July 2018

Demand for Shipston First Responders is on the rise

Shipston Community First Responders (SCFR) has attended 314 emergency 999 calls on behalf of the West Midlands Ambulance Servic (WMAS) since January 2018. Over the past year, SCFR has seen an increase in emergency calls and now attend, on average, over 50 calls each month!

Shipston’s team of eight Community First Responders (CFRs) provides immediate basic life support interventions with an average response time of five minutes (dependant on location). As the name suggests, the First Responders are often first on the scene, providing vital support as well as reassurance, and are always backed up by the nearest Ambulance resource from WMAS.

Shipston’s CFR’s are all voluntary and provide on-call cover seven days a week. They are reliant on funding from donations and grants.

SCFR Coordinator, Stuart Eastbury, said: “We would like to thank all our supporters, including The League of Friends of the Shipston Hospitals, hosts of fundraising tins and local businesses. Without the continued support of the community we would not be able to provide the service we do.”

 If you are interested in becoming a Community First Responder in Shipston or the surrounding villages, please contact Stuart  on ambulance1991@yahoo.co.uk 

Shipston High School Celebrates New Phase of Expansion

Shipston High School is now able to welcome a record number of students thanks to completion of a new block of classrooms in July 2018.

The smart new building houses nine new classrooms for languages, religious education and English lessons, as well as a new reception area. Students moved into the new accommodation on the 2nd July, just under a year after construction began.

This is the second new block to be built on the site, following earlier expansion in 2016. Both new buildings have been funded by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to enable Shipston High School to provide additional high quality school places for the local community.

Headteacher, Gavin Saunders, said: “We are very grateful to WCC for its faith and investment in the school. The building is a response to the need for more school places, but also a recognition that all students deserve a high quality learning environment. The school is increasingly popular and our Year 7 intake in September will have 120 students, our largest year group to date.”

Further expansion is planned, with the school actively exploring a new sports hall which could potentially be hired for community use outside of school hours. Internal work is also underway to refresh the older block, including a newly equipped drama and performing arts space and expanded classrooms for some subjects.

“This expansion comes at a time when all schools are increasingly under pressure for adequate funding, and the new examinations are also a challenge, but we are committed to providing the best opportunities for our young people. In general, the school is vibrant and confident for the future, and we would like to thank the local community for the support they continue to give Shipston High School” Mr Saunders added.

Mayor, Ian Cooper, said: “It is encouraging to see such positive progress at the High School, both in terms of the investment in new buildings and in the academic performance of its students. We wish the High School every success as it embarks on the new academic year.”

Treasure trove of artifacts unearthed in Shipston

treasure trove of artifacts unearthed in ShipstonnA team from Archaeology Warwickshire has unearthed 2000 year old finds in Shipston, dating back to the late Iron Age and early Roman period.

The treasure trove of artefacts was discovered on the Taylor Wimpey development site on the Campden Road. A mixture of pottery, coins, lead weights and decorative clips have been identified. The finds included Samian pottery – a type of finely decorated tableware imported from France and Spain. Another significant find was the well-preserved skeleton of a horse, alongside what are believed to be cattle bones probably buried for religious reasons in a ceremonial manner.

Early indications suggest that some of the finds belong to a settlement of the Dobunni – an Iron Age tribe known to have lived across what is now Gloucestershire and the southern part of Warwickshire. The Dobunni are thought to have been early adopters of the Roman lifestyle after the invasion of 43AD. According to Stuart Palmer, Principal Archaeologist  at Archaeology Warwickshire, the settlement at Shipston is of considerable interest as it was in use both before and after the invasion and it will be possible to study what the impact of the invasion might have been on the local population.

The dig was funded by Taylor Wimpey as part of its pre-development work on the site. The investigation began with a detailed geophysical survey and trial trenching to identify the most likely areas of interest. Topsoil was removed from the site, to expose the pits and ditches that indicate where the settlement was. Anne Wallace, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey Midlands said: “Archaeology Warwickshire have made some fascinating discoveries during the archaeological works on the site of our Herdwick Fold development. We are pleased to have been able to donate the artefacts to the local museum so that residents of Shipston-on-Stour can learn more about the history of the area.”

The artefacts discovered have been removed from the site to be cleaned and dated ready to be deposited in a museum. Deputy Mayor, Dan Scobie, requested that the finds were returned to Shipston where they can be displayed for local residents to enjoy.

Dan Scobie said “On behalf of the town council, I would like to thank Archaeology Warwickshire and Taylor Wimpey for inviting us to view some of the finds in situ and for supporting our efforts to return the artefacts to Shipston.  We hope to be able to arrange for them to be displayed in the Shipston Museum in the future.”

10th anniversary Wool Fair proves a big hit

wool fair sheepVisitors ‘flocked’ in their hundreds to the annual Shipston Wool Fair at the end of May.

The event was officially opened by Lady Howe, Chair, Veronica Murphy, and Shipston Town Mayor, Ian Cooper. There was also a large turnout of invited Civic Dignitaries from throughout Warwickshire.

New for this year was a ten hour knitathon which started at 5:45am! Over 70 squares were knitted during the day, before being sewn together into two shawls for Hamlin Fistula UK, the only UK charity exclusively supporting the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia.

Not content with just knitting shawls, Shipston’s knitting and crocheting army set about covering the town in colourful yarn throughout the woolly weekend. From licorice allsorts on bollards to woolly bunting and crocheted bikes, there were delightful creations around every corner in the centre of town and beyond.

But the stars of the Wool Fair were, of course, the sheep. Rare breeds delighted visitors of all ages, while live shearing drew the crowds as woolly sheep were trimmed for the summer.

Adding to the attractions were a variety of stalls selling goods and food, while others were raising funds through competitions and raffles.

The Wool Fair was the culmination of a series of woolly celebrations, which had started with the first Wool Fair Farm Day in early May. This was followed by the Totally Locally Arts and Crafts Market on 26th May and the Rotary Community Songs of Praise on the 27th. All in all - it was a busy schedule for Shipston in May.

Mayor, Ian Cooper, said: “It was an honour to open the Wool Fair in its 10th Anniversary Year. A considerable amount of work goes into planning and running this event and it was wonderful to see everyone’s efforts pay off. Thanks to everyone involved - and to those who supported the Wool Fair events.”

Community turns out to cheer Women’s Cycling Tour

women's cycling tourExcited residents and school children lined the streets of Shipston on Friday 15th June to witness the Ovo Energy Women’s Cycling Tour race through the town.

Launched in 2014, the five-day event brings world class athletes and elite sporting action to cities, towns and villages across England and Wales. As a result of the incredible crowds that line each day’s route, the race has quickly become one of the leading cycling events in the world.

Shipston featured in stage three of the race - Atherstone to Leamington Spa - the longest of the entire tour at 151 kilometres. The cyclists were supported by an impressive entourage of support vehicles and policemen and women - some of whom were ‘dabbing’ and ‘flossing’ to the delight of the children in the crowd while they waited for the competitors to appear.

Australian, Sarah Roy, finished first in the Warwickshire stage - the emotional victory can be viewed on the Tour’s website at www.womenstour.co.uk