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Thread: Why is "world-class Stratford-upon-Avon" such a dump?

  1. #1
    New Member JohnnyG's Avatar
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    Default Why is "world-class Stratford-upon-Avon" such a dump?

    So bestselling author Germaine Greer raised the question in yesterdays Guardian. Why is "world-class Stratford-upon-Avon" such a dump? Is she correct, and if so what should be done about it?

    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/comment/s...ticle_continue

  2. #2

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    Youch, a little on the harsh side. It misses out some of the good points we have, like the free gardens that are really very nice, and erm other stuff. I thought this quote summed up the attitude of Stratford & Tourist (and locals for that matter) nicely, "grab their money and get rid of them".

    I've moaned about this before. But for once it would be nice to think some of that tax money we paid (That is way above inflation), went on thing other than. A) More stuff for tourists and visitors. B) More stuff to make even more money out of us/tourists.

    Stratford is going downhill, we are getting more and more housing every day and no more shops. We badly need new and cheaper retail space, but what do we get instead? A new office block that looks like a prison, a new and very expensive Bridge that nobody wants, and considerations for a new civic hall which nobody asked for, on land which would be perfect for more shops and as a bus/rail exchange.
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    Terribly Nice Abbie's Avatar
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    I'd say it's very harsh, Stratford certainly isn't a dump. But it does lack severely in facilities of every kind, and the whole town philosophy seems to be so far behind in every way.

    Look at how prosperous and modern Leamington Spa is becoming! OK it still has some bad areas, but the main town is an absolute joy to go shopping in, eat in, and drink as well! Stratford just pales by comparison.

    It's a shame when our town has got so much potential to be more.
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  4. #4
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    she has been wrong in extremis on a number of issues a number of times. dont get me wrong, im not saying she is always wrong but i wouldn't take her word for anything

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    Terribly Nice Abbie's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums BTW JonnyG!
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    The Stratford Strumpet ronlyre's Avatar
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    Default World Class Stratford - Too Late...

    To cut a long story short...Stratfordfordians don't feel that they belong. For many years now there's been a 'us and them' situation, leading to no particular sense of community. A feeling that's been fostered by a town council that are unrepresentative and uncaring about the people that live here, both young and old. There has never been any attempt as far as I can remember to bring townsfolk together in show of community spirit. Any major events planned always carry an element of business and therefore profit, or are to do with bringing outsiders (tourists, theatre-goers etc) in.
    Prof Greer is right about many things concerning Stratford, what she can't possibly know (although she touched on it) about is the effort it takes to live in a town that is slowly but surely destroying itself.

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    The Stratford Strumpet ronlyre's Avatar
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    Abo's?

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    I've deleted the offending posts, racism will not be tolerated.
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  9. #9
    Miss Annaphylactic
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    Default Hold your horses, everyone!

    Hi everyone -

    Well, Germaine's article was certainly heart felt, and I'd agree with Abbie that it's a little harsh. Yes, there are elements that need work (for example, the rent costs for retails outlets, the parking for local residents etc), but as a town it's really not that bad.

    I am a Stratford convert. I grew up in the town and hated it! There was never anything to do and I spent my younger days counting down the years until I could leave. I spent a bit of time afterwards living in Oxford, Leamington Spa and even Mexico - but moved back to Stratford and bought a property in 2003. It really is a beautiful place and doesn't deserve some of the flack it gets.

    On more official terms, since becoming Marketing Director of the new visitor attraction, Shakespearience, I have been invited to most of the strategy meetings concerning the World Class bids and proposals, and I have to say that most of the motions that have been put forward are going to benefit not only the visitors, but the residents as well.

    Five-ten years ago it was the case that tourists outweighed locals in the height of the season, but that simply hasn't been the case in recent years. I used to find the words "damn tourists" rolling off my tongue constantly as a youth; you couldn't turn around without getting tripped up, or drive down a street without risking a manslaughter suit; but this has changed. The town is quiet and NEEDS more visitors - and to argue Ms Greer's point - we are not trying to push the tourists through quickly whilst grabbing as much money as we can - we are in fact focused on the complete opposite - trying to keep those that visit the town here for longer so they can enjoy more, and in turn benefit more businesses - retail, catering etc.

    There is so much that Stratford has to offer beyond Shakespeare. There are the gardens, the restaurants/bars, the river, Butterfly Farm, Shakespearience (yes, I know we are a Shakespearian attraction, but also do much more in the evenings) etc etc, and Warwick and the Cotswolds are right on our doorstep.

    South Warwickshire Tourism, while not perfect by any means, are certainly doing their best to promote Stratford beyond Shakespeare being all we have to offer and this is very important indeed.

    Anyway - I could rabble on for hours about what we are trying to achieve - but just remember - we have only won the opportunity to be World Class, and the backing - we are not actually World Class until everything is put in place, so hold your horses before you criticise us Germaine!

    Anna

    (All views are MY OWN, not those of Shakespearience, or any of the committees I attend- SWT, SWATA, STMP, STMPSLCC etc)

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    Well more than a year after the last post a lot has changed in my opinion. No, we are nowhere near world class yet, and the progress is going so painfully slow.
    I moved to Stratford nearly 3 years ago, and after first loving the town I now honestly can't wait to get away from it. The town centre is way too small for its growing population, but all Stratford DC seems to be bothered about is buildng more and more housing so that they can be occupied by migrant workers. Speaking of which, in my opinion there is a certain group of migrant workers who is causing an awful lot of tension in the social life in Stratford upon Avon. Don't get me wrong, I do not intend to point the finger at ALL migrant workers (as I officially am one myself).
    I'm really not that bothered what our town itself looks like, but I do feel that the town centre is most insufficient to meet the local people's needs. This and the growing agression and tension caused by certain people in pubs/clubs etc. makes me want to leave immediately. I no longer feel safe when I am supposed to have a good time with my friends on a night out, if I wanted that feeling I would have moved to a dodgy area in London somewhere...

    C.

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    I feel you pain Mari, I too saw the Bankcroft for the first time today since being back, and I was utterly devastated. So many old and beautiful trees have been destroyed, it's bordering on horrific, it looks so bare and unnatural. There won't be any blossom to greet me on my way into town this year.

    It's pretty much the final straw for me, what little faith I had left in Stratford retaining it's dignity is now lost. I'm surprised they're not building yet another housing estate there.

    I'm absolutely disgusted and shocked beyond words.
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  12. #12
    cathidaw
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    Stratford has always been a special place to me. Ihave not seen this sight and , after what everyone here has said I don't want to . I will keep my dreams .
    The problems are the same in most cities. New 'designers' come in and do their stuff-then when the ultimate amount of havoc is reached , they go off with big handshakes to reap havoc on another unsuspecting city.
    I have said many times how the same thing has happened to Coventry---and now with this new gift of so many BILLION pounds to spend the council have decided to re-revamp the city centre--again. They still havent finished the last revamp...nor the one before that.
    We have roads that go nowhere -except possibly to Ikea, one-ways which take us off to places we dont want to go and never knew existed. Ancient buildings rotting away --even if we could get to them them. Yet roads and pavements which are death traps for the want of repairs. We now have no coach station and in the Burgess-right in town -all the buses and taxis huddle together to create a carcinogeous fug.
    This 'city of the three Spires' is now 'city of three spires and Ikea' which can be seen on the skyline-----and probably from space.
    Two years ago 'they' decided we needed a new spire --made of glass! That idea died a quick death - mainly because of opposition to the plan, but this one..........we shall see.
    Planners are a special breed and should be on a special list--ASBOs perhaps

    All my ranting about Coventry will not help you--it's too late now and I am sorry. But it makes me feel a bit better--even tho' I despair.
    Last edited by cathidaw; 24-02-2008 at 01:55 AM. Reason: spellcheck

  13. #13
    cathidaw
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    thanks mari
    re the jewel in the crown-ie Spon Street .
    Did you know that most of those medieval buildings were moved there from other parts of Coventry brick by brick and beam by beam. Someone after the war--- during the first revamp-- decided that most of the really old buildings should be moved to one spot ie Spon Street so that they could have a clear sweep to redevelop.
    They were taken down-each part numbered and stored away until they could be re-sited. Over the first few years some were rebuilt-those buildings we see now- but with different planners coming and going and finance as it was, and is now, these buildings still lie in storage-some open to the elements in a yard somewhere in the city centre.I went there once years ago on a Municipal visit but cannot remember where it is.
    I do not believe that the Christian element has gone-quite the reverse in fact, but the historical aspect has gone to the dogs . There is
    a lot of 'empty talk about preservation but if 'they' want something gone-it goes.
    There are societies in Coventry who really try hard to get things done but they are outnumbered. Even the Coventry and District Archaeological Society have only a small voice-and Coventry has not got an archaeological unit any more .. A medieval city like this!
    They use Northampton unit and others.

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    Super Moderator Shizara's Avatar
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    Lex, when you get to New Zealand you will find plenty of places to relax, under a tree with a book. I know there is no place like home, but you will find it a great substitute whilst you are away.

    Enjoy your trip and it's great to see you popping in for a comment.
    Cool

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    So where were all you folk when the local Action Group "Stratford Voice" organised a rally on the Bancroft Gardens to try to stop it happening?...Of course as per usual only about a couple of hundred people show up and quite frankly the local district council just had a s****** at the apathy and full steam ahead..

    This comment is not aimed at anyone in particular but i'm sick to death of the apathy around here and then all the whinging that goes on after the event..

    If 5,000 people had shown up then just maybe, just maybe the Council would have been jolted into attention.

  16. #16
    Mavis
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    Judging by what I've read here, and heard in general. Stratford voice are nothing more then a bunch of unorganised, mealy mouthed, time-wasters. Perhaps no one came to your little demo, because no one knew it was even happening!

    Ever think of that?

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