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Make Your Own Sweet Music!

13
Jun 2017

MAKE MUSIC AT THE STRATFORD RIVER FESTIVAL THANKS TO COSTCO’S ACOUSTIC STAGE

Whether it’s drumming, Morris dancing or playing the harp, aspiring musicians can get a taste of performing live thanks to the Acoustic Community Stage at this year’s River Festival.
The stage, kindly sponsored by Costco Wholesale, will showcase some of the region’s finest musicians - with the chance for visitors to have a go as well.

The River Festival - one of Stratford’s most popular events - returns to Stratford on July 1st and 2nd for its ninth year, bringing tens of thousands of people to the town.
World-class music is a key part of the multi award-winning extravaganza, and this year soul band Kinky Farnham are returning as headliners on the main stage along with TRADarrr.

And thanks to Costco, the Acoustic Community Stage will be back showcasing a lengthy line-up of talent, both regional and national.  Acts will include the Coventry Singer Songwriters as well as local soul duo Wilson Wright, Cotswolds-based folk group Brimstone, KES trio The Mannequins and a showcase by Stratford Music Centre.

But it’s not just about watching - a range of acts will give musically-minded punters the chance to get involved. Harpist Jasmin Earnshaw will host a Celtic Harp Workshop, giving people the chance to have a go on the unusual instrument, while light-footed visitors can join in with Shakespeare Morris and try their hand - or feet - at Morris dancing. And acclaimed drummer Bo Davies will be hosting a drumming workshop, with those involved getting a feel for the spotlight, performing the results of their labours in front of the Bandstand before the headline act on Sunday.

Stratforward Events Manager Ruth Wood said: “The River Festival is all about getting people involved, and this is a great way to do that - giving visitors of all ages the chance to make, as well as listen to, music.
“We owe a big thanks to Costco Wholesale for sponsoring our Community Acoustic Stage, allowing some of the finest musicians from the local area to share their talents.”

The Stratforward-organised River Festival is a highlight of the calendar in Stratford and the wider region, attracting more than 60,000 people to see 100 boats moored up on the Avon along with an array of entertainment from live music and food and drink to a fabulous fireworks display on the Saturday night.  Danny Lang, General Manager at Costco Wholesale, said: "Costco are delighted to be given the opportunity to sponsor The Stratford River Festival, one of the region’s premier events of the year.
“At Costco we pride ourselves on always providing top quality goods and services  at the lowest possible price, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to display our unique range of goods to potential new customers.
“Events such as this are an integral part of our business and we hope the festival will again provide a vehicle for us to demonstrate the advantages of Costco membership.”

Water You Waiting For?!

16
May 2017

RIVER FESTIVAL GETS READY TO MAKE A SPLASH

Stratford’s biggest party returns with the ninth annual River Festival in just a matter of weeks.

Months of preparation have already gone into the return of the award-winning event, which takes place on July 1st and 2nd, and new details are being confirmed all the time.  From world-famous musical acts to fabulous fireworks and plenty of new food pitches - all in the bard’s own home town - the events team at Stratforward BID is pulling out all the stops to make this year’s event the perfect family-friendly quintessential English weekend.

A highlight of the Stratford summer, the River Festival attracts more than 60,000 people from across the region, with more than 100 boats moored up on the Avon and stalls providing a weekend of food, drink and family fun.
Popular soul band Kinky Farnham, a hit at previous festivals, return as the headline act, and are just one of a range of stellar acts. The acoustic stage sponsored by Costco will offer up the very best in musical talent, including Stratford-based choir Amicantus and Jack Blackman, one of the UK's leading young blues guitarists.

As well as great music, visitors will be able to enjoy an array of entertainment including a fabulous firework display on Saturday night courtesy of Forest Fireworks. For the foodies, there are no fewer than 14 hot food traders this year, with new treats to tickle the tastebuds including pies, pancakes and pasta.  On top of all this, free childrens' wristbands will make sure the event remains one of the most family-friendly around. 

Ruth Wood, Events Manager at Stratforward BID, said: “The River Festival is our biggest event by far, and a huge success each year but that doesn’t mean we can sit on our laurels.
We may have only just finished with the Stratford Festival of Motoring, which was another triumph, but preparations for the River Festival have been underway for months and are now really hotting up. We want people to be confident that they can have a day of fun and entertainment in a safe, secure environment, and our team are going through every single detail with a fine tooth comb to make sure that happens. On top of this, we’ve got plenty of exciting elements to add to an already thrilling weekend so watch this space for all the latest announcements on what is set to be another great River Festival.”

Come and enjoy Stratford's biggest party on the banks of the River!

Cash Saving Scheme

10
May 2017

NEW MEMBERS’ BENEFITS SCHEME SET TO SAVE STRATFORD BUSINESSES CASH

A brand new members’ benefits scheme that could save town centre businesses a whopping six-figure sum each year was launched by Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID).  The new Joint Procurement Scheme will help BID businesses reduce their running costs on items like utilities, telecoms, water, pest control and merchant services.

The scheme, officially launched by Stratforward BID this week, is run in partnership with joint procurement specialist Meercat Associates Ltd, which uses collective buying power to get the best deal possible.  Meercat works only with Business Improvement Districts and has a proven record of saving millions of pounds for BIDs across the country.

Meercat’s fee will be paid by Stratforward, with members able to benefit directly from any cost savings gained through the scheme.

BID director Joseph Baconnet said it is hoped the scheme will work across all sectors, with many members finding that the savings are more than their annual BID levy. He said: “We want our members to save money. Small changes can make big differences and together we have the power to drive down costs. This scheme will help our members get the best deal possible on their running costs and relieve the ever-increasing pressure on high street businesses. "

The Joint Procurement Scheme is being administrated by Simon Jackson, Business Consultant at Meercat, who has already visited Stratford several times to meet with businesses and discuss the potential benefits the scheme could bring to them.

Members who want to take part in the scheme can pass their bill information to Meercat completely confidentially who will then carry out a full analysis to calculate potential savings. Companies can then decide whether to progress with a service saving, which again can be managed by Meercat. Simon, a former BID manager himself, said: “At Meercat we work exclusively with BIDs and currently work with 90 across the country, helping 25,000 businesses under our umbrella and have already delivered £7million savings. Our work with BIDs across the country gives us huge buying power. We don’t add any commission or interest on to our very very keen prices so those prices are passed on to BID members directly.”

NOTES 
1. The Joint Procurement Scheme was officially launched at Stratforward’s quarterly networking meeting held at the Falcon Hotel on Tuesday (May 9th). To find out more about the scheme, Stratforward BID on 01789 299011 or info@stratforward.co.uk

2. Meercat Associates Ltd works with BIDs across the country, including Shrewsbury, Cambridge and Winchester. They can be contacted direct on 01444 416529, info@meercatassociates.com, or you can visit www.meercatassociates.com

Triumphant Trophy Winners at Stratford Festival of Motoring 2017

03
May 2017

Trophies were presented to participants at Stratford Festival of Motoring 2017 by the festival patron, Quentin Willson at 3pm on Monday 1st May.

Many congratulations to all winners on being chosen against some stiff competition.  

To quote Quentin, "Stratford Festival of Motoring is one of the UK's best attended and most authentic motor festivals in the UK."  So huge thanks to all participants for bringing your stunning cars and making the festival  so special.

Trophy 2017

Car

Owner

From

Mayor’s Choice

1939 Buick Ltd

Hugh Busby

Malvern

Stratforward’s Choice – chosen by Quentin Willson

Rolls Royce Silver Spirit previously owned by Felix Dennis

Rod Moseley

Shipston on Stour

Listers’ Choice

1951 Jaguar XK120

Terence Heyes

Kenilworth

 

Winner of Ayes & Nays Treasure Hunt

Land Rover Discovery

Lawrence Sear

Stratford

Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust – Director’s Choice Award

1961 3.4 Mark 2 Jaguar

Joe Sugden & his co owner

Welford

Furthest Travelled Car

MG TF

Roger & Margaret Key

Stonehaven

 

 

Torque of the Town - Stratford Festival of Motoring proves a bank holiday hit

02
May 2017

TORQUE OF THE TOWN - STRATFORD FESTIVAL OF MOTORING PROVES A BANK HOLIDAY HIT

The fifth annual Stratford Festival of Motoring was the ‘torque of the town’ this Bank Holiday weekend, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the country.

Rain showers didn’t dampen the motor madness that arrived in the bard’s town for the popular two-day event that featured more than 300 cars on show throughout the town’s streets.

From Audrey, the last remaining Vintage Mobile Cinema, to a unique pink ‘Barbie’ Jaguar that once starred in a film directed by Michael Winner, the free festival transformed Shakespeare’s home town into a petrolhead’s paradise for the weekend.

They included cars from across the world spanning decades of iconic motor history, including ‘Vicky's S’ TVR - commissioned by TVR chairman Peter Wheeler for his wife Vicky that he once treated Prince William to a lesson in.

Car lovers from across the country joined in organised runs through the surrounding Warwickshire and Gloucestershire countryside, arriving in Stratford for a lap of honour around the historic town centre before parking up for a day of motor madness.

Participants included Roger Key, who travelled an impressive 442 miles from Stonehaven to Stratford specially for the event, as well as members from car clubs across the country.

Ruth Wood, Events Manager at Stratforward BID - which organises the festival - said: “The weather may not have been perfect, but the odd rain shower certainly didn’t wave the red flag for the festival and this year was another great turnout from participants and visitors.

“The whole aim of the motor festival is to lay on something a bit different and showcase Stratford to an audience from across the country. The sight of hundreds of cars, classic and up-to-the-minute, has become something people will travel a long way to see and this year was no exception.”

More than 300 vehicles from old to new were on display throughout the town’s streets, from pre-1960s cars to performance vehicles and an impressive selection of Jaguars - this year’s Featured Marque - from the Jaguar Heritage Trust.

They impressed crowds of people who travelled to Stratford from far and wide - including one Jaguar enthusiast who apparently came all the way from America.

There was plenty of family fun on offer, from free Jaguar remote control cars to an interactive display by Stratford College, as well as a Treasure Hunt, artwork created using remote control cars, and a ‘Where’s Will?’ competition to spot a waxwork of the bard in cars around town.

Local motor heritage museums the British Motor Museum and Coventry Transport Museum took part in the event, while festival sponsor Listers showcased brands from five of its dealerships, including brand new models.

Toni Dunk, Group Marketing Manager at Listers, said: "This year's Stratford Festival of Motoring has been a great event, showcasing the very best of the motoring world against the backdrop of one of the region's most beautiful towns.

"Listers has been delighted to be the sponsor of such a successful event for the second year running. It's an opportunity for us to get involved, to showcase our own stunning ranges, and to personally meet many of our current and future customers.

“A big thank you to Stratforward for organising such a great event, we look forward to getting involved again in future years."

The dates for next year are Sunday 6th May and Bank Holiday Monday 7th May 2018.

Organised by Stratforward Business Improvement District. www.stratforward.co.uk

http://www.stratforward.co.uk/events/stratford-festival- of-motoring
https://twitter.com/StratfordFOM
https://www.facebook.com/StratforduponAvonFestivalofMotoring

 

  

 

 

FROM STONEHAVEN TO STRATFORD

25
Apr 2017

FROM STONEHAVEN TO STRATFORD - CAR FAN TRAVELLING A WHOPPING 442 MILES FOR MOTOR FESTIVAL

Some serious miles are being racked up by visitors to this year’s Stratford Festival of Motoring - but none more than Roger Key who will be driving an impressive 442 miles to take part in the event.

Mr Key and wife Margaret are travelling from Stonehaven in Scotland all the way to Stratford for the festival, which returns to the town on Sunday, April 30th and Monday, May 1st.

That’s the distance of at least two Grands Prix or 52 laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe, the famous venue of the Le Mans 24-hour race.

Of the hundreds of participants bringing their petrol pride and joys to the festival, Mr Key is travelling the furthest in his MG TF. His journey is nearly 200 miles further than last year’s ‘furthest travelled’ attendee Peter Darby, who drove 260 miles from Dumfries.

But for Mr Key, who has travelled to Mull and Shetland, Brittany and even Denmark in pursuit of his hobby, it’s by no means the furthest he’s gone.

The motor enthusiast and his wife, who is a fan of the bard’s home town, have visited the area in previous years and decided to coincide this year’s return trip with their first visit to the motor festival.

“It looks a super event and it’s in a lovely part of the world,” said Mr Key, who is secretary of the Aberdeen MG Owners Club. “We’re looking forward to taking part in one of the runs and having a look around all the other cars.”

The Keys will be leaving their classic 1978 and 1969 MG Midgets, which are being refurbished, at home and are instead travelling the length of the country in their more modern MG TF.

“It’s nothing exceptional but it’s cheap to run and good on fuel and it’s been reliable - we’ve covered a fair few miles in it,” added Mr Key.

The Stratforward-organised Festival of Motoring is one of the highlights of the calendar in Stratford, attracting 60,000 visitors last year.

The 2017 event will follow the same successful formula as the past four years with organised runs into surrounding countryside followed by the spectacular sight of 300 cars parked up on the town centre streets on both days of the festival.

This year’s event is sponsored by Listers, which will showcase its own state-of-the-art range, and the 2017 Featured Marque is the Jaguar, with Wood Street filled with cars from the iconic British brand.

The festival will also feature Audrey, the last remaining vintage mobile cinema, sponsored by local classic car hire company The Open Road and an array of petrolheads’ dream cars on show by Auto Adrenalin.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is running a ‘Where’s Will?’ competition, giving people the chance to win a year’s pass if they spot a waxwork model of William Shakespeare among the car displays, and families will be able to take part in The Great Stratford Motor Festival Treasure Hunt, organised by Magic Alley, using a special 'key' to unlock clues across town.

Ruth Wood, events manager at Stratforward, said: “We’re putting the final touches on the organisation of what has shaped up to be a great event, with something on offer for everyone, and we’re delighted to see people coming from far and wide - especially Mr Key and his wife.”

Stratford's Getting Kinky

18
Apr 2017

STRATFORD’S GETTING ‘KINKY’ WITH HEADLINE ACTS AT RIVER FESTIVAL 2017

World-class music is back on the bill for this year’s Stratford River Festival, with the return of soul band Kinky Farnham to the stage at the multi award-winning event.

The popular funk and soul band is just one of an array of stellar acts on offer for the crowds set to descend on Stratford when the popular festival returns on July 1st and 2nd.

The Stratforward-organised River Festival is one of the highlights of the calendar in the region. Last year’s event on the Recreation Ground attracted more than 60,000 people with more than 100 boats moored up on the Avon and at least 100 stalls providing a weekend of food, drink and fun for all.

Top-notch music is always a draw at the free family festival and this year visitors will be entertained by acts including Kinky Farnham - a huge hit in previous years - as well as TRADarrr, who offer a new take on traditional British Folk music.

Other acts set to take to the stages on the Bandstand and the Acoustic Stage include musical talent from across the region and closer to home such as Stratford-based choir Amicantus and Jack Blackman, one of the UK's leading young blues guitarists.

Event Organiser Ruth Wood said: “Music is always an important part of the River Festival and we’re so excited to be welcoming Kinky Farnham back to our Stratford stages. When it comes to music, there’s something for everyone at this year’s festival, from funk and soul to classical, rock and swing.

“Last year’s festival was another great year, with 60,000-plus people coming to Stratford for what has become one of the most popular events in the region. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back for what is guaranteed to be a great event.”

And for thirsty visitors to the River Festival, three of Stratford’s own local businesses have beaten off stiff competition from other bars and pubs across the area to win the tenders for the alcohol concessions at the event.

The One Elm, The Keys & Kitchen and The Encore won the tenders for the bars at the event after a rigorous and competitive process that saw applications from far and wide.

Mat Faulkner, general manager at The One Elm, which got through 100 barrels of beers, ales and ciders, 2,000 bottles of prosecco and 1,000 pints of Pimms last year, said: “It’s great that three local businesses are leading the way again.

We’re really excited. We have been part of the festival now for who knows how many years. It’s home from home for us now. We love being down there and meeting everyone.”

COLLEGE TO REV UP EXCITEMENT AT MOTORING SHOW

12
Apr 2017

Visitors to the Stratford Festival of Motoring will be able to get hands-on, thanks to a series of interactive demonstrations by Stratford College’s Motor Vehicle department.

The 2017 Stratford Festival of Motoring, organised by Stratforward BID, takes place on Sunday, April 30th and Monday, May 1st and is sure to attract car enthusiasts from across the country.

Stratford College has teamed up with festival sponsor Listers to run the demonstrations including changing a wheel and basic car maintenance techniques, giving people of all ages the chance to get their hands dirty and have a bit of fun, while learning about cars.

Sponsor Listers will be showcasing cars from five dealerships on Waterside and Bridge Street as well as providing the car for the Stratford College demonstrations, which will be run by staff, students and apprentices.

 

The weekend will also include organised ‘runs’ out into the Warwickshire and Gloucestershire countryside on the Sunday and Monday morning, followed by the spectacular sight of 300 cars parked in the town centre streets, showcasing some of the world’s finest motor heritage.

Ian Watson, Motor Vehicle lecturer at the College, said: “Joining forces with Listers at the Festival is a wonderful opportunity for our Motor Vehicle department and for the College as a whole.  The students and apprentices will have the chance to share their skills with members of the public and demonstrate the successful practical training that epitomises the College’s vocational courses.” 

Stratford College will have a stand at the festival in the family area in Rother Market.  As well as interactive demonstrations, staff and students will be on hand to discuss course options and College life with visitors.  The College offers apprenticeships, full-time diplomas and part-time leisure learning, all provided by a highly experienced, knowledgeable team in an industry-standard workshop.

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit www.stratford.ac.uk or call the College on 01789 266245.

START YOUR ENGINES!

04
Apr 2017

DRIVERS, START YOUR ENGINES!   BRAND NEW ROUTES FOR STRATFORD MOTOR FESTIVAL

The stunning sight of hundreds of cars driving out into the countryside will return as a highlight of this year’s Festival of Motoring.  It is free for spectators to come to the festival in Stratford town centre.  There will be two routes for the ‘runs’ from Stratford into picturesque Warwickshire and Gloucestershire countryside on Sunday April 30th and Monday May 1st.

The first route, ‘The Parliamentary Tour, is a petrol-powered treasure hunt-type quest involving a search for clues. The second, ‘The Four Shilling Tour, is based on an old Stratford guide book.

Following the success of last year’s ‘Pub Cricket’ treasure hunt, the ‘Parliamentary Tour’ will again be based on pub signs but you will be looking for something different. ‘The Four Shilling Tour’ is based on part of a 1960s guide book, ‘Shakespeare Country by Car’, which sold for the princely sum of Four Shillings.

Tony Merrygold, from local classic car hire company The Open Road, came up with the new routes for the runs.  “One of my challenges each year with the festival is to produce two routes that everyone will enjoy and find interesting. I was fortunate that one of our 2016 participants suggested the theme for the Parliamentary Tour and then I came across an old guide book on eBay which gave me portions of the second tour.  The Four Shilling Tour includes some very narrow lanes I have never come across before, and two fords for drivers who want a splash with their dash. We are only covering about one third of the route from the book so I guess it really ought to be called the ‘1s 6d Tour’.

Participants of the two-day festival, can choose to take part in one of the morning drives before parking up in town.  There are still spaces left so please enter at www.stratfordfestivalofmotoring.co.uk   There is a charge for entering.

As the cars arrive in town they will drive a Lap of Honour within the festival's streets before parking up to display the very finest in vintage motor heritage for tens of thousands of motor-minded fans from across the country. (This year there is no cavalcade with the cars simultaneously driving around town, due to health & safety concerns.)

Spectators can take part in a free treasure hunt organised by Henley Street’s Magic Alley. Using a special "key", visitors will unlock clues across town to win spectacular prizes. In Rother Street there will be a family area with the ever popular fire engine, go karts, bouncy castle and for the first time, remote control jaguars.

This year’s Stratford Festival of Motoring is sponsored by proudly sponsored by Listers. The Featured Marque is Jaguar, and Wood Street will be filled with cars from the iconic British brand, including Jaguars from the British Motor Museum and Jaguar Heritage Trust.

 

Stratford's Passion for Fashion

29
Mar 2017

STRATFORD SHOWS ITS PASSION FOR FASHION WITH THE TOWN’S FIRST ONLINE FASHION CAMPAIGN

Stratford’s very first online fashion campaign is underway, showcasing the town’s true passion for fashion to thousands of potential new customers.

The campaign, dubbed SS17 Passion for Fashion, will put Stratford on the map as a great destination for shopping with a series of stunning images of models from 14 fashion retailers across the town.

The pictures will form the basis of a social media campaign, introducing the shop staff whose personal touch is one of the unique elements of Stratford’s shopping experience, as well as promoting the diverse range of styles on offer in the town’s array of shops.

The fashionistas from a mixture of independents and high street big names glammed up to strike a pose for the campaign, each providing a sneak peek into their lives that is the trademark friendly approach that makes Stratford stand out from the crowd when it comes to a fantastic shopping experience.

As well as the Facebook campaign, the information will be featured on a whole new section of fashion pages on the Stratforward website that will soon cover every single clothing retailer in the town centre.

Each shop has received their own A2 poster to show off the fruits of their fashion labours.

Joe Baconnet, Director at Stratforward BID, said: “We can’t ignore and we can’t compete with online stores. But what we can do is promote the unique selling point of the Stratford shopping experience - the fantastic customer service and personal touch provided by our wide range of retailers, and this campaign showcases this for all to see.”

Hair was styled by Stratford’s own Matthew Curtis Hair Design and make up by Gorgeous Obsession beauty salon. Studio Stratford photographed them to capture their latest looks.  the only exceptions was the hair for EAST which was buy Tony and Guy, and Debenhams created thier own make up inhouse.  All businesses gave up their time for free to support the campaign.

One retailer to take part was family-run business Charles French Menswear on Sheep Street. Owner John Ricketts said: “A campaign like this helps promote my business and also promote other businesses, helping each business to help each other. If we all work together it’s got to help.”