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Bridgetown School on the Historic Spine

Ninety pupils from Bridgetown Primary School had a taste of town planning recently when they were introduced to the Historic Spine, the old route from the Birthplace, along High Street, Chapel Street and Church Street to Holy Trinity Church.

Members of the Stratford Society, Dick and Anne Prior, Paul and Claire Burley and Jean Clymer, gave a slide presentation of all the Grade I and Grade II listed buildings along the Spine and talked to the pupils about their history and their importance to the town.

Ninety pupils, aged 9 – 11 years, were given templates of various shop fronts along the Spine. They were asked to design their own shop front and to add their reasons for choosing each type of business. Many of their designs were then used to ‘front’ Tudor style buildings constructed by the pupils.

These were judged by Society committee members Paul Burley and Beryl Downing, who is one of the school’s governors, on 20 th July.

The pupils were very enthusiastic about the Spine and many had strong opinions about the type of shops and shop fronts they would like to see. Some of their comments, which shop owners and District Council planners might take on board were:

  • Too many shops with really large 50% off signs
  • Signs too bright
  • Ground floors that look different from upper floors
  • Modern shop fronts in old buildings.

As a result of a suggestion by headmaster Steve Blackman, the Society arranged a “schools’ walk” along the Spine so that the pupils could study the buildings in more detail. These took place on Friday 15th July, during which a teacher from Dorset asked if the Society would do a similar walk for his pupils if he brought them to Stratford. The Spine’s fame is reaching far and wide!