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Stratford Festival of Motoring has topped 250 entries!

Mar 2015

Stratford Festival of Motoring is a two day free event based in Stratford on Avon town centre on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th of the May Bank Holiday weekend.

There will be a fabulous array of vintage and high performance cars on display. So far there are over 250 cars of character entered! There is limited space for more to register for this fun event which includes a morning treasure hunt or tour around beautiful Cotswold countryside.

All entries will receive a full entry pack containing their souvenir run plate, route book etc by post about 2 weeks before the Festival. Click here to register your car's entry.

The two runs will start from the Leisure Centre car park from 08:00 on both the Sunday and Monday with the last cars leaving around 09:45. Each day half of the cars will head off over the Clopton Bridge into the Cotswolds and the other half will head off towards Alcester and on to Chateau Impney to see the plans for the hill climb. The runs will take between 90 minutes and two hours depending on the speed of the cars and traffic conditions, so cars will start to return to Stratford from around 09:30. The cars will then complete a lap of honour of part of the town centre before parking up for the rest of the day.

Participants can enter online for both days, or for just the Sunday or Monday and entries are coming in fast. Four trophies will be awarded on the Monday afternoon for: Furthest Travelled; Treasure Hunt Winner; The Mayor’s Choice and the Stratforward Trophy.

Contributing towards the free fun family friendly atmosphere will be live music, street entertainers and themed entertainment. Many town centre roads will be closed so it will be a relaxed atmosphere. Come and enjoy the fun!

Local Vicar wins Photography Competition

Jan 2015
Local Vicar wins Photography Competition

Stratforward's Photography competition judges were unanimous in their selection of, ‘Christmas Extravaganza,’ as the winning entry by Reverend Andrew Dow of Stratford.  The theme was, ’Stratford is Christmas-upon-Avon’ and Andrew’s supporting text described his photo as, “Stratford explodes in a maelstrom of festive light, colour and crowds!”  

The competition was run to encourage people to capture the magic and beauty of Stratford upon Avon at Christmas time.  Many entries were of Stratford’s stunning Christmas lights.  This spectacular image will be included in future campaigns to promote Stratford over Christmas.

Andrew has won a day’s photography training tailored to him by Studio Stratford, a 20 by 30” canvas print by Photo Zone of Stratford and a Bose Speaker from Curry’s Digital!    Andrew is absolutely over the moon and can’t believe it!  He is a retired vicar living in Stratford and is on the ministry team at Holy Trinity Church in an honorary capacity.

The judging panel was headed by the Stratford Herald’s photographer Mark Williamson along with Town Centre photographic retailers including Studio Stratford of the Minories and Photo Zone of Red Lion Court.  The Instagram category was won by Jess Hawley.   Stratforward BID hosted the competition,  “Many congratulations to both winners, and huge thanks to everyone who entered.”

Christmas Upon Avon

Nov 2014
Christmas Upon Avon

Christmas upon Avon Signpost!!!

For all information about Christmas events in Stratford please go to the Chrismas upon Avon web site or

From this Stratforward site, you can click on Whats On, and then select Christmas upon Avon.

There are details of whats on in town, free events, competitions and more.

Also go to the Christmas upon Avon facebook page!  

Like us to be the first to receive updates on whats on in Stratford!

Christmas Photography Competition

Nov 2014

Christmas Upon Avon Photography Competition

Get creative and capture Stratford this Christmas.  

Competition Theme:  Stratford is Christmas Upon Avon!   Stratford is such a beautiful town and at Christmas it really sparkles. Can you capture this?

There are two categories to enter:  

  1. Instagram - post your images on Instagram and tag #ChristmasUponAvon and #Stratford 
  2. High Resolution - email your image to with a completed entry form

Prizes include:

  • Studio Stratford Photography Training Day - this is an exclusive, one off service for the winner of this competition and will be designed to suit the winner's knowledge,
  • 20" by 30" Photozone canvas print of your choice worth £69.99, 
  • Bose soundlink mini bluetooth speaker (Retail price £159) from Currys Digital 
  • a trophy!

The competion will be judged by Mark Willamson of the Herald newspaper, Photozone of Red Lion Court and Currys Digital of High Street. Mark said, "We'll be looking for imaginative angles, strong composition and images that encapsulate whats unique about Stratford at Christmas."

Deadline: midday on 19th December 2014

Can you capture what makes Stratford so special?  We'd love to see your entries.  Tell friends and family too!

Credit: You will be credited if your images are used to help promote Stratford at Christmas next year. 

Click to download the entry form


Terms and Conditions apply 

By taking part in the Christmas Upon Avon Photography Competition, you agree to the following Terms & Conditions:

1. By entering, entrants will be deemed to have agreed to be bound by these rules. Stratforward Ltd reserves the right to exclude any entry from the competition at any time if Stratforward BID Ltd has reason to believe that an entrant has breached any of the foregoing rules and conditions.

2. All high resolution photographs must be emailed to with a completed entry form.  (300dpi please.)  To make an Instagram entry, post an image on Instagram with the tags #Stratford and #ChristmasUponAvon.  Uploading a photo and adding the hashtags shall constitute acceptance of these terms and conditions.

3. Each entrant may submit up to three images and accompanying text in both the High Resolution category and Instagram.  Entries will be retained by Stratforward.  

4. Competition prizes are on . Stratforward BID Ltd reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value.

5. The closing date is midday on Friday 19th December 2014.

6. The competition is open to amateur or student photographers.

7. All prizes must be claimed and booked by the prize winner within 12 months from the date of our initial correspondence with them. 

8. Although this competition is open to entrants from outside the United Kingdom, persons may not enter if they are resident in a country or area of jurisdiction where the competition is in breach of applicable law or regulation.

9. Stratforward Ltd reserves the right to cancel or change this competition or alter any of the rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.

10.  Employees of Stratforward BID Ltd, their immediate families or anyone else associated with the competition are not eligible to enter.

11. In the event of a technical problem or evidence of impropriety with regard to the submission the judges shall have the final and binding decision and no correspondence will be entered into.

12. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe the rights of any other party. The entrants must be the sole owner of copyright in all photographs and text entered and must have obtained permission of any people featured in the entries or their parents/guardians if children under 16 are featured. Further, entrants must not have breached any laws when taking or submitting their photographs.

13. Prior to submission, entrants must not have offered any of their entries for sale, been paid for any publication of any of their entries or won or been a runner up in any other photographic competition with any of their entries.

14. Entrants will retain copyright of the photographs and text that they submit to the competition.  By entering the competition all entrants grant Stratforward BID Ltd and its licensees the worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual right to store, use, copy, display, publish, transmit, edit, modify, reformat and exhibit all or any part of their photographs and text within Stratforward & websites, publications and all other forms of media (electronic or otherwise).  No fees will be payable for any of the above uses.  

15. Stratforward is not responsible for late, illegible, incomplete, defaced, corrupt, lost or delayed entries, network, internet connection, computer hardware or software failures or errors of any kind. Proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties. Stratforward regrets that it is unable to accept postal entries.

16. Winners will be announced on and  and informed by phone and email by January 6th. Prizes are non-transferable and no cash equivalent will be given. If the winners are unable to be contacted after reasonable attempts have been made Stratforward BID Ltd reserves the right to either offer the prize to a runner-up, or to re-offer the prize in any future competition.

17. The real name and town of residence of entrants may be published in relation to the applicable competition. Entrants who are one of the finalists also agree to take part in post competition publicity.

Christmas Window Competition

Nov 2014
Christmas Window Competition

Deck the Shops with boughs of holly,  Tis the season to be jolly”

Stratford Christmas Upon Avon Window Competition!

Free to enter to all businesses in Stratford Town Centre – shops, banks, estate agents, insurers etc.  The competition theme is Stratford is Christmas upon Avon!  There are two categories: Independent and National. 

Judging will be based on each display’s: 1) Overall impact. 2) Traditional style. 2) Effort involved.

You could be the lucky winner with a trophy, certificate & publicity, or a runner up!  Prizes at stake!

Enter by 30th November 2014

Judging will take place mid-December


 Winners will be notified and announced on Friday 19th December on Stratford’s Christmas website,,


Job Vacancy for a Stratford Town Host

Oct 2014

Do you have what it takes to be an ambassador for Stratford as a Town Host?  The role involves patrolling Stratford Town Centre and supporting visitors and businesses!

Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) is recruiting for a full time position of Town Host.  Who do you know would suit this role?

  • Working for Stratford BID, the Town Hosts are year round ambassadors for Stratford Town Centre and BID members.
  • You will be a friendly customer service professional and be able to demonstrate excellent communication and listening skills.
  • A comprehensive knowledge of and passion for Stratford-upon-Avon is essential.
  • Must be prepared to work weekends.

Please apply with your CV and a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to:

Any questions please email or call 01789 268 291.

You can download a copy of the Job Description here.

Entries to be in by November Friday 7th November.  

River Festival 2014 matches last year's record-breaking success

Jul 2014

Organisers of the sixth annual Stratford River Festival are lowering the sails after another successful event which matched last year’s record breaking success. 

The River Festival 2014 took place on Saturday and Sunday, 5th and 6th July and once again attracted around 50,000 people from across the Midlands.

One couple from Derbyshire was visiting the festival for the third time and spent the morning shopping in town, before enjoying the wide range of entertainment and stalls on offer at the Recreation Ground.

Ruth Wood, events manager at Stratforward, said: “The festival went really well and was, once again, extremely well attended. We definitely matched last year’s record-breaking visitor numbers, while some traders have reported their most successful sales weekend ever.

“Despite reports to the contrary, the bad weather held off and visitors were able to enjoy everything the River Festival had to offer to its full effect. We would like to thank all the volunteers and organisations that helped us to make the festival such a success.”   

The festival welcomed back a host of popular favourites, such as the Craft Village, in which 22 local traders take centre stage selling their finest wares, a line-up of world-class bands and live performers, entertainment and a wide range of food and drink stalls.

Visitors could also be in with a chance of winning some great prizes from 20 town centre businesses in this year’s Treasure Trail.

The first day of the festival was rounded off by another awe-inspiring firework display by the returning Forest Fireworks on Saturday night.

For more information about Stratforward BID and upcoming news and events, visit   

Less than a week to go until 6th Stratford River Festival

Jun 2014

Organisers are counting down the days to the 6th annual Stratford River Festival on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July. 

This year’s festival, which is once again organised by Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID), is hoping to recreate the record-breaking success of last year, attracting nearly 50,000 people from across the Midlands.

A host of popular favourites return to the event, such as the Craft Village, in which 22 local traders take centre stage selling their finest wares, a line-up of world-class bands and live performers, entertainment and a wide range of food and drink stalls.

Also making a triumphant return to the festival this year is the awe-inspiring firework display by Forest Fireworks on Saturday night.

Visitors could also be in with a chance of winning some great prizes from 20 town centre businesses in this year’s Treasure Trail.

For more information about the Stratford River Festival, visit  

Stratforward welcomes new BID manager

Jun 2014

The new manager of Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) has been announced.

Karen Wild joined Stratforward on Monday, 2nd June at the start of the BID’s second, five-year term and will take responsibility for delivering the plans voted for by businesses last September.

Having previously worked with local authorities in Colchester and Bolton, where she established a scheme offering similar services to a BID, Karen advised city centre initiatives in London, Belfast and Carlisle.

She also worked with retailers in the fashion industry for 13 years, developing a clear understanding of what businesses want and need to be happening and how best to deliver it.

Karen said her first priority will be to meet with members and work with them to find out how they would like to see the BID 2 projects delivered.

She will also meet with the heads of services, including Stratford District and Town Councils.

Karen said: “Top of my list is to get up to speed, find out where things currently stand and engage with businesses.

“I’m excited to really get to grips with the BID 2 projects and establish the best and most efficient way in which to deliver these in partnership with our member businesses.

“I’ve met a couple of independents so far and had a fantastic response. They’ve been very, very supportive and I’m looking forward to working closely with all of our members over the next five years.”

Maria Warters, chairman of the BID, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Karen into the role of BID manager.

“Her experience in town centre management, working with the private sector and running her own business, can only mean great things for the delivery of our exciting plans, hugely benefitting our members businesses in growing trade for the town as a whole.”

For more information about Stratforward, visit, email or call 01789 292718.

Town Trust brings stories of Stratford-upon-Avon back to life

May 2014

The memories and experiences of some of Stratford’s most recognisable residents and unsung heroes, with a combined life in the town of more than 600 years, will be made public for the first time during this year’s Stratford-upon-Avon Arts Festival.

Created from recorded interviews and conversations with people from different social backgrounds, present situations and future possibilities, the collection forms the Stratford Listening Project, which aims to create a reminiscence soundscape of society, business and culture in the town from 1940 to the present day.

Funded by the Stratford Town Trust and in keeping with its aim to bring the community together, the stories were shared by Escape Community Arts with school pupils, community groups and arts organisations, who have used them as inspiration to create visual representations of the stories they have heard.

During the Stratford-upon-Avon Arts Festival, which runs from 22nd May to 1st June, the Stratford Listening Project will be made public for the first time as the recordings are posted online and an exhibition of these visual representations is held in Town Square.

Ian Parkes, the project’s director and organiser of the Stratford-upon-Avon Arts Festival said that while the project is now being made public, its current form is just the beginning and can be easily added too.

He said: “The legacy of the Stratford Listening Project is simply that. Listen to the stories of the people around you and capture them before they are lost.

“The project has already connected people from many different backgrounds and varying ages and has the ability to continue to do so for many years to come. We have a history and story to be proud of in Stratford and this must be recorded and archived for generations to come.

“We are very grateful to the Town Trust for funding this amazing project and the artists and students who were inspired to create the accompanying artwork based on these fascinating stories. Without the Town Trusts’ support of incredible projects such as this, they simply wouldn't be possible.”

The Stratford Listening Project exhibition will run from 24th May to 1st June, and will be accompanied by several related events during the festival, including Songs from the Listening Project,  ‘Make Do and Mend’ Toy Making Workshop and ‘Recreate the High Street’ Model Making Workshop.

For full details on these events, and a full line-up of the Stratford-upon-Avon Arts Festival, visit