can also be obtained either by contacting the Society via its email address or from local bookshops

Paul Burley (left) and Bob Bearman,
outside the almshouses in Church Street,
examining a ‘fold-out’ section of their new book.
Photo: Dick Prior
 Members Visit to Billesley Manor

Over 30 Stratford Society members spent a very enjoyable afternoon at Billesley Church and Billesley Manor on 2nd April 2104.

Alan Bailey and colleagues of the Aston Cantlow Historic Society had spent many years researching the history of the church, the old village of Billesley and the manor house at Billesley and were able to share this information with members. Old coins, a seal and buckle, all of which had been found in recent years, were all available to handle.

LAST MEMBERS MEETING -  MONDAY, 17 March 2014 at 3pm at the Falcon Hotel


Helen Munro, Chief Executive of the Stratford Town Trust, was the speaker at this month’s meeting of the Stratford Society on 17 th March.
She reminded the meeting of the mediaeval origins of the Guild and CollegeEstates which provided the income which the Trust used to fulfil its mission ‘to enhance the quality of life of the people of Stratford’. Some 36% of its income was committed in non-discretionary grants, for example in support of King Edward Grammar School, and in 2012 a further £1.2 million was distributed in the form of discretionary grants. She explained the process for application, assessment and follow-up to ensure that grants were properly used and played a video illustrating some of the work the Trust had supported recently. She emphasised that demand for assistance was expected to grow as welfare reforms started to take effect.

The majority of the properties owned by the Trust had to be managed as investments and the meeting expressed its concern at the current state of Town Square/Bell Court. However, two non-investment buildings were coming to the end of major refurbishment work: the Guild Chapel had needed ceiling repairs before the planned replacement of the organ and this would be completed later this year. Meanwhile the Civic Hall would reopen in April after its £1.8 million ‘rejuvenation’ with a new name, Stratford Arts House, and a new charity to run it.

Helen Munro urged members to look at the Town Trust’s website for full details of its work. Membership was open to all residents in the postcodes listed there and the Trust was looking for new Trustees with appropriate skills.

The meeting finished with a lively question and answer session before the Chairman thanked the speaker and the Town Trust for its recent grant to the Society for a new edition of the Historic Spine leaflet.

©Nic Walsh 24 March 2014

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