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May 2019

Despite the leaden grey skies, the seventh annual Stratford Festival of Motoring attracted an amazingly eclectic mix of motors this Bank Holiday weekend, and thousands of visitors flocked in from across the country.

Cooler weather didn’t chill visitor’s enthusiasm for the motoring madness that arrived in the Bard’s town for the popular two-day event with more than 300 cars on show throughout the town’s historic streets.  Car lovers from across the country joined in organised runs through the surrounding countryside, arriving town before parking up for a day of shopping and eating with like-minded people.

Car dealerships featured again this year, with Rybrook BMW & Mini, Inchcape Mercedes, and Westway Nissan bringing some spectacular cars. Westway Nissan also brought two serving members of The Red Devils!

Joe Baconnet, BID Director at Stratforward BID - which organises the festival - said: “The weather was a little fresh, not like 2018’s scorcher, but it was dry and the town was busy. We’ve had good feedback from our businesses so far and the visitors we talked to were very positive. The whole aim of the motor festival is to lay on something a bit different and showcase Stratford’s businesses 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.”

Over 300 vehicles from old to new were on display including a brace of 1928 ‘Blower Bentleys’ (what Bugatti once called the fastest lorries in the world!) to rare 1960s and 1970s cars and up to the minute performance vehicles including GTRs, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins. As the centrepiece and in celebration of its 60th birthday, Minis were shown on ‘Issigonis Alley’, known locally as Bridge Street! There were showpiece cars too from the British Motor Museum, Coventry Transport Museum, Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and the Military Vehicle Trust at Cox’s Yard. AllMods Car Club displayed for the first time at the Festival and created a buzz on Union Street, attracting huge crowds.

Local businesses also got involved with many arranging for cars to come to the event, and entertainment company, CEX, ran a competition. Festival Patron and local celebrity, the motor commentator, Quentin Wilson, presented trophies including one for the best dressed in the style of their car’s nationality – the winner was the ‘Italians’, from Warwick!

Provisional dates for next year are Sunday, 3rd May and Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2020.


Free Live Music in Stratford over the Bank Holiday Weekend at the Festival of Motoring

May 2019

Free live music in town on Sunday and Monday for Stratford Festival of Motoring 2019!

The Hansel Brothers, our festival band with a huge local following, will perform from 11 am to 4 pm, at the top of Bridge Street - near WH Smith. Plenty of rock, folk, blues and traditional rock and roll!

Talented local performers will also perform at Bell Court Stratford under the balcony of Everyman Cinema Stratford upon Avon See the fantastic line up here.

The Hansel Brothers on Bridge Street


May 2019


The hugely popular Festival of Motoring returns for its seventh year on Sunday, May 5th and Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th to Stratford town centre. The event is loved by visitors and petrol heads alike as it’s a spectacular mix of classics, supercars and modern day motors. 

Owners are being encouraged to dress in the national costume of the manufacturer of their car, so watch out for lederhosen wearing Mercedes owners, or 10 gallon hat wearing Cadillac owners!

Event participants take part in tours through our surrounding countryside before parking up in the town centre where visitors will be able to feast their eyes on more than 300 vehicles. There is also the annual prize-giving, with awards going to entrants for their fancy dress.

Outstanding showpiece cars will be on show from the British Motor Museum (BMM), Coventry Transport Museum, Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust plus the Military Vehicle Trust at Cox’s Yard. There will be demonstrations, food, drink and live music and family-friendly entertainment, all set against the backdrop of Stratford’s many attractions, shops, bars and restaurants. Live music will add to the relaxed bank holiday atmosphere, in both Bell Court and Bridge Street.

There are competitions galore, including CEX which has an Xbox One S up for grabs on the weekend. Visitors can enter the Festival’s photo competition on social media with great prizes including tickets for the MAD Museum and Butterfly Farm. To enter tag in Stratford Festival of Motoring and the festival organiser Stratforward. BMM are organising a guess the number of ‘Minis in a jar’ with prizes including a family ticket to the museum.

Children’s activities include a free Car Treasure Hunt at Bell Court, go karts & bouncy castle and adults are not left out either with the Spark Plug Challenge by Stratford Tyres all in Rother Market. 

Joe Baconnet, BID Director, at Stratforward, said: “We run the event to bring people to Stratford to discover what we have as a town. All our attendees enjoy coming because we’ve got great shopping, great eating and it’s a beautiful place to spend time.” He continued, “As a BID member funded organisation, we encourage all our BID members to try and take part in some way and this year, we have a record number of BID businesses bringing cars to display.”


   Military  Vehicle Trust at Coxs Yard

Stratford Businesses Encouraged To Talk Rubbish To Save Money

Apr 2019

Businesses in Stratford are being encouraged to check their waste management contracts to see if they can save money under a new commercial waste deal brokered by the local Business Improvement District (BID) team.

Stratforward BID and Coventry-based waste management provider Waste Solutions have teamed up to deliver the new scheme, which gives over 400 BID member businesses in the town exclusive prices for a new complete waste management service.

It is hoped the deal will not only save money for businesses but also help improve the local street environment by offering a twice-daily seven-day-a-week collection service.

The new initiative - the latest in a series of efforts by Stratforward to save its members money - was exclusively previewed at the official launch of BID 3 last week (3 April).

Formally announcing the new service today (April 11th), Stratforward Director Joe Baconnet said: “Everyone knows we are in unprecedented trading times. Doing business on the High Street is tough, so every penny we can save our members helps.

"Waste collection may not be glamorous or an outwardly obvious cost to a business but it is vital to every business and far more expensive than you would think.

"We went out to the market on behalf of the businesses in Stratford and Waste Solutions came back with by far the most competitive prices."

He added: "But it is not just about the money. When you live and work in a place as beautiful and famous as Stratford, with tens of thousands of visitors a year, it is vital that the town looks its best all the time. Many of our businesses struggle to get the waste management service they need and this often results in unsightly rubbish on our streets. By working more closely with a preferred service provider across the town we hope this problem will be reduced."

Businesses will be able to take advantage of services including the collection of general waste and recycling as well as several specialist services including clinical and hazardous waste or confidential paper collections and skip provision.

Charlotte Todd, Head of Commercial Waste for Waste Solutions, the commercial waste arm of Coventry City Council’s waste services team, said: “We are delighted to be the official waste partner to Stratforward BID. We want to help save businesses money whilst providing them with a safe and reliable service. We’re looking forward to working with BID members.

“We don’t view ourselves as a contractor but as a partner, so we will discuss waste needs with a business before they sign any contracts.

“We offer a range of services suitable for any size of business at competitive prices and encourage all businesses to get in touch to see how we can help.”  

Businesses can contact Waste Solutions direct on 02476 832255 or contact the BID office on 01789 292718 and they will arrange for a visit from Waste Solutions’ expert team.

Learn How the New BID Term will Benefit You!

Mar 2019

The new five-year Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) programme officially launches in Stratford in early April.

Stratford businesses convincingly voted to renew the area’s status as a BID for a third term last September. 

BID businesses are cordially invited to the launch of BID3 at the next BID networking meeting on  April 3rd. It will take place at The Shakespeare Hotel, Chapel Street from 6 pm until 7 pm.
The meeting will mark the start of the third term of the BID which runs from April 1st 2019 to 31st March 2024.
See an outline of the proposed work of BID3 and forthcoming events including; English Tourism Week, Shakespeare Celebrations, The Stratford Festival of Motoring, Stratford River Festival; Stratford Town Centre Food Festival.

Enjoy a drink, chat with other BID members, BID board members, staff, and colleagues.
RSVP to please, so we can cater appropriately.

Joseph Baconnet | BID Director

Stratforward Business Improvement District T: 01789 292718 M: 07468591946

Applications Open for Stalls at Stratford Town Centre Food Festival!

Mar 2019

Would you like a stall at Stratford's Biggest and Best Food Festival? 

Stratford Town Centre Food Festival will take place on September 21 & 22

Organised by Stratforward and Cotswold Markets, as per 2017 & 2018.


The historic town centre of Stratford upon Avon: Bridge Street, Henley Street, High Street, Meer Street & Wood Street.

What to sell? 

This year there will still be limited hot food catering with more emphasis on the food and drink products available in and around the area.

How to apply?

Click on this link for more information and the application form.


Contact Cotswold Markets on or call 01608 652 662

Festival hours?

Saturday, September 21st from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm and Sunday, September 22nd from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm.


Promote your business around Stratford!

Feb 2019

Great Value Advertising in the Popular Stratford Festival Brochures

Book now to advertise to 20,000 households within 20 miles, in the quality Stratford Festival of Motoring brochure, for as little as £125******************************

Deadline: book now to reserve your space.  Artwork deadline March 15th. 

Will also be promoted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our website. 

You could be included in four brochures produced for our festivals and Christmas.  The more brochures you book, the greater your discount!




Feb 2019

A long-running supporter of the Stratford Festival of Motoring is set to be the face of this year’s event - despite not being able to make it to the festival for the first time since it started.

Festival fan Graham Smith, from Stratford, won the ‘dress the age of your car’s manufacture’ competition with his unique 1954 MG TF ‘Twin Cam’.

The seventh Stratford Festival of Motoring takes place on Sunday, May 5th and Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th, bringing thousands of petrolheads to the town for a showcase of vehicles past and present.

Motoring enthusiasts can take part in tours through Stratford’s surrounding countryside before completing a lap of honour in the town then parking up to show off their pride and joy.

The festival sees more than 300 vehicles lined up on Stratford’s streets, along with interactive demonstrations, food, drink and live music and entertainment to suit visitors of all ages.

Festival organiser Stratforward BID this year held a contest to find the face of the 2019 event, asking people to send in pictures of their car with them dressed in the appropriate fashion for the year of its manufacture.

Graham, 71, who has attended the festival each year, submitted pictures of his pride and joy, an MG TF ‘Twin Cam’ built in Abingdon on March 30, 1954, which he has owned since 2012, complete with him dressed appropriately.

One of around 10,000 of its type produced between 1953 and 1955, the MG TF was a stop-gap model based on the previous ‘square rigger’ TD.

Considered by many to be the prettiest of the MG ‘T’ series, it spent just two years in production before it was superseded by the MGA.

Graham’s TF, which is possibly unique and has been dubbed ‘MG TG’ by fellow enthusiasts, was ‘period’ updated in the 1970s with the fitting of an MGA 1600 Twin Cam engine and MGB running gear.

Graham said: “We’ve been to the festival every year and I’m a big fan of it, so thought it would be a bit of fun to enter and I’m thrilled to have won. I actually can’t attend the festival this year, so it’s nice to know we’ll be there in some form, as the ‘face’ of the festival.

“The festival is a great event, the whole mixture of vehicles across all ages, it’s a really exciting event that makes Stratford tingle. Everybody walks around and mingles, looking at the cars and chatting about their history.”

Graham has been a classic car enthusiast for years, owning sports cars at university and before his children were born.

“We didn’t have anything quite as fun after the children came, but now I’ve gone back to whizzy cars,” he added. “This is the second MG I’ve owned - the first I had from 2003 to 2013 and I got this one in 2012. I’m delighted to be able to show it off and look forward to seeing the festival posters.”

Ruth Wood, Events Manager at Stratforward BID, which represents around 420 businesses in Stratford Town Centre, said: “A huge congratulations to Graham for winning the competition. It’s wonderful to have such a longstanding supporter of the event as the face of the festival. It’s a shame Graham can’t attend this year, but his prize of a free entry pass to the festival will be deferred to next year and we look forward to seeing him then.

“The Stratford Festival of Motoring is always incredibly popular and it’s a great way of bringing in people to the town centre. Visitors range from car enthusiasts to families on a day out or people looking for something fun to do on Bank Holiday Monday. They may come for the festival but we know that plenty of people take advantage of being in Stratford to pop in to many of the businesses, whether to shop, check out their motor festival-related activities, offers or displays, or have something to eat or drink.”

Help needed! To find the face and car of Stratford Festival of Motoring 2019

Dec 2018

Will you be the face and car of the Stratford Festival of Motoring 2019?!

Or do you know someone who dresses in the style of their car?

Take part in the photoshoot in February in Stratford and you could be on the many posters and brochures used to promote the festival. 

Ask them to get in touch ASAP on Facebook Twitter, or email over the next week.  Many many thanks!

Stratford Festival of Motoring is May 5th and 6th 2019



#stratfordmotorfestival #stratforduponavon #freetospectatefestival

Motor Festival 2019 Tickets on Sale NOW!

Nov 2018

Book tickets NOW to bring your car to Stratford Festival of Motoring!

The ever-popular Stratford Festival of Motoring has just released tickets to bring your car to the festival. Take part in the runs around stunning local countryside and then park up in town for all to admire on the Bank Holiday Weekend -Sunday 5th May and Bank Holiday Monday 6th.

Click here for more info...  

Tickets make an excellent Christmas present!?

Winning Photo of the Specsavers Stratford Festival of Motoring Photo Competition 2018 (adults category)

David Edmund Jones

#StratfordUponAvon #motorfestival