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June Update

10
Jun 2021

Read our latest updates on Stratford

Whats New?

14
May 2021

Hunt for new leader of Stratforward BID

A change of leadership is is underway at Stratforward as director Joe Baconnet left his role.

Mr Baconnet who was appointed in 2016, announced his departure to BID Members on Friday, saying, the time was right to seek a new challenge".

He said: "With lockdown restrictions finally lifting and after five years at Stratforward, I feel it is the right time to hand the baton over to someone else.
Having the helm of Stratforward during some of the most challenging times ever faced by the high street - firstly because of changing shopping habits and other economic pressures and then latterly due to Covid - it is time for a new challenge.
Stratford town centre is going to be a very different place going forward and Stratfoward is going to be crucial in helping to shape its economic recovery. This will require fresh and innovative ideas from all stakeholders in the town, as well as the business community, so now seems the best time for a change.
I know I am leaving the organisation in safe hands. The Stratforward team is amazing. They know the businesses that they work so hard on behalf of and they understand the town and the needs, not just of the businesses, but also the local residents and visitors that use the town on a daily basis.
I will be sad to leave Stratford but I believe it is the right thing for the company, the town and for me. The Stratforward board has been very accommodating in this and will be working alongside British BIDs to ensure continuity of service until a new executive director is in post."

In a message to businesses, Mr Baconnet added "I wish every one of you the very best of luck for the coming weeks and months as you face the challenges of rebuilding after the traumas of the last year. Remember you are strong, you are resilient and you are not alone."

Stratforward BID will now begin the process of appointing a new director

May Update

13
May 2021

Read the May newsletter which contains information on.....

Shakespeare's School reopens for the Summer

06
May 2021

Whilst most kids went back to school in March,

popular attraction, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, will reopen in June

One of the world’s most influential locations in the story of William Shakespeare’s life will give a warm welcome to visitors from Monday 28 June 2021 - another great sign

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall is renowned for being where the world’s greatest playwright attended school, but it also played an influential role in the life of his father and William’s own writing, all of which is revealed as part of the visitor experience.

Located in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall has been central to the fabric of town life for over 600 years.  It still operates for part of its life today as a school, but since its restoration in 2016 has also been welcoming visitors from across the globe to discover its fascination for themselves.  Standing in the very space where William Shakespeare went to school is a unique, spine tingling experience, as is the thought of the legacy that he would go on to create from this humble setting.

This will also be the first time that people have been able to visit Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall since the publication of All the Sonnets of Shakespeare edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells. In the book Shakespeare’s works are presented in chronological order and with this the distinct possibility that sonnets 153 and 154 were written whilst William was at school.  It was also a setting that was to prove inspirational to his plays, with Master Thomas Jenkins said to be represented by the character of Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor, mocked in the drama by a student called William.  These are just some of the stories to be discovered in the immersive and authentic atmosphere of this medieval building, now known as Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.

Lindsey Armstrong, General Manager of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, says, 

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors once again to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.  This has always been a building that has brought people together and there is no better way of stepping back through the chapters of history to discover the Stratford-upon-Avon of Tudor times.  Our team of guides are here to help bring alive enthralling stories, that alsoinclude Theatre at the Guildhall and the Court of Record, as well as revealing the rare medieval painting that was discovered during the building’s restoration.”

Tickets to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall go on sale from Monday 10 May 2021 and are priced at adult £10; concession £8; child (5-16) £6.50; family (2 adults and 2 children) £27; additional child with family ticket £4.50; under 5s free.  Included in the price is an interactive lesson in the Tudor schoolroom where William Shakespeare was taught.

Book your tickets at shakespearesschoolroom.org

Thank you to Warwickshire Whats On

Stratford Literary Festival 2021

04
May 2021

Events are gradually returning and its not long to Stratford Literary Festival which runs from 8th to 22nd May. Yes!

Watch out for these Stratford Literary Festival stickers popping up around town at bookshops.

Largely taking place online but there are in-person workshops and events.  There’s a huge range of events and this year there's a £30 season pass that is ridiculously good value.

There is some exceptional children’s entertainment including the Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, the creator of the much loved , ‘How to Train Your Dragon’! 🐉

To see what is on offer go to Stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk

Follow them at @stratfordlitfest 

Great coverage in the Stratford Herald as ever. It was included this week as their number one in  'Things to do' - book now.

#stratforduponavon #stratfordliteraryfestival #lovestratforduponavon 

   

Bookings now open to visit Shakespeares Birthplace

29
Apr 2021

Book NOW to Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace

At last the booking system is open!

Book by clicking on the link with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  Prebooking is essential.

On Monday 17 May Shakespeare's Birthplace will once again be open to the public, with Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's New Place to reopen a month later on Monday 14 June.  Explore the fascinating stories behind Shakespeare the boy, husband, family man and businessman right where it all began in Stratford-upon-Avon.

15% off their online shop

'Shakespeare's Birthplace Shop on Henley Street is now open, 7 days a week, 10am-4pm, we'd love to see you. If you are unable to visit us in Stratford-upon-Avon, you can still shop with us online. Here's a 15% discount code to say thank you for your continued support. Use HELLO15 at checkout. '

 

'To keep our visitors and staff safe we will be reopening at a reduced capacity. We have introduced a timed ticket system and all tickets will need to be booked in advance.' SBT

 

Kindness Rocks

25
Apr 2021

Can you spot the lovely kindness rocks hidden in shop windows in town?

The love flows on with rocks with  kind messages, hidden in shop windows in town, though the RSC's Kindness Shop in Bell Court's is no longer open.

Check out the photos to see the rocks and pick up a few clues on their locations.  Let us know where you spot them. 😃  And if you need a clue or two just say!

There are 11 rocks to find in total.  

The Kindness Shop was sponsored by Bell Court and Stratford Town Trust.   See their brilliant window display in Bell Court, near Lush, until the end of May.

‘ART WARMING - by the RSC - Creativity and Kindness will get us through this

Join us as we collect stories of kindness and generosity with our local community. We want to remember all the little things that have seen us through a difficult year, and to turn this into a joyful artistic celebration in Stratford town centre. So come and visit artist Saadia Hipkiss, who will transform your message of hope and love into beautifully painted rocks to feature in our Kindness Shop.’

#stratforduponavon #kindnessrocks #kindnessrocksstratford #kindnessrocksproject #whatsonwarwickshire #lovestratforduponavon #thekindnessshop #shakespearesbirthday 

     

    

      

     

   

    

 

Open! Come on in!

12
Apr 2021

Open for business! Please come on in and enjoy shopping and hospitality outdoors.

There is a relaxed buoyant atmosphere as people gradually return to town.  All venues are carefully reopening using social distancing measures so we all can feel safe.

Wonderful to see many familiar faces - you've been missed so much. Do Tag us in with #lovestratforduponavon for a share

#shoplocal #lovelocal #lovestratforduponavon

          

Friday Feeling - Updates

09
Apr 2021

Friday Updates - And we are on the up! 

 

Shops, indoor hospitality, indoor leisure and personal care will begin to open from Monday! YES!

And YES this will be the last Friday without the pub!

 
Most of these businesses in Stratford will be open on Monday and welcoming you back with open arms.  For a list of opening dates click here
 
Many cafes and restaurants are offering food and drinks in an outdoor setting from Monday and plan to re-open fully from 17 May when indoor activities are once more allowed.  Many cafes will create a picnic hamper if you'd like an amazing picnic with fresh local ingredients. 
 
Many measures are still in place to help you feel safe. This includes the widening of pavement on Bridge Sstreet and the reintroduced, timed closure of High Street, which has created space for queuing and walking at leisure whilst maintaining social distancing. No one way traffic scheme this time though.
Shops are limiting the people allowed inside, protective screens are still in place on counters, hand sanitisers and floor markers are all still in place.  Businesses have taken great care to create a safe place for you to shop.
 
The historic markets are also back, trading on Fridays and Saturdays on Rother Market, and on Sundays on Waterside. 
 

The Arts are Restarting

 
The RSC introduce Art Warming on Bancroft Gardens 10th - 24th April and in the Kindness Shop in Bell Court 12th - 24th April.
Join the RSC as they collect stories of kindness and generosity with our local community. They want to remember all the little things that have seen us through a difficult year, and to turn this into a joyful artistic celebration in Stratford town centre. So go and visit artist Saadia Hipkiss, who will transform your message of hope and love into beautifully painted rocks to feature in the RSC Kindness Shop in Bell Court.
 
RSC Tickets for the Christmas production of The Magician's Elephant are also now on sale.
 
Stratford Playhouse have live performances restarting including Chicken Licken & His Friends 13th to 18th April. This is a live, interactive show with puppets, music and lots of laughter. AT the Play House Courtyard - limited capacity and socially distanced. Running time 20 mins approx
 
We will update you on other live events in Stratford as we get the details.
 

Car Parking 

New parking charges are now in place and the Bridgefoot car park is cashless.
As ever you get one free hour of free parking at the Bridgefoot car park - spread the word!
 

Keep in the know!

Do keep in touch with us by following us on Instagram and Facebook. This is where you will find our most recent information and photos of Stratford. 
https://www.instagram.com/stratforward
https://www.facebook.com/Stratforward
#supportstratford #shopstratford #lovestratforduponavon #lovelocal @stratforward
 

Official Covid Advice

From April 12th, Step 2 of the Government's roadmap will begin. 
 
This means
Non-essential shops will open, including hairdressers and nail salons, libraries and community centres, zoos and theme parks, drive-in cinemas, campsites and holiday cottages.
Indoor gyms will open, but you have to go on your own or with people in your household.
Restaurants, cafés and pubs will be able to serve people sitting at a table outside. You should keep to your household group or bubble.
You can have up to 30 people at a funeral and up to 15 people at a wedding, or an event to remember someone.
The ‘rule of 6’ or two households remains and you must continue to meet outside.
You should still keep 2 metres away from people.
Stay safe - car sharing 
 
You must not share a car with someone outside your household or bubble unless it is essential. If you do car share remember to follow the latest guidance and: 
Keep windows open for ventilation
Maximise distance between people in the car
Wear a face covering
Clean the car between journeys
 
 
Testing
It is advised that you get tested twice a week  
If you’re working or spending time with people outside your household, book a regular community test here www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidtesting  
Testing gives you peace of mind and protects vulnerable relatives, and means you don't unwittingly pass on the virus to the staff of the businesses you visit.
To get your regular rapid tests, visit gov.uk/coronavirus
 
Stay safe and we all look forward to the next major step out of lockdown on May 17th!
 
Photo from The RSC 
 

Duke of Edinburgh

09
Apr 2021

We are deeply saddened at news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with the Royal family at this time.  On behalf of the Board, the members and staff of Stratforward BID.

Photo courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Taken when Prince Philip attended celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1964 to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth