Links EMAIL the Society
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.
How the Society Works
Members Activities
Joint Working Parties
If you prefer to navigate this site through full screen navigation rather than drop down menus then please click here for the site map
This Site is currently moving to another web host service so some of the navigation links may not work at present
Latest News
Members Pre Christmas Party - Monday 28th November - 6.15pm at Shakespeares Schoolroom and Guildhall

Our November meeting combines a tour of these historic rooms which were restored and opened to the public earlier this year with a pre-Christmas party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Stratford Society.  And to remind us of what Stratford was like in the 1950s and 1960s, we have a talk from special guest Liz Flower entitled CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF STRATFORD.
There will be a drink to welcome us, then a guided tour and the chance to sit in on the sort of lesson that young William might have received.  There will be a buffet with wine and soft drinks before we listen to Liz and share our own memories of Stratford fifty years ago.
Tickets are £18.50 each, inclusive of tour and refreshments, from
Rosemary Applin, 13 Dale Avenue, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 7EN
Telephone 01789 295393                  Email

Click Here to download a booking form

Members Meeting - Monday 17th October 2016

The Stratford-Upon-Avon
Neighbourhood Plan

On the 17 th October the Stratford Society received a presentation from the Town Council on the current progress of the Neighbourhood Plan (the Plan). Over 40 members of the Society were present to hear the Talk about this importantPlan which will have a major influence on the town for the next 20 years.

Our Town Clerk, Sarah Summers, explained that the Town Council is promoting the Plan. The Plan has to be adopted by the community next year, 2017, and this meeting is part of the consultation process. Originally, the Plan had been launched by the Town Council some four years ago in June 2011. On the 4th October this year, the Town Council adopted the Plan as the basis for public consultation leading through to a referendum in 2017.Following the referendum the Council will be responsible for implementing the Plan. Sarah pointed out that the Town Council cannot express a view on the contents of Plan as it has to remain impartial, but individual councillors will be able express their views and to lobby for support. A campaign committee will be in place.

Sarah then introduced Mark Haselden who is chairing the Steering Group set up 4 years ago to prepare the Plan. (The Society’s chairman, John Scampion is a member of this Group) Mark explained that the Plan is for the Town and addresses local matters and it has to comply with the Core Strategy on strategic matters. His Group has tried to express the views of the community rather than their own views. Once adopted following the Referendum, the Plan becomes a material issue in planning policy and it will enable the Town Council to receive 25% more money from the Community Infrastructure Levy, for local schemes.

The current position is that the Plan was approved by the Town Council on the 4 th October last and will be submitted to the District Council (SDC) with supporting evidence which consists of some 10,000 pages. SDC will arrange a formal examination of the Plan and it will then be considered by a referendum next year.

What is in the Plan? It runs to some 162 pages and contains policies which will be binding and relate strictly to land use and projects for the town. The overall aims of the Plan will be to retain and enhance the historic core: to redevelop the run down areas: to make the town liveable and attractive: to have a strong local economy with housing choice: to create a centre for surrounding areas and accommodate visitors better: to integrate the approach to traffic and transport; and to make the town greener with more soft landscaping and open spaces.

Mark then highlighted some of the key sections which he thought would be of particular interest to the Society –

Housing The Core Strategy allocates 3,500 new homes in Stratford and we shall seek to ensure that any development outside the built-up area boundary is limited to agriculture. Housing on brownfield sites should be used first including the Canal Quarter Zone. The housing mix should be matched to Stratford, not the District, with provision for the needs of the elderly and the young.

Built environment and design There are policies to promote high quality sustainable design to preserve and enhance the historic environment with the use of Design Review Panels. Designs must respond to the local character and promote urban renewal and regeneration and they must create a strong sense of place.

The Town Centre The Planneeds to address the vitality of shopping and commerce, housing in the Town Centre, visitors to the Town, our visual heritage and the ability to access and move around the Town Centre. There are proposals to place new shopping in the Town Centre, to make shopping the primary use in certain streets, to create Bell Court Phase 2 and to carry out environmental improvements in areas identified. Mark specifically referred to the success of the Shop Fronts scheme which had been promoted by the Society.

Projects are included to improve access and movement around the Town Centre with pavement widening in Bridge Street, an experimental High Street closure for limited hours and a redesign of the roundabout at the top of Bridge Street. Projects will also address the issue of coaches, car parking and cycling in the Town Centre.

Infrastructure Projects focus on congestion, public transport and education. These topics continue to be debated with WCC and policies include -

Initiatives to reduce peak time congestion

Alternative solutions for Birmingham Road

Park and Ride

Pedestrians and cyclists

Rail link and bus and coach interchange facilities

Natural environment Policies include additional protection to wildlife sites at Bridgetown Woodland and Meadow and protection of the river corridor.

Leisure and wellbeing Policies and projects include protecting and enhancing open spaces, linking up green spaces, allotments and health care issues.

At the end of his presentation Mark made himself available for questions. He confirmed that a shorter summary of the Plan will be available for the referendum. One member suggested that the roll of the Society should be to champion the contents of the Plan. Several members congratulated Mark and his team on the work which had been carried out on the Plan and its content.

The Chairman of the Society, John Scampion, then thanked the Town Council and Mark for an excellent presentation and members showed their appreciation in the usual way.

Ian Prosser

The Stratford Society Late Summer Party at New Place - Monday 5th September 2016

On Monday 5 th September 2016, the Chairman welcomed fifty members of the Stratford Society gathered in the warm early evening sunshine to enjoy a glass of fizz. We listened with rapt attention to our Vice-Chairman, Julie Crawshaw, who was the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Project Manager for New Place, as she took us through the challenges the team had faced: first, the rejection of the original scheme, then the approval of the second, only to be frustrated by new archaeological finds which meant the abandonment of the reflecting pool and a new concept for re-imagining Shakespeare’s final home. Then, another unexpected archaeological discovery to the rear of Nash’s House required the redesign of the foundations for the extension to the building and a further 21 weeks’ delay. And finally, the very wet conditions in winter and spring imposed further delays before the site could at last be opened to the public.

We then enjoyed exploring the site, wandering through the re-imagined New Place, the Knot Garden and the Great Garden, admiring the new and revisiting the old; forming small groups to exchange views before going off again to look at something else.Then into Nash’s House, now wonderfully transformed as the exhibition centre with particular emphasis on education. The new viewing platform at the rear was very popular.

As dusk fell, the discreet lighting cast a magic spell on the site (an unexpected bonus, not possible in July) but all too soon we reached our curfew at 8.00pm. Reluctantly we passed out through the mighty oak door and back into the twenty-first century.

Our thanks to Diana Owen and her team at New Place for allowing us the privilege of holding the first event at New Place and to Julie for her talk. Our congratulations to Diana, Julie and all those involved for the successful delivery of the New Place project.


Affiliated Organisations
English Historic Towns Link
English Heritage Link
Corporate Sponsor Links
George Pragnell - Jewellers Link
CA Rookes Wine Merchants & Shippers Link