Shipston's Community Responders Need Your Help

Shipston's Community First RespondersShipston’s Community First Responders respond to approximately 30 emergency callouts a month. They are usually the first on the scene, providing emergency care until an ambulance arrives.

Unfortunately the team’s Community Response Car has finally given up and urgently needs replacing. The team is now in the process of looking for a new vehicle to use as a response car and needs your help to raise money to replace this vital community facility.

All support would be gratefully received. To request a fundraising tin or for more information on how to support Shipston’s Community First Responders, please email ambulance1991@yahoo.co.uk

Shipston Town Council welcomes two new faces

Shipston Town Council is now back to full capacity following the election on 12 December 2013. The two successful candidates joining the council are Sheelagh Saunders and Martin Ferrier.

In what was the first contested town council election for some years, three candidates, Dan Scobie, Martin Ferrier and Shelagh Saunders campaigned to win votes ahead of the poll. With just two votes separating Martin Ferrier and Dan Scobie, it was a close-run contest in which just under 20% of the electorate voted.

Sheelagh Saunders is Shipston born and bred and has lived in the district most of her life. Sheelagh runs the Black Horse Inn, Horseshoe Inn and The George in Lower Brailes. On her election, Sheelagh said, “I am very much looking forward to representing the residents of Shipston and looking after the interests of our very special little town.

Martin Ferrier retired to Shipston with his wife in 2011. An experienced IT consultant, Martin is also a keen geneaologist. Commenting on his new role, Martin said, “my aim as councillor will be to work for sustainable growth in Shipston.” The new councillors will attend their first full council meeting on Monday 13 January 2014 where they will get an insight into the work ahead.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said "On behalf of councillors and staff at Shipston Town Council, I would like to welcome both Martin and Sheelagh to our team. I am confident they will bring more ideas and enthusiasm to the table and will help ensure the views of residents across the town are heard. “It is great news for Shipston that we are back to full strength on the council and I look forward to us all developing a productive working relationship going forward," she added.

Victorian Evening Attracts Record Crowds

Victorian Evening Attracts Record CrowdsResidents and visitors flocked to the Shipston Victorian Evening in their hundreds on the 6th December. The record attendance helped ensure the event was the most successful to date, with many charities raising important funds through their stalls on the night.

The event began with carol singing by Shipston Primary School pupils to get everyone in the festive mood. Conk the Clown then joined Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, to officially open the event and switch on the Christmas lights. With the town bathing in the glow of the Tree of Life, Father Christmas made his promised appearance and was followed through the town to his new grotto, where children queued to share their Christmas wishes.

Fire-eaters, stilt walkers, Shipston Town Band and a local Ukulele band, provided entertainment for all throughout the evening. Stalls offered everything from Christmas present ideas to food and drink – although stallholders clearly underestimated Shipston’s love of mulled wine, with every drop sold well before the evening had ended! 

Shipston’s independent retailers supported the event with many shops open late and most taking part in the annual ‘Best Dressed Window’ competition. This year’s winner was Rightons Butchers, with The Lavender Basket coming second and The Katherine House Hospice, third.

John Round, President of Shipston Rotary, said, "we are thrilled with how well the Victorian Evening went this year. I would like to thank all those who supported the event, particularly the entertainers and stallholders who helped ensure there was plenty for visitors to see and do on the night, and the Rotarians who made it all happen. We are delighted to have raised so much for Rotary charities and have heard positive reports from other local charities who were also able to raise funds through the event."


Photo by Charlotte Wright

Town Council Precept Frozen at Current Level

Shipston Town Council has voted to freeze its precept for 2014-15 at £206,000, the same level set for the current financial year. This is likely to represent a modest saving for residents as the number of households paying council tax in the town has increased.

Thanks to careful financial management and planning, the town council has been able to make some savings, allowing it to continue to support local community groups and activities. Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said, "I’m delighted we have been able to avoid a rise in our precept while still being able to deliver a high standard of local services and providing community groups with the support they need."

Christmas shopping online supports Shipston Home Nursing

Dear All,

We are now registered with two online fundraising sites, they are The GivingMachine and Easyfundraising. Both are simple to use and link to hundreds of retailers to suit every need this Christmas.

Please do what you can to help us in this new venture!

Many thanks

All at SHN

 1.     Follow the link below to The GivingMachine, create an account and choose SHN as your nominated charity then choose a retailer to go shopping with – it’s as simple as that. thegivingmachine

2.     Easyfundraising,simply click on the link and follow the instructions. easyfundraising

Make your Christmas Wish for Shipston

Shipston's Neighbourhood Plan gets into the Victorian Christmas Spirit

Make your Christmas Wish for ShipstonShipston's Neighbourhood Plan team will be encouraging residents to 'make a Christmas wish for Shipston' at the Victorian Evening as part of a campaign to raise awareness of and encourage involvement in the Neighbourhood Plan.

At the Neighbourhood Plan stall at the Shipston Rotary Victorian Evening on 6th December, residents will be invited to post their Christmas wishes for Shipston in a special Neighbourhood Plan postbox, while getting up to speed on the themes that have emerged from public consultation to date. To help incentivise a steady flow of ideas, the team will be selling homemade mulled wine and mince pies in aid of Rotary charities.

In keeping with the Victorian theme, the Neighbourhood Plan team has put together a display charting some of Shipston's history and how the town might develop as themes for the plan emerge. As well as viewing the display at the Victorian Evening, the banners will be on show throughout the festive period in the window of the former Sandra's dress shop.

Town councillor and Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee member, Ian Cooper, said "we are grateful for the feedback the public has given so far to help inform the plan but there is plenty of scope for more input. Our window display and stall at the Victorian evening are designed to remind people that the plan is progressing and encourage further involvement so while you munch on a mince pie, don't forget to make your Christmas wish for Shipston too."

Shipston's Victorian Evening is open from 6pm to 8pm in the town centre. The Neighbourhood Plan stall will be positioned outside the former Sandra's shop - please pop by and say hello.


Shipston Link, the all volunteer charity which provides bus services to Shipston on Stour and surrounding villages, has taken delivery of a new second bus to enhance service reliability and develop its private hire service to community groups.

 "No 2", the new acquisition, is a brand new 17 seater Ford Transit. It will join a 17 seater Peugeot Boxer disability adapted mini bus in offering cost effective, eco friendly services to those who don't, don't want to or are no longer able to drive.

 The two buses are shown in the attached photos at the recent inauguration ceremony in the Market Square at Shipston led by the Deputy Mayor of Shipston, Councillor Philip Vial.

 Deputy Mayor Philip Vial said "The Shipston Link is an important part of our community and I am delighted to see this expansion. The Link is a tremendous volunteering opportunity  to provide real assistance to others"

 Link Chairman Malcolm Temple said " This is a major step forward which will add to the reliability of our service. It will also enable expansion of  our private hire service which offers cost effective personal transport facilities to small community groups. We have already taken parties to the Memorial at Airewas, Highgrove, The American Museum at Bath and the Westonbirt Arboretum. Please visit our web site."

 The Link is always seeking new volunteer drivers with full training given.


The Link has now been operating for over 25 years and provides bus services from many of the surrounding villages into Shipston Town Square and the Shipston Medical Centre most days of the week with regular trips to Banbury, Moreton in Marsh and Chipping Norton.

 It is supported by grants from Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire County Councils.

Contact for further info is Peter Banton, Company Secretary - 01386 593446

Shipston pilots a Sunday market

Shipston MarketOn 17th November, Shipston Town Centre hosted the first of what the town council hopes will become regular Sunday markets.

The market was a pilot event to gauge the support for a regular monthly market which should attract more visitors to enjoy both the stalls and the existing retail offering in the town.

The stalls provided some much-needed colour on what was a very grey and damp day. Shoppers took advantage of the range of gifts and food available from the stallholders, many of which represent local businesses.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said "This trial market has given us the opportunity to see how a regular monthly market might work and learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Despite limited publicity and inclement weather, the market was well supported which is a good sign." 

Stour Enterprise Centre offers boost to local businesses

Businesses across the Stour Valley are being encouraged to take up a special offer of two months free membership of the Stour Enterprise Centre, courtesy of European Regional Development funding through Smarter Working West Midlands.

The Stour Enterprise Centre offers work stations, a business lounge, training rooms and meeting rooms designed to support both small and large businesses as and when they need professional workspace.

This initiative, to try out the SEC business facilities completely free for 2 months, is available to small, independent businesses operating in the South Warwickshire area. It includes free use of the hot desk workstations and business lounge, two free half day meeting room bookings and free attendance at two workshops/seminars.

Ian Cooper, of Stour United Businesses, which runs the Stour Enterprise Centre, said "The Stour Enterprise Centre not only offers professional meeting facilities but also gives small businesses the chance to interact and network. This two month offer is designed to encourage more people to try out the centre before committing to membership and builds on the strong support we are getting from working with Coventry University."

In addition to using the meeting facilities, businesses can also use the Stour Enterprise Centre as their registered business address as part of their membership package, providing an alternative to a personal address for those working from home.

To find out more, please contact the Stour Enterprise Centre on 01608 629693 or visit www.stourenterprise.co.uk 

Shipston’s fallen remembered in style

Remembrance ParadeShipston’s ex-servicemen and women, community groups and residents turned out in force on 10th November, to remember those who gave their lives during the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

On what was a beautiful autumn day, crowds gathered to watch the formal parade of Royal British Legion members, service personnel, our local MP, civic dignitaries and community groups, led in spectacular style by Shipston Town Band. After laying wreaths at the memorial, the Remembrance Service took place in St Edmund’s Church, led by Rev Andrew Coleby

During the service, students from Shipston High School read out the names of the men from the town who gave their lives in the two world wars. The congregation were reminded that those men, alongside many others, died prematurely so that we could enjoy the life we have today.

Chairman of the Shipston branch of the Royal British Legion, Richard Adams, spoke of the importance of remembering those who fought for our freedom, and who continue to put their lives at risk for the sake of others.

On Monday 11th November, a two-minute silence was held at 11am to mark Armistice Day, led once again by the Royal British Legion.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: "I would like to thank the Royal British Legion for putting so much effort into arranging the Remembrance Parade, Service and marking of Armistice Day. It is so important that we never take for granted the courageous sacrifices made by young men and women from Shipston to safeguard our future.

"On behalf of all town councillors, I would like to say a particular thank you to Richard Adams who continues to devote considerable time and energy to these events as well as promoting the Poppy Appeal to raise funds for soldiers and their families affected by bereavement and illness."

The Poppy Appeal is expected to raise approximately £12,000. Richard Adams said "Shipston residents are always generous when it comes to the Poppy Appeal and on behalf of the Royal British Legion, I am very grateful to all those who donated and our vital army of volunteers who have been out selling poppies to raise funds."

For more information about the Royal British Legion, or to join, please call Mike Dobbin on 01608 664636. 

Ladies Charity Tea Party Proves a Great Success

Over sixty ladies turned out in their finery to enjoy the Mayor’s Afternoon Tea party on the 13th October, at the Sheldon Bosley Hub. The party gave the ladies a perfect opportunity to unleash their favourite hats and show off their medals, in aid of the Mayor’s charities.

Guests were welcomed with delightful homemade sandwiches, cakes and scones, while tea and coffee flowed as freely as the conversation. Charlie Cox provided wonderful music which was enjoyed by all.

Ticket sales and the raffle combined meant the event raised an impressive £475 for the Warwickshire Air Ambulance and the Queen’s Avenue Play Area.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said "I was thrilled to see so many lovely ladies at my charity afternoon tea. It gave us all a great excuse to get dressed up and indulge in some delicious food. I am extremely grateful to the army of helpers who gave their time to this charity event to help ensure it was such a success."

Interested in local issues? Become a town councillor

On the 12th December, Shipston residents will have the opportunity to vote for two new town councillors in a local election. This follows the resignation of councillors Mark Wildish and Adrian Jelf, both of whom have had to step down due to family commitments.

Shipston Town Council plays an important role in managing local issues and has a busy workload from giving views on strategic projects and large  scale planning applications, to town cleaning and maintenance.

The council is made up of 13 councillors and having every seat filled helps to ensure there is a good cross section of views to represent residents.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said "We are very sad to lose both Adrian and Mark and would like to thank them for their hard work  and  enthusiasm  during  their  time  as  councillors.  I sincerely hope there will be a lot of interest from local residents and that the council will soon be back to full strength".

Stratford District Council must receive nominations by 15th November. To put your name forward, please contact the Town Clerk on 01608 662180 for full details and eligibility.

Pre-Christmas event could pave the way for monthly Shipston market

Shipston Food FestivalShipston will host its first ever pre-Christmas market on 17th November 2013. The market is the first event to be held in the town centre under Shipston Town Council’s new status as a Market Authority.

Billed as a food and craft market, the pre-Christmas event is designed to encourage both residents and visitors to head to the town centre for some early Christmas shopping. The market is being run by an external provider who will be responsible for promoting the event and booking stallholders.

If successful, the town council hopes to establish a regular monthly market to bring more shoppers to the town.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said "We are really excited about this new market, which we hope will be the first of many. Shipston has long been known as a market town and it seems only right to put the ‘market’ back into that market town status."

Establishing a regular market is one of a number of initiatives being considered by the the town council. The aim is to find ways  of  attracting  more  people  to  Shipston,  resulting  in greater opportunities for local shops, cafes and pubs, alongside market traders.

"The enormously successful Food Festival  demonstrated the potential for town markets and events to support existing businesses and enhance our range of attractions for the overall benefit of the town" the Mayor added.

The pre-Christmas market will take place in the High Street from 10am to 4pm. For more details, see the back page.

HSBC closure to go ahead

HSBC closure confirmed

Despite significant efforts by residents, councillors and businesses to persuade HSBC to reconsider its decision to close, the High Street bank will cease operating in Shipston from 15th November.

Since the announcement of the planned closure, a number of individuals and organisations have worked hard to try and persuade HSBC to stay open, recognising the important role the bank plays in servicing residents and businesses from Shipston and surrounding areas.

Former Mayor and HSBC customer, Brenda Broughton, has invested considerable time and effort in writing to the bank and encouraging others to do the same. Copies of some of her letters can be viewed at below.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said "I am extremely disappointed that HSBC is going ahead with this closure despite strong evidence of the need for the branch in Shipston. I would like to thank everyone who has supported efforts to try and keep the branch open, particularly Brenda Broughton."


Letter from Brenda Broughton to HSBC:

Brendan Cook                                                                                  

Retail Banking and Wealth Management                               

HSBC Bank plc                                                                                 

8 Canada Square                                                                            


E14 5HQ

September 24th 2013 

Dear Mr Cook

Re your comments in The Mail on Sunday September 22nd where you are quoted as saying  “Our branches are an important way for our customers to bank with us”. I am delighted to hear this as our branch in Shipston on Stour is one you propose to close in early November.

May I point out that this branch serves 32 villages,  listed separately ,all within a radius of approximately 6 miles as well as the town of Shipston. 

The County has long considered Shipston on Stour as a service centre for this area.  They sponsored a Link bus to bring people from the villages into Shipston.  It is so successful that this now runs without a subsidy.  In addition the  Co-op store found it viable to sponsor an additional Saturday service.

If you check the attached list you will see many of your customers who use your online services live in these areas.  However, their nearest access to cash is Shipston. 

One ATM at the Shipston branch proved inadequate.  A second was installed and I understand that each machine supplies at least £200K cash per week. These ATMs are the first point of call when shoppers and visitors come to the Incidently, last Bank Holiday both HSBC’s ATMs were out of service causing huge problems.

Internet banking has obviously caused a reduction in footfall.  Nevertheless customers still require counter service, particularly businesses. 

In conclusion why has Shipston been chosen?.  An expanding town, in the middle of a thriving rural area, with housing applications already granted for 300 further houses and your current television commercial  is promoting mortgages.  There is space here for the Branch to grow its business.  Could we become a Sub Office to Stratford  upon

Avon with counter and cash service only?.

Yours sincerely Please reconsider your decision, not out of sentiment but on a purely commercial basis.

Brenda M Broughton

HSBC Pensioner, Shareholder and Ex-Mayor of Shipston on Stour

Copies to J M Flint, Chief Executive Retail Banking and Wealth Management

Mike Tate, Retail Branch Manager, Stratford upon Avon


Shipston Food Festival

Thanks to everyone who came to the Shipston Food Festival yesterday and made the event such a great success.  The organisers, Dan Scobie and Deputy Mayor Philip Vial, have asked us to thank everyone that helped, of which there are too many to list, but they especially tahanked our Town Clerks, Georgina and Liz, for all the help, advice and assistance they gave.  Roll on the Shipston Food Festival 2014!

Shipston fights back against planned HSBC closure

News that the Shipston branch of the HSBC is set to close in November has been met with anger by Shipston councillors, residents and businesses. One of only five closures announced across the UK, the closure will lead to the loss of two cashpoints in the town, with only one bank still providing a counter service.

The news comes at a time when Shipston’s High Street is showing signs of growth and new homes in the town are on the increase.

Individual district, county and town councillors, as well as Stour United Businesses, have written to the decision- makers at HSBC demanding a rethink. In addition, Shipston Town Council has formally written to the bank and has raised the matter with the local MP.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said, "we are all appalled at HSBC’s decision to close Shipston’s  busy  and  much-needed branch. There has been no consultation with customers or councillors and the implications will be significant both for Shipston and surrounding villages. Businesses are particularly reliant on branch banking but are now expected to travel to Stratford or Moreton to manage their accounts."

Former Mayor and bank customer, Brenda Broughton, is calling on all residents to write to HSBC, a plea echoed by Shipston Town Council. "We have already received a number of complaints about this closure and I sincerely hope, with the support of local residents and businesses, that we can persuade HSBC to rethink its plans," Councillor Murphy added.

Judith Jackson is announced winner of the 2013 Anne Sankey Award

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, presents Judith Jackson with her awardThere were smiles all round as Judith Jackson, better known to many as ‘Brown Owl’, graciously accepted the Anne Sankey Medal from Town Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, amidst a sea of supportive Brownies.

Judith Jackson received several nominations for the Anne Sankey Award in recognition of her work for the young people of Shipston, and particularly her role in running Shipston Brownies. Judith originally got involved with the girlguiding movement in 1989 when Shipston Brownies was under threat of being disbanded due to a lack of leaders. Since then, she has arranged countless exciting Brownie meetings and events, and is now District Commissioner as well as the leader of the Shipston group.

Judith’s contribution to the community does not end there, however. In her role as a member of the Lions, Judith pioneered and still runs the monthly film club, raising funds for charity and providing an important local social event. She secured funding to improve the equipment used for the film nights, which has also been made available to the students of the High School.

Judith has been a High School governor for ten years, bursar to the Youth Club for 18 years and works with High School students to produce the Talking Shipston Forum for visually impaired residents.

Town Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said, "it is my great pleasure to award the Anne Sankey Medal to Judith in recognition of the work  she  has  done  for  this  community,  particularly  with Shipston Brownies. I would also like to thank all those who put forward nominations. It is never an easy decision to make as all nominees do great work for the town, but Judith is a very worthy winner and we look forward to seeing her wearing her medal with pride."

The Anne Sankey Medal is awarded to local residents in recognition of their contribution to the town. All residents are invited to put forward nominations, which town councillors consider before deciding on a winner.

On receiving the award, Judith Jackson said, "I am delighted to receive this award. I had no idea that all this was going on but I’m very grateful to all those who nominated me."

Food Glorious Food at Shipston's first edible festival

Shipston Food Festival - tasty treats in storeFinal preparations are underway for Shipston’s first Food Festival, taking place in the town centre on the 29th September.

Organised by a small group of local foodies and supported by local businesses, the festival is designed to be a truly interactive celebration of local and artisan food. Cookery demonstrations will be held throughout the day by Francis Green, The Cotswold Traiteur, while special children’s workshops will be encouraging the youngsters to get stuck in.

Keen local amateur chefs will have the chance to show off what they can do by entering a dish into one of the competitions being judged on the day, while local producers will also be in with a chance to win an award.

With almost all the stalls reserved by the beginning of August, a hog roast confirmed, plus wine tasting and a beer tent booked, the town centre promises to be a sumptuous showcase of gastronomic delights to tempt all taste buds.

Deputy Mayor, Philip Vial, one of the organisers of the event, said "this event started as a bit of a personal passion shared among a small group of foodies and has grown into a really exciting, full-day event. We are thrilled with the amount of interest we’ve received and feel very confident everyone attending will have a fantastic day out. The best advice I can give is arrive hungry – you won’t be disappointed!"

The event runs from 10am to 4pm in the High Street, with competition entries invited from 9am to 10am. To vote for your favourite local producer (within 30 miles of Shipston), please email dan@shipstonfoodfestival.co.uk. For all the latest news on the event, follow @ShipstonFood on Twitter, visit www.shipstonfoodfestival.co.uk or like the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shipstonfood

Shipston in Bloom Rewards Fabulous Floral Displays

Shipston in BloomThe judges of this year’s Shipston in Bloom gardening competition were hugely impressed with the colourful spectacle that awaited them as they began the process of assessing the town’s gardens, containers and allotments. 

Homes in the aptly named Greenfield Road and Greenfield Close snatched the overall town front garden awards (medium and large), while the overall winning rear garden was found in Hawthorn Way. The Household Waste site was commended for an excellent display, just missing out on first place in the public places category to the Day Centre at the Ellen Badger Hospital.

""Thanks to all the keen gardeners who helped make this competition so enjoyable to judge. Thanks also go to the judges themselves as well as the local organisations which support Shipston in Bloom" SIB member, Mal Lawrence said.

All winners and runners up will be invited to a presentation evening in the autumn.

Want to apply for a grant from the Town Council?

It's time to apply!

Peter Drinkwater's keys

Peter Drinkwater had a huge bunch of keys which belong to a whole host of local people that he did gardening work for.

 Cllr Fay Ivens has the bunch of keys and has very kindly volunteered to re-unite keys with owners.

 Could we ask all those who had entrusted their keys to the late Peter Drinkwater, to contact Cllr Ivens on 01608 662133, she will then visit your property and endeavour to find their key by trying the lock.

Shipston Town Council

Seasonal vaccinations

A message from the Medical Centre, you can contact them on 01608 661845:

Seasonal Immunisations

Flu is a highly infectious disease which is different from having a cold.  The symptoms of flu come on suddenly and include fever, headache, extreme tiredness and an aching body. A dry cough, sore throat and stuffy nose are other common symptoms of the infection.

Flu occurs most often in the winter months and usually peaks between December and March.  The national vaccination programme is particularly aimed at those individuals who have a higher risk of serious complications of flu, such as older people, aged 65 and over and people with serious medical conditions, such as

  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment

 Last year we vaccinated nearly 3000 people in a six week period, and this year we plan to do the same.  If you are eligible for a flu vaccination we will write to you inviting you to one of our flu vaccination clinics, which at the point of writing were scheduled for:

  • Saturday 28th September 9am until 11:30am
  • Friday 4th October  2.15pm until 4.45pm
  • Saturday 5th October  9am until 11:30am
  • Thursday 10th October 4:45pm until 6:45pm

 Due to the number of patients requiring the vaccine the vaccination programme is carefully planned, and we therefore ask you to attend one of the clinics to which you are invited.  Due to available capacity and the need to continue to provide a full primary care nursing service throughout the period we will not make individual appointments for flu vaccination for anyone aged 17 or over, so please attend one of the clinics.


This year, there is a national vaccination programme to vaccinate those aged 70 against Shingles and also this year there is also a ‘catch up’ campaign to vaccinate those aged 79 (born between 02/09/33 and 01/09/34).   If you are going to be eligible for this vaccination we will write to you individually to advise you how you can receive the vaccination should you wish to have it.  

Heroes Finale for Shipston Proms 2013

Ultimate Bowie at Shipston PromsNearly two thousand people thronged the streets of Shipston for the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 6th July, in what was perhaps the hottest Proms ever!

Boasting a fantastic line-up, including this year’s Fame Contest winner, and headline act, Ultimate Bowie, the Last Night was a fitting close to a fortnight of music, marking the 15th year of Shipston Proms.

The evening opened with Stratford Grammar School girl Harriet Kelley, aged 16, from Chipping Campden, who won the solo title at The Proms Fame Contest. Next on was Battered Soul, an eight-piece band of Shipston High School students who won the Fame Contest best group title.

Also on the bill were The Rinky Dinks, a ukulele supergroup who played hip-hop, rock, house, punk and pop.

The David Bowie tribute band proved extremely popular with Bowie’s classic, ‘Heroes’ – a theme of London Olympics 2012 - and ‘Modern Love’ playing out the final hour at midnight.

The Last Night was the last of this year’s impressive proms performances, which included a jazz extravaganza by Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra and Clare Teal, a concert by Coventry Philharmonic Choir, and a gig by Loyd Grossman’s punk band, The New Forbidden.

One of the many highlights included three performances of Benjamin Britten’s community opera Noye’s Fludde – Noah’s Flood – staged by the Orchestra of the Swan and Shipston Music Society. For more details, please turn to page six.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, congratulated the organising committee and performers for putting on such a wonderful event. "I was immensely proud to attend many of the concerts during this year’s Proms. Shipston has showcased classical, rock, pop, jazz, folk, blues, country and choral music performed at the Townsend Hall, in churches, community halls, pubs, hotels and in the street. I would like to thank all those who took part in making this year’s Proms arguably the best yet."

Shipston Town Council and 40 businesses, hotels, restaurants and pubs in the area sponsored the Proms. 

Secure future for Shipston's Stour Enterprise Centre

Stour Enterprise CentreThe future of Shipston’s business and training centre is secure for the immediate future thanks to a renewed focus from a new steering group, which includes representatives from Stour United Businesses, Stratford District Council and Coventry University.

The centre’s future was in doubt. However, Shipston’s business community rallied in response to the closure threat, having come to rely on the centre as an important venue for training, networking and co-working, particularly for small businesses in the area. A new structure has now been agreed, with SUBs taking a more active role in the management and marketing of the centre.

SUBs chair, Tina Cook, said "I am delighted we have been able to reach an agreement which gives the SEC a positive future and retains what has become a valuable resource for Shipston’s business community. We have exciting plans to build on the successful training and events that have been held at the SEC to date and I’m looking forward to getting started."

One of the first priorities is to progress plans with Coventry University to secure funding for a full time centre manager. In the meantime, work is being done to bring the centre’s website up to date and arrange a new set of training courses.

Stratford District Council leader, Chris Saint, said, "I have always felt the SEC is an important resource, not only for Shipston businesses but for entrepreneurs throughout the Stour Valley. I am pleased we have been able to help secure the centre’s future."

To find out more, visit www.stourenterprise.co.uk 

August Forum now available to download

The August 2013 edition of the Shipston Forum is now available to download. Click here to download the PDF to find out about the latest local news and events.

Warwickshire County Council's Councillor Grant Fund

The launch of Warwickshire County Council's Councillor Grant Fund takes place today, Monday 22 July. The scheme is administered locally by the County Council's Stratford Area Office.

The Councillors Grant Fund is designed to help communities to help address issues of local concern to them. It is primarily aimed at community and voluntary organisations and provides grants of £5,000 per councillor (ideally up to 4 projects per councillor in order to keep administration costs to a minimum, but there is flexibility in this if there is a significant demand for more projects to be funded) for small scale projects that meet community needs within the district of Stratford-on-Avon. Bids should be supported by the councillor for the electoral division in which the project is based.

Town and parish councils are also eligible to apply to the fund for a community project, but this will be at the discretion of the councillor and will vary according to the preference of the councillor.

Full details about the fund are set out in the application form and guidance notes, which can be downloaded from the VASA website:


If you require hard copies of the application form then please contact Amanda Wilson-Patterson or Anita Kendall using the contact details below.

The deadline for the return of completed applications to the Area Office is Friday 11 October (5pm). They will then be evaluated and recommendations made to the relevant councillor.

A funding workshop for all prospective applicants to the fund will take place on Tuesday 17 September, 11 am at Stratford District Council Offices, the aim of which will be to provide support and guidance to community and voluntary organisations (including town and parish councils) on the eligibility of their project for the fund, along with signposting to other suitable sources of funding.

If you require any further information please contact Amanda Wilson Patterson by email amandawilsonpatterson@warwickshire.gov.uk or telephone 07780 995817. Alternatively please telephone Anita Kendall on 01926 456102.


Residents in Shipston-on-Stour are being invited to have their say on a forthcoming new homes development on the redundant IMI Norgren factory site on Campden Road. CALA Homes is holding a series of workshops on Thursday 8th August and Saturday 17th August to get feedback and input from the local community as it starts to put together the detail of the scheme.

The workshops will provide the opportunity for local people to meet the project team and provide their thoughts on the detail of the scheme, including the design of the homes, the layout of the site and the mix of houses.

Places on the workshops are limited and anyone interested in taking part should register their interest at www.cala.co.uk/shipstononstour by 5pm on 31st July. 

Planning rules change

There have been a number of recent changes to the rules surrounding planning applications. This may be the dullest posting we've ever made, but it's worth a read if you're interested in local planning rules:

1          CHANGE OF USE


From 30 May owners of underutilised properties will have more opportunity to secure tenants whilst those looking to dispose of their interests may have access to a wider market of prospective purchasers.   After this date the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 will permit the change of use of class B1(a) offices to class C3 residential dwellings.  There will be no need to obtain express planning permission for this change of use. 


Other development set out in the Order which no longer requires planning permission includes the following:- 


changes from a number of commercial uses to either retail, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes or business use for a period of two years from the date on which the change of use occurs in a move that seeks to encourage the reuse of existing buildings;

change of use of agricultural buildings to uses comprising retail, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, business, storage and distribution, hotel and assembly/leisure uses in an effort to boost rural enterprise;

until 30 May 2016, increasing the maximum size threshold for industrial/warehouse building extensions to up to 1,000 sqm or 50% of the gross floorspace of the original building (whichever is the lesser); and

until 30 May 2016, increasing the maximum size threshold for retail, catering, financial and professional services and office building extensions to up to 100 sqm or 50% of the gross floorspace of the original building (whichever is the lesser).  

All of the amendments set out above are subject to certain conditions prescribed in detail. 




As from the 30 May 2013 planning permission is no longer required for single storey rear extensions with length up to 6m (attached houses) or 8m (detached houses) to be erected during the 3 year period from 30/05/2013 to 30/05/2016 on houses that are not in Conservation Areas nor on a site of special scientific interest.

Anyone proposing a 3m-6m or 4m-8m extension will have to notify their local authority before starting works and provide the following information:

“- a) a written description of the proposed development including—

— (i) how far the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse extends beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse;

— (ii) the maximum height of the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse; and

— (iii) the height of the eaves of the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse;

- (b) a plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development;

- (c) the addresses of any adjoining premises;

- (d) the developer’s contact address; and

- (e) the developer’s email address if the developer is content to receive communications electronically.”

The local authority will need to consult only the immediately adjoining premises with a minimum consultation period of 21 days. (Ward Members and Parish/Town Councils are not to be consulted).  The legislation sets out specific requirements as to the information that must be provided by the consultation letter including a description of the length, maximum height, and eaves height of the extension.

Where any owner or occupier of any adjoining premises objects to the proposed development, then “the prior approval of the local planning authority is required as to the impact of the proposed development on the amenity of any adjoining premises”. To assess this impact, the local authority “may require the developer to submit such further information regarding the proposed development as the local planning authority may reasonably require in order to consider the impact of the proposed development on the amenity of any adjoining premises”.  When assessing this impact, the local authority will need to:

“- (a) take into account any representations made as a result of the [consultation process]; and

- (b) consider the amenity of all adjoining premises, not just adjoining premises which are the subject of representations.”

The legislation states that the development shall not be begun before the occurrence of one of the following:

“- (a) the receipt by the developer from the local planning authority of a written notice that their prior approval is not required;

- (b) the receipt by the developer from the local planning authority of a written notice giving their prior approval;

- (c) the expiry of 42 days following the date on which the information [required for the notification] was received by the local planning authority without the local planning authority notifying the developer as to whether prior approval is given or refused.”

The legislation requires that any 3m-6m or 4m-8m extension “shall be completed on or before 30th May 2016″.


The Townsend Hall hosts a Jazz Extravaganza

Townsend Hall, Shipston

A packed Townsend Hall was treated to a memorable concert of music presented by the Internationally acclaimed Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra and the equally well known Clare Teal.

Music by Matt Cattingub and Pat  Williams started the  concert followed by Tom Coppins ‘Street Scene’ featuring lead trombone Tom Coppins, this was then followed with a Flugel solo by Nick Dewhurst and music by Bob Florence the MYJO finished the first part of the concert with the well known arrangement by Sammy Nestico of ‘A Tribute to The Duke’.

Clare Teal in her own magic way treated the audience with her interpretation of ‘That Old Black Magic’, ‘Skylark’, ‘Cheek to Cheek’, and ‘Folks Who Live on the Hill’ all wonderfully backed by John Ruddicks’ Midland Youth Jazz  Orchestra.

The second part of the concert featured music by Gordon Goodwin, Slow Boat to China arranged by Martin Williams featuring Nick Dewhurst and Ben Gaskin. Alex Woods (alto) featured in the Pat Metheney piece ‘Always and Forever’,The Orchestra finished with music from Bob Florence and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Gordon Goodwins arrangement of the Gershwin classic.

Clare’s programme included ‘Bright Side of the Road’, ‘Get Happy’,’I Just Wanna Make Love To You’ ‘Feeling Good and Messing with Fire’

The audience, not content with all the great music they had heard, applauded for several minutes and were rewarded with 2 curtain calls.

Comments after wards included ‘the band is so talented that, even to someone who’s music of choice would not be a big band, they are exciting and thrilling.’ ‘I thought Clare had an amazing voice which coupled with her tremendous personality made the whole event an evening not to be forgotton.’

Chairman of the trustees Geoff Ridgway commented it was the best concert the trustees had organised to date and had raised valuable funds for the restoration project and thanked all those who had supported the Townsend Hall’s efforts.


Anne Sankey Award for voluntary service in Shipston

Nominations for the Anne Sankey Award for voluntary service by individuals in Shipston are open.  You can download the form here.

Last year's winner was Stuart Eastbury.  The 21-year-old has been a member of the town’s St John Ambulance, a fund-raiser for the Warwickshire and Northampton Air Ambulance, and a co-ordinator for the First Responders in Shipston.

If you know someone who'd be equally desrving of recognition then please fill in the form and drop it off at New Clark House.

Drugs in Shipston?

At its inception DASH (Drug Action Shipston) was created as a response to the community's concern about the drug problem in Shipston at the time.  More than a decade down the line DASH's main focus has been much more about providing education about alcohol and drugs and supporting youth work in the town, with the knowledge that education and support prevents young people misusing alcohol and drugs.  

DASH has good relationships with organisations working in the local area, such as the police, the Medical Centre and the local schools.  The Charity regularly funds 'Prison me? No Way!' At the High School, which is a powerful education day taking pupils through the consequences of drug use and crime, right through the criminal justice system and into a prison cell.  Year after year of pupils’ feedback says what an excellent day this is.  Additionally, DASH funds counselling at the High School and in the local area to support teenagers during times of difficulty.  Alongside these larger activities DASH works to provide education about drugs and safe alcohol consumption for children and parents alike.  A recent purchase has been a 'drugs box' to show what drugs look like and to provide education on the effects they can have.

Over the last few months, DASH has worked with Reziliant Ltd. to undertake some targeted youth work in Shipston researching young people's views on drugs.  88% of those surveyed felt that drug usage amongst young people in Shipston was on the increase, with 60% believing there was an issue with drugs in the area.  Worryingly, those surveyed identified cannabis, cocaine, heroin, speed, alcohol, ketamine, ecstasy and M-Cat as being used by young people in the area.  68% of the young people responding to the questionnaire felt they would like more information about drugs.


DASH will continue to provide education and support, but needs help.  If you are interested in helping fund-raise or would like to get involved with the charity's committee please contact Rachel Vial, Practice Manager at the Medical Centre, on 01608 661845 or email her through the 'contact us' pages on the Medical Centre website at http://shipstonmc.warwickshire.nhs.uk/Home 


http://www.talktofrank.com/ is a great resource for information about Drugs, or if you are aware of illegal activities relating to drugs contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Nominate a local group for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Shipston Town Council has been asked to nominate a group or groups for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award made to recognise and reward excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.

The award was announced in 2002 as part of celebrations for The Queen's Golden Jubilee, and was first known as The Queen's Golden Jubilee Award.

It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

Who do you think the Town Council should nominate? Let us know - and remember it has to be a group of two or more people.

Community Forum success!

Young people work with Police & Town Council on local initiative

Prize presented to Imogen for Dog Fouling posterPositive improvements have been implemented thanks to successful partnership working between the Shipston and Stour Community Forum and young people in the district.

The Community Forum approached youngsters at Shipston High School and Youth Club back in March to find out what their priorities were for Shipston. The first initiative was to provide a shelter for young people which has since been implemented at the Skate Park and is already proving popular.

Second on the list was the persistent problem of dog fouling on the streets of the town, particularly around the high school and primary school. The Community Forum launched a poster competition to encourage owners to clean up after their pets.

Imogen Cross, aged 11, from Shipston High School was recently crowned winner of the competition with her football- themed ‘No Fouling’ poster. The poster will be printed and distributed in and around Shipston and the wider Stour area.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s Dog Warden, Sophie Peacock, joined Councillor Mike Brain from Warwickshire County Council, PCSO Andy Steventon and Georgina Beaumont from Shipston Town Council, to present Imogen with her prizes. Imogen was also invited to the Community Forum meeting on the 11 June where she was presented with a framed certificate and copy of her winning poster. 

All pupils who took part in the competition were presented with gingerbread men/dogs, courtesy of the local bakers in Shipston.

All local residents are encouraged to attend the Community Forum meetings which take place quarterly around the local area, with two meetings a year held in Shipston. The meetings provide an opportunity to discuss local issues with the police, county and district councils as well as voting on policing priorities for the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

For more information visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk or contact the Town Clerk. 

Shipston's junior tennis players enjoy a successful season

Shipston Academy Aegon Team Tennis 2013 

The Shipston Mini Red 8's and Under team have had a fantastic 2013 Summer Season. They played 4 matches in total, winning every one in convincing style, making them the outright winners of their league. A big well done to – Chloe Cavanagh, Jamie Smith, Rhys Bennett, Ben Gibson and Matt Steer -the commitment and dedication of the players and their families has been outstanding, together with some excellent tennis.

Everyone worked so hard and showed great teamwork throughout the season, which hugely contributed to their achievement and this deserving result.

Captain - Hannah Moore

The Shipston A 9 and Under Boys Team have also had a great season. They won all five of their group matches to top the Group, beating teams from Warwick Tennis Club, Kenilworth, Henley-in-Arden, Leamington, and Beechwood LTC. A big well done to the whole team – William Noyes, Jack Boden, Bernardo Fernandez, Josh Goodman, and Max Lloyd-Thomas – for putting in some great performances.

For Josh and Max it was their first experience of Orange competition so they did really well to record some good wins and William remained unbeaten throughout. I would also like to thank all of the parents for their support this summer. 

Captain - Vicki Noyes

To find out more information about our Junior Tennis coaching programme, please contact Lucy Stevenson at admin@tennisolutions.co.uk

Summer Tennis camps starting 29th July - 30th August. Check out www.shipstontennis.org.uk for course details

Local doctors in charity climb for Shipston Home Nursing

Right then all, it's time to get out your wallets and purses and dig deep for Shipston's latest charity effort.

When you've read the story, head over here to donate: http://www.justgiving.com/climbing-for-compassion

A group of doctors from the Shipston Medical Centre (Paul Daniel, Tim Marshall and David Williams) are planning to tackle the National Three Peaks Challenge to raise much needed funds for 'Shipston Home Nursing' - a fantastic local charity that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients within their own home. 

A truley inspiring friend (Ben Lindon) has also joined them to raise funds for 'Brain Tumour Research'. Having been diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in March 2008 and receiving ongoing chemotherapy, he decided getting fit and raising money for good causes was the best way forward. Any donations for Brain Tumour Research can also be given via his page www.justgiving.com/Ben-Lindon

They are climbing the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales. 27 miles with a total ascent of 9,800 feet (then down again knees allowing!)

They aim to travel up to Scotland after work on Friday the 27th September and start bright and early on the Saturday morning, climbing Ben Nevis then drive to the Lake district and nip up and down Scafell Pike. After a few hours kip, pop down to Wales and have a look at the top of Snowden in time to drive home to be back at work for Monday. Sounds like a relaxed weekend away - Hmmm - better get training!

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Interested in fishing, live music, pig roasts and summer games?

Shipston on Stour Angling Club - 3 Day Fishing Festival

JULY 26TH, 27TH & 28TH
OVERALL THREE DAY FESTIVAL WINNERS (1,2,3 plus many other prizes)








Playing Friday 26th July                   Playing Saturday 27th July 

                                   Inside Job     
The Bad Boys               Excellent Covers Band

Playing Sunday 28th July


The Good the Bad and the Elderly









Kids' event in aid of Queens Avenue Play Area

Local business Calypso Kids and the Townsend Hall are running a fundraising event for the Queens Avenue Play Area on the 7th of July.

There will be two hours of free childrens' activities from 2-4:30pm as well as other family friendly stalls.  Theyr're hoping there will be lots of tired parents after the last night of the Proms who fancy their little ones being entertained while they drink lots of tea and put money in the donation buckets!

The Queens Avenue Play Area was a derelict piece of ground off, unsurprisingly, Queens Avenue.  A couple of years ago Transition Shipston asked local people to get involved in a fundraising drive to improve the facilities.  Local resident Polly Taylor took on the challenge, and she has since raised over £50,000!  Work has already started, with the land being cleared, and Transition Shipston have started a programme of planting, including fruit trees.  Play equipment will go in later this summer.

Apart from donations from Orbit and SITA the effort has been supported by the Town Council to the tune of £10,000, and the County Council, via Councillor Chris Saint, gave £1000. We hope to provide the largest picnic/play area space in the Town.  Another £30,000 is still needed so please support this event.

The Play Area is being supported as one of the Mayor's (Ronnie Murphy) charities this year.

Have a look at the poster below:


Citizens Advice Bureau

Shipston Outreach

Stratford upon Avon and District Citizens Advice Bureau helps people to resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing information and advice, and by influencing policymakers.  We are affiliated to the national organisation Citizens Advice whose aims are:

  • To provide the advice people need for the problems they face
  • To improve the policies and procedures that affect people’s lives. 

Our service is independent and provides free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information to everyone in the community regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or age.  In all aspects of its work, the service recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.

 Shipston Citizens Advice Outreach Service

Stratford Citizens Advice Bureau has run an outreach service in Shipston for a number of years.  This allows Shipston residents who are unable to make it into Stratford upon Avon to get face to face advice in their local town. 

Since July 2012, the Citizens Advice Bureau outreach has been open every Monday morning in the old police station, New Clark House, on West Street.

For those unable to make it to New Clark House, a home visit service is also available.

Since July last year, the service has helped over 120 local residents by answering queries on a wide range of issues, from benefits to debt, housing to family relationships and consumer issues to employment queries.

Sue Green, bureau manager, is keen to encourage people to get help as soon as possible.  She said “Approximately 50% of the people nationally will contact Citizens Advice for help at some point in their lifetime.  The most important advice I can give is not to avoid the things that worry you.  Asking for help isn’t always easy, but when people share their difficulties with us, we are often above to make a real difference and improve the situation.”

The service is available to everyone and is entirely free, confidential and impartial.  If you would like some advice, contact the CAB team on 01789 200136 to book an appointment or a home visit.  For 24 hour tips and advice, log on to www.adviceguide.org.uk.

Case Study

Shipston resident Mavis visited the outreach service for help with her benefits.  She lives in rented accommodation with her son, Bob.

Mavis receives pension credit, but because Bob is self-employed they were receiving almost no help to pay for their rent.

The CAB adviser checked Mavis’ entitlement and established that she should be receiving about £60 per week towards her rent.  The adviser obtained all the necessary proofs of income for Mavis and Bob, and liaised with Stratford District Council (SDC).

Within a few days, SDC confirmed that Mavis was entitled to over £60 per week in housing benefit.

The adviser also discussed Mavis’ disabilities with her, and although she decided not to claim at the moment, she is aware that she might soon be eligible for Attendance Allowance.  She plans to return to the CAB for help with that in the future.

Students at Shipston High turn recyclable goods into animal hats for the production of Noye's Fludde

Students from Year 8 at Shipston High School were paired up to make the animals that go 'two by two' into Noah's Ark, on hats for the cast of this classical opera. Years 5 and 6 from Shipston Primary School will be able to wear these animal creations during the production of Noye's Fludde which will show at Townsend Hall this 28 and 29 June. Together with various groups in Shipston, the two schools have been involved in this community project to showcase the opera written by Benjamin Britten during the Proms. 

 Tickets for Noye's Fludde on Friday 28 June, 7.30pm, Saturday 29 June, 3pm and 6pm, priced at £7.50 (adults) and £1 (under 16 years of age), are available from R Clarke Electrical Services, 27 High Street, Shipston-On-Stour, tel: 01608 661394.

Community Sings and Swings

Martha Hayes of Shipston High School is pictured here in rehearsals for an ambitious co-production of a community opera.

Students from the school are among the cast performing with the Orchestra of the Swan for Benjamin Britten’s community opera Noye's Fludde – Noah’s Flood - which forms part of this year’s Shipston Proms starting next week.

There will be three performances of the opera at Townsend Hall, Shipston, on Friday and Saturday 28th and 29th June. The work is part of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Also staging the production is Shipston Music Society. Pupils from Shipston Primary School are also taking part, as well as the town’s Amateur Dramatic Society, Shipston Town Council, Shipston Town Band, Cantamus, Community
Arts and individual local musicians.

Information on all the Proms events is on the website http://www.shipstonproms.org/ You can also follow Shipston Proms and Orchestra of the Swan on Facebook and Twitter.

Proms highlights also include Loyd Grossman and his band The New Forbidden at Townsend Hall next Friday, 21st June. Headline act on the Last Night of the Proms on 6th July will be the David Bowie tribute band ‘Ultimate Bowie’ plus the ukulele supergroup, Rinky Dinks.

Calling all gardening enthusiasts

Shipston in Bloom's annual gardening competition is almost upon us

Shipston in Bloom's annual gardening competition takes place next month, with all entries welcomed, be it for pots on patios or blooms in borders. Allotments and veg patches will also get their moment of glory, with town allotments being judged on the 1st July.

New to this year is the Children's Garden category to help encourage even the youngest members of the community to get stuck in.

Displays, except for Rear and Children’s Gardens, must be viewable from the roadside. An entry form is required ONLY for Rear and Children’s gardens.  The form can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

X-Fest Returns to Shipston

Shipston Youth Club are running a fun, exciting and challenging activities day at the Youth Club and Shipston High School Playing Fields. Activities include: Skate Park, 6m Climbing Wall, Zorb Walkers, Quad Bikes and Laser Quest. Other items include Dance, drama and Graffiti workshops; model plane and car displays, sports challenges plus barbecue, and refreshments. Please download and display the poster below – don’t miss it!

There will also be a BBQ raising money for DASH - Drugs Action Shipston - with Deputy Mayor Philip Vial trying out his culinary skills.  Go a buy a burger off him for a good cause.

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Two by Two - Orchestra of the Swan in Shipston

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Students in year 8 at Shipston High School help prepare for the Shipston community production of Noye's Fludde which will be performed during Shipston Proms this summer.

 The students put their current project on hold to help produce masks for this classic opera by Benjamin Britten. Year 8 have been working on modelling projects where they have all show excellent sculpting skills using recyclable materials such as cereal boxes, plastic bottles and yoghurt pots and were chosen to help produce props for those involved in the production at Shipston Primary School.

 Each mask depicts the animals which were led, two by two, onto the ark by Noye, or Noah which you may be more familiar with, where they wait out the storm and for the dove to return with the olive branch. 

 Durning Shipston Proms 2013, three productions of this opera will be shown to celebrate the Britten Centenary; a celebration of the life and music of composer, Benjamin Britten, 1913 – 1976.

 This classic production has been a wonderful project for Shipston, bringing together a number of groups from the local community where amateurs of all ages will perform amongst professionals. Participants include Shipston Primary and High Schools, Shipston Proms 2013, Orchestra of the Swan, the Amateur Dramatic Society, Shipston Town Council, the Town Band, Cantamus, the Music Society, Shipston Community Arts and individual local musicians.

 Tickets for Noye's Fludde on Friday 28 June, 7.30pm, Saturday 29 June, 3pm and 6pm, priced at £7.50 (adults) and £1 (under 16 years of age), are available from R Clarke Electrical Services, 27 High Street, Shipston-On-Stour, tel: 01608 661394.

Midsummer Walk for Charity

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For details: Call Mandy 0n 01608 663415 or email:info@smatrust.org

Loyd's Recipe for Shipston Proms 2013

files/stc/news-assets/img/loyd grossman.jpegFood expert, TV presenter and punk musician, Loyd Grossman, will hit the stage at this year’s Shipston Proms.

Appearing on Friday 21st June at the Townsend Hall, the man behind the best selling jars of pasta and curry sauces is one of the highlights for Shipston Proms, now in its 15th year. He will be leading his band, The New Forbidden, which has played Glastonbury and the London circuit. Tickets cost just £5.

Tim Porter, chairman of the Shipston Proms organising committee, said "We have a great line-up this year, together with our trademark wide range of music to appeal to everyone – jazz, blues, rock, pop, classical and choral music, plus our school music workshops."

This year’s Fame Contest will be held on the first Saturday, 22nd June again at Townsend Hall. It is open to solo singers and duos, and groups of three or more (aged ten and over) so now is the time to start rehearsing!

The first event in the Shipston Proms 2013 programme will be Clare Teal with the Midland Jazz Orchestra at Townsend Hall on Thursday 20th June. The full programme is on the website www.shipstonproms.org, and you can also follow the Proms on Facebook and Twitter.

Shipston Proms 2013

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Jazz, blues, folk, rock and classical performers will be amongst the acts that are due to appear in our two week Shipston Proms music festival 2013.

The Shipston Proms aims to cater for all tastes and this year will be no different with an eclectic mix of artists, both local performers and world renowned talents.

You can find more details on the Proms, including the famed Last Night of the Proms, at the website here.

Shipston Medical Centre Patient Participation Meeting

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Shipston Medical Centre would like to invite all members of the community to its annual patient meeting, which is taking place on Wednesday 12th June 2013 at Shipston Primary School, starting at 7pm.

Dr Paul Daniel will be giving an overview of the changes that have been made at the Ellen Badger Hospital to improve the care provided and increase the range of services available.

Additionally the practice will be discussing how patients can access their GP and other services and how patients can become more involved in decisions about the service.

The Medical Centre welcomes feedback so please come along and share your views.

Have your say on the Neighbourhood Plan

Visit the Neighbourhood Plan stall at Shipston's Wool Fair - 27th May 2013


Speak up for your town! Whatever your likes, dislikes and wishlist for Shipston may be, your views are wanted to help inform Shipston's Neighbourhood Plan.

Head down to Shipston High Street on the 27th May to enjoy the delights of the annual Wool Fair, and while you're there, pop into the Neighbourhood Plan marquee to add your comments to our 'graffitti wall' and find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan.

Don't miss the chance to have your say on the vision for Shipston - and involve the whole family. They'll be a quick quiz for kids to fill in as well as the opportunity to find out how you can take part in the plan's development.

So don't be Sheepish - head down to the Wool Fair and have your say on Shipston's future.

Community Garden Open Afternoon

26th May 2013


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Transition Shipston is holding an open afternoon at the Darlingscote Road Community Garden on Sunday 26th May from 3.00 onwards with refreshments at 4.30 – all welcome.


Anyone interested helping with the newly acquired community chickens can find out what is involved in joining the chicken group. The chickens were “rescued” from a chicken farm. They are starting to get used to more freedom, grow their feathers back and lay eggs. We are renovating some more old chicken pens and hoping to increase the number of chickens soon.


There are also small veg plots available for anyone interested in starting to grow their own vegetables. Help is needed in improving paths and fox-proofing fences.


Come and join in... learn new skills... grow fresh veg... share the eggs... meet new people.


Contact: Mike Ashton, locostashton@googlemail.com


Cllr Ronnie Murphy takes over as Shipston's Town Mayor

files/stc/news-assets/img/RM becomes mayor.jpgCouncillor Ronnie Murphy was unanimously elected Town Mayor at the Annual General Meeting of the Town Council in May 2013.

On accepting the chain of office from outgoing Mayor, Fay Ivens, Ronnie said, "It is a privilege to be appointed Town Mayor and I shall wear this chain with pride. I would like to thank Fay Ivens for all her hard work during her mayoral year – she has set a fine example".

All councillors thanked Fay Ivens for her tireless efforts to promote Shipston over the past twelve months.

Although not present at the meeting, councillor Philip Vial was unanimously elected deputy Mayor and will presented with his deputy medal of office at the July meeting.

A review of the working groups has resulted in a few changes, including Melanie Trapp joining planning in place of Alan Noyce, Brian Healey joining General Purposes and Adrian Jelf joining Emergency Planning.

Part night streetlight petition gathers pace

Since 1st April 2013, many of Shipston’s streetlights have been switched off between 12:00-5:30am on Sundays to Thursdays and 1:00-6:30am on Fridays and Saturdays. The move has been introduced to save money and reduce carbon emissions. However, many are concerned about the impact on safety of pedestrians and possible increases in crime.

Town councillor, Melanie Trapp, has set up an open group on Facebook called ‘No lighty no likey’ which has over 300 members and has attracted a number of comments about the new policy.

Mayor, Fay Ivens, said "As a town council, we strongly oppose both the policy itself and the inconsistent way it has been applied. If residents share our view, please sign the petition which is available at New Clark House".

Warwickshire County Council estimates that £500,000 will be saved across the county by the reduction in street lighting, with a reduction in carbon emissions of approximately 3,000 tonnes.

Shipston charities receive £1,000 windfall

files/stc/news-assets/img/IMG_3879.jpgTwo charities are £500 better off thanks to the fundraising efforts of Shipston's outgoing Mayor, Fay Ivens.

At her final Town Council meeting as Mayor, Fay was delighted to award two cheques of £500 each to Shipston Youth Club and Shipston First Responders. The funds were raised through a series of stalls, raffles and events led by the mayor.

Fay Ivens said "it gives me great pleasure to award this money to two such important local charities. I would like to thank everyone who has helped organise and support our fundraising efforts over the last twelve months."

May 2013 Shipston Forum is now available online

The May 2013 issue of the Shipston Forum is now available to download.  For the latest news on this year's Wool Fair, forthcoming events and local achievements, simply download the pdf or look out for your copy delivered inside this week's Midweek Newspaper.

Partnership with local GPs strengthens health services in Shipston-on-Stour

A new medical model has been introduced in Shipston on Stour in partnership with local GPs. This has involved increasing the resource in the community to provide more care in the patient’s own home and by reducing the number of beds at Ellen Badger Hospital from 24 to 18 as in-patient demand decreases. There are many benefits for patients receiving care at home which includes: 

- Builds patient confidence in their own environment

- Reduces the risk of falls and losing muscle strength

- Less risk of catching healthcare acquired infections

- Enables tailored care plans

- Eases the transition from hospital to home 

Last year this model was introduced in the Nicol Unit at Stratford upon Avon Hospital. Although we reduced the number of beds we were actually able to treat more patients through better use of beds and enhanced and expanded services in the community. 

What does the community team do? 

The team work with patients who are over 18 years old to offer care in the patient’s own home. This group of patients require support from health care professionals but it is not appropriate for them to be in the acute setting. The team also work to facilitate ‘early supported discharge’ where patients can return home from the hospital setting when they no longer require acute medical care. They also help with ‘admission prevention’ by working closely with GPs and Community/Specialist nursing to enable patients to recover at home, for example, patients with chest or kidney infections. 

The team responds 7 days a week from 8.30am to 10pm. At any one time the team may be supporting 30 patients to stay at home by working with them daily. The team respond to patients within two hours and conduct short-term assessment within three days in order to establish a suitable pathway for each patient. This may include referral to social services or a financial assessment if they have ongoing social care needs. 

The team also offers rehabilitation to regain confidence and strength with daily living tasks that are necessary to remain living at home, for example, mobilising indoors, managing their stairs, maintaining personal care or preparing meals and drinks. 

What staff are in the team? 

Team members include rehabilitation assistants, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. At any one time there may be 30 people working intensively to enable patients to remain living in their own home. 

What are the aims of the team? 

The team aims to reduce rising emergency admissions for people aged 65+ and reduce hospital length of stay for this group. There are many benefits to this, including preventing loss of strength and confidence. This team also aims to integrate services across acute, community, GPs, social services and other organisations, for example Age UK. These processes will ensure that only people who require hospital care will be in the hospital setting. 

Patients have responded very positively to these changes in Stratford: 

Patient Comment about care at home from the community team “My husband became ill and it was very worrying, the nurse came and examined him. She worked with the out of hours GP and I found nothing but help, kindness, understanding and reassurance.  Thank you it is such a comfort to know you are there if we ever needed you again.” 

This new model in Shipston on Stour has already improved care with more patients being discharged from hospital to their own homes with continued rehab and suppot at home. 

The Day Unit at Ellen Badger is also changing in line with this new medical model and has been renamed to an ‘Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre’, refocusing care for patients and reflecting a new approach to rehabilitation. 

Ian Philp, Medical Director at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am delighted to see that the lessons we learnt on the Nicol Unit in Stratford upon Avon, to improve services for local people, are being transferred to Shipston. I am looking forward to working closely with colleagues at Ellen Badger Hospital and GPs in Shipston to improve services for patients.” 

Dr Daniel, GP, Shipston Medical Centre said: “This is a really positive change in the way we provide medical care at the Ellen Badger Hospital that will improve quality of care provided, benefiting the local and wider community.

“We now have two doctors providing all the medical cover with daily ward rounds improving both continuity and communication. We also plan to increase the medical services we offer at the Ellen Badger Hospital, such as intravenous treatments and blood transfusion in certain circumstances. This will allow us, the local GPs and nurses, to treat more patients closer to home and the closer links with community services this will enable a quicker supported discharge home for inpatients.” 

Notes to editors: 

For more information please contact Communications on 01926 495321 ext 4673

Country & Western Night!

27th April at the Sheldon Bosley Hub

Knoxville Highway to play Sheldon Bosley Hub April 27th. Tickets only £7.50. Dancing, singing and pig roast.files/stc/news-assets/img/Philip's upload folder - images/1366834165460.jpg

County Council Elections - Thursday May 2nd

List of candidates

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Italian Market returns to Shipston

Monday May 6th

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Shipston Wool Fair

Monday 27th May 2013

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Shipston on Stour is a lovely little market town on the edge of the Cotswolds, with roots in the sheep and wool industries.  Indeed, the name ‘Shipston’ derives from the old ‘sheep wash town’, as it was here, in the river Stour, that farmers from the surrounding hills would drive their sheep to be washed for shearing.

In times gone by a Sheep and Wool Fair’ was held every year, but the tradition died out early last century until 2009, when it was revived by the late Mayor elect Angela Noyce.  It was so successful that a group of volunteers aimed to stage the Wool Fair every year, and indeed it is going ahead for it’s fifth consecutive time, this year on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May.

Its purpose is to put people in touch with their heritage in a ‘fun’ and quirky way, fostering inter-generational contact and local enterprise.  The highlight of the fair, as always, is the real life exhibition of sheep including many rare breeds and ‘celebrity’ sheep.  Brought to the fair with long coats, they will leave after being shorn in front of a captive audience, led by shearer Alan Scorer.  This is no mean feat as traditional shearing methods will be demonstrated alongside the more modern electrical cutters.  And of course there will be a heated competition to guess the time taken to shear a sheep!  Amongst the rare breeds will be Portland Sheep from nearby Armscote Manor.  For the first time, this year their fleeces have been spun and a range of double knit Portland Wool and Portland with a dash of Black Welsh Mountain sheep can now be purchased locally.

A ‘Wool Process’ marquee will be showing the evolution of the product from fleece through spinning, weaving, knitting and felting.  The Stratford upon Avon Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers will be on hand with their support and craft demonstrations showing the many applications of wool, and there will be knitting tuition for all ages!  Large screen entertainment will be a new addition this year, showing marvellous sheep dog demonstrations, filmed especially for the Wool fair. 

This year’s event will also offer attendees a chance to see the progress of the Shipston Tapestry, which was last year’s event highlight.  Designed by Ros Lobb of the Stratford Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, the tapestry which will measure almost 5ft in length, has been steadily evolving, under the watchful eye of one of the Guild’s founder members Ann Howells.  The tapestry, which is being woven on a traditional wooden loom, depicts the wonderful landscape which surrounds Shipston, including the famous river Stour where sheep were once brought to be washed, some of Shipston’s prominent buildings from its iconic Georgian Architecture to its much used churches and schools.  The wooden loom was commissioned by Shipston Wool Fair and has been getting good use outside of the event too, most recently at Compton Verney where it was used as part of a larger exhibition and helped with tutorials in the age old art of weaving.  

The Shipston Wool Fair will be celebrating all that Shipston has to offer and is a great chance for visitors and residents alike to have a look around the vibrant independent retailers that Shipston is proud to boast.  From eateries, delicatessens, to ladies fashion boutiques, florists and furniture stores, Shipston has it all.

There will be an abundance of games for children of all ages in the High Street, all manned by volunteers from Shipston Young Farmers.  The day’s entertainment will be showcasing all that the local community has to offer through a musical and dancing line up that is sure to satiate all tastes.   And whilst you’re listening, why not peruse the variety of stalls that will be present in the square which will be selling local crafts, all things woolly, and much more besides.  Hook Norton brewery will be running a promotion as well as bringing along their heavy horses and dray!

The Shipston Wool Fair is a great day out for all the family, with lots to see, do and discover, held in the pretty historic market town of Shipston-on-Stour.  So, join us at 10am on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May, for the opening ceremony led by Claire Bowry of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Hook Norton Brewery.  It’s sure to be a fantastic day!

For more information, visit www.shipstonwoolfair.org

Photo’s supplied courtesy of Philip Vial

Shipston on Stour Town Meeting

Notice of Meeting



The Annual Town Meeting will take place as follows. All electors of the town are invited

 Date               Thursday 18th April, 2013

 Venue             Shipston High School, Darlingscote Road

 Start               7.00pm

 Chairman         The Town Mayor, Cllr. Mrs Fay Ivens



Meet, Make and Eat a local lunch

From 11am on Saturday 20th April at the Townsend Hall

Transition Shipston is inviting everyone to join in a “Local Lunch” at the Townsend Hall. The "Local Lunch" will showcase some of the great locally produced and available food that is out there, to share skills and recipes, and of course to enjoy a sociable and delicious lunch out.

Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to sample some local produce get involved in some 'mini-making workshops', contribute to our 'Recipe Sharing Wall' for the chance to win a prize, eat some of the wares they have help create, or simply relax and have a bite to eat! Bread, pizzas and soups will be made on the day, using locally produced ingredients as much as possible.

Entry to the event is free and food will be available to buy at £1 per portion in the ‘all-ages-friendly’ eatery.

Don’t forget to bring along your favourite recipe to add to the recipe wall - there will be a prize for the best entry and everyone is encourage to photograph the recipes to then use at home.

For more details, about this hand-on, family-friendly event, visit the Transition Shipston website or call Erry Lilley on 01608 638422

Local resident to run London Marathon

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Local resident, Shauni Warner, is running the London marathon next Sunday 21st April. It's 26.2 miles for her chosen charity of Whizz Kids. She's trying to raise as much money as she can and you can donate through Just Giving here.


She also has a bingo night at 'The Hub,' Shipston on Stour on Saturday 11th May at 7.30pm.


Good luck from everyone at the Town Council!

Three Peaks Challenge - 18th July 2013

Shipston Cricket Club to raise funds for Shipston Home Nursing

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Shipston Sports Club's cricket section are aiming to complete a gruelling mountaineering challenge in July to raise funds for their club and for local charity Shipston Home Nursing.

Five intrepid cricketers must climb Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike all within a 24 hour period to complete their challenge successfully.

They will be hoping for public donations to raise funds and are also selling commemorative wristbands from various outlets around Shipston-on-Stour.

Please give generously to this worthy cause - click here to donate, buy a wristband or dig deep when the climbers come calling with their sponsorship forms!

Protection for your catalytic converter and shed


Shipston Safer Neighbourhood Team now have access to Selectamark DNA Catalytic Converter marking kits, in response to the theft of Catalytic Converters from 4x4 vehicles and Vans in the area. The kits are easy to apply and permanently mark the CAT with a unique reference code. They are available from the Team at a cost of £5.  Shed / Van PIR, battery powered alarms also available from the SNT at a cost of £10.

Both items will need to be paid for by cheque. As we are acting as a third party, it is easier for us to handle cheques.

CAT Markers - £5 and cheque needs to be made payable to Warwickshire PCC. Shed Alarms - £10 and cheque needs to be made payable to Earlswood Nurseries.

The items are currently being sold from Shipston Town Council.

Potholes beware – Town Councillors are on the warpath

Shipston Town Councillors are to conduct a thorough assessment of the roads in Shipston after repeated complaints about potholes and blocked drains.

The town has been split into ten segments, with most councillors taking on at least one section. Armed with maps, the councillors will be recording any hazardous potholes that present a danger to road users or which could damage cars or bicycles. The results will be collated by the Town Clerk and fed back to Warwickshire County Council’s Highways Department for urgent action.

Mayor, Fay Ivens, said "although we accept that the recent weather conditions have damaged the road surfaces, the number and severity of potholes and blocked drains around Shipston has got out of hand. Despite repeated efforts to get these problems fixed, progress has been slow. We hope that this thorough assessment will encourage the county council to take the necessary action."Although the audit will focus on potholes, blocked drains and other highways issues will be recorded where possible.

In the meantime, residents are encouraged to continue reporting potholes via the county council website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/potholes or by calling 01926 412515.

New Youth Shelter to be installed this month

Shipston’s youngsters will soon have a new place to gather and socialise thanks to the combined efforts of the Safer Neighbourhood Team, Shipston Town Council, Stratford District Council and the youngsters themselves.

As previously reported (Shipston Forum, March 2013), the shelter concept was agreed as a priority at a recent Community Forum meeting.

Following the award of a larger than expected grant from the town council last month, PCSO Andy Steventon was tasked with finding out what type of shelter young people really wanted, and finding a suitable solution within a budget of £5,000.

After discussion with students at the High School and youngsters in the town, it became clear that the shelter needed to be inviting and weather-proof, while avoiding a closed structure that would restrict visibility and accessibility.

Following careful research and some impressive bartering by Andy Steventon, a new shelter has been purchased from Sutcliffe Play and is due to be installed mid to late April. The structure has been custom made and finished to match the existing materials at the Skate Park, where the shelter will be installed.

Andy Steventon said “I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support and the speed with which we have been able to progress this project. I’m delighted we have been

able to find the right solution for Shipston’s youngsters and would like to thank everyone who has helped this project come to fruition.”

Mayor, Fay Ivens, added “Shipston Town Council is very pleased to have been able to fund this shelter as part of our commitment to improving services for younger people. We hope to see the shelter put to good use in the coming months.”

CSW Broadband Project Gets Results

files/stc/news-assets/img/connectivity.jpgA project that aims to improve broadband across Warwickshire has made improvements in some areas before a penny of the project budget is even spent. CSW Broadband has been gathering information from communities about the broadband challenges that they face and where the local infrastructure, such as communications cabinets, are located. As a result of the information received the project has been able to convince BT to upgrade cabinets at Coton Park in Rugby and at Warwick Gates so that those communities are now able to access superfast broadband. Furthermore, as a result of information received from parishes around the county a further 45,000 properties are now to be included in the commercial broadband roll-out, meaning that the project funds can be utilised to help more communities in harder to reach areas.

Looking ahead, the contract should be awarded in May of this year, and then the work can start on the design of the network. The solution chosen will depend to a large extent on which bidder is successful as they use different technologies, but in any event roll-out should start this year and is due for completion by 2015. CSW Broadband still needs businesses, individuals and community champions to engage with the project. There are areas where the levels of survey returns are quite low. This may be because there is little demand for faster broadband, or it may simply be that everyone is assuming that someone else is taking action. It will be easier to justify investing in those areas that show a high level of demand than in those were there appears to be little requirement.

This has been evidenced by the fact that it is those areas that have been most active in completing the surveys that have now been included in the commercial roll-out. For more information about the project, including maps showing where surveys have been completed and the surveys themselves, please visit http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/ 

Fosse Way crash injures five

A Pensioner suffered crush injuries after a collision between three cars and a lorry in Shipston this morning. The crash occurred at the junction of the A429 and Darlingscote Road around 9.40am and five people were injured.

Two ambulances, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance all attended the scene. Area Manager, Martyn Scott, said: “Crews arrived to find three cars and a lorry that had been in a significant collision. “The man driving one car, believed to be in his 60’s, suffered crush injuries to his lower legs and also head, face and pelvic injuries. “He was cared for by an off duty paramedic who stopped to help.

The man was trapped in his vehicle for around an hour and was treated at the scene before he was airlifted to University Hospital where a trauma team were on standby.” Another car involved in the collision was found on its side in a ditch with the driver – a man in his 40's – already out of the vehicle. He was treated for serious chest injuries and was taken by ambulance to hospital for further treatment. Two men and a woman travelling in the third car received treatment at the scene for minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment. The lorry driver was uninjured in the crash.

New CAT system being put to good use


Not long after its installation, the new CAT (Customer Access Terminal) is being put to good use in New Clark House.  You can see in this picture the systems first user, Mr Olsson, who is a Shipston resident and used the system to apply for a parking permit.  

New CAT System at New Clark House

New Clark House saw a 'Customer Access Terminal' which allows access to Stratford District Council.  It is open 9.00 am to 1.00 pm Tuesday to Friday

The CAT gives access to Stratford District Council via a phone and video screen - customers can ask questions about all SDC services, information and forms including: Benefits; Bus passes; Blue badges: Council Tax:  Home Choice Plus; Parking; Planning; Streetscene

Just pick up the receiver and the screen will activate and you will speak face to face with customer service operator.   You can, for example: pay your council tax (by card); apply for your bus pass or blue badge and submit a request for pre-application advice on planning

If you need more than a phone call, but are not able to visit Elizabeth House - try the CAT. 

February Mayor's Report

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Well, here we are well into 2013 but l must mention the two visits which we made on Christmas Day to the Ellen Badger Hospital and Low Furlong; It was a privilege to meet so many residents and visitors on that special day.

We had a good turnout for the first litter pick of 2013,when we were blessed with a lovely sunny spring like morning.Why not come and join us? We are a very friendly group and meet on the first Saturday of every month at New Clark House at 10am,followed by coffee and biscuits with a chance to chat and make new friends. I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank the huge number of volunteers who do so much for our town.It never fails to amaze me to see just how many people give their time so freely for the benefit of others---not only for special events but also on a regular weekly basis.  Thank you. 


I am looking forward to my next Meet the Mayor visit at Shipston Primary School later this month ---the first ones with Year 5 and 6 were a most enjoyable experience, l was quite delighted to meet the children,we had very interesting discussions about the town where they are growing up and they put forward some very well thought out questions and ideas.

I was delighted to hear that Mr.Sid Peachey has received a letter from Buckingham Palace in recognition of the fact that he has been involved with the building of all four Beacons during H.R.H Her Majesty the Queens Reign.Many,many congratulations Sid [The Gaffer]---such a marvellous achievement---we are very proud of you.

With another of my‘Hats’on = if it snows and you are unable to clear your front path or need any other assistance during periods of bad weather please do not hesitate to get in touch with Georgina or Liz at the town council office on 662180 or myself 662133.

Public Inquiry to be Held

A public inquiry is being held following an appeal by Cala Homes against the development of the IMI Norgren site in Shipston.

The appeal relates to a planning application for the demolition of existing industrial buildings and caretakers house to make way for 125 new homes and employment use on Campden Road. Stratford District Council refused the application last July on the grounds the site is generally not sustainable because of its separation from the town and because of the impact upon the landscape setting of the town.

The inquiry, expected to last for three days starting on Tuesday, will be held at the council offices, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford at 10am. A Government Planning Inspector will preside over the inquiry and members of the public may attend the inquiry and express their view.  

Town council calls on WCC to rethink bus chaperone policy

Town and district councillors united in their opposition to Warwickshire County Council’s plans to remove chaperones from buses taking children as young as four to and from school. At the January town council meeting, Shipston’s county councillor, Chris Saint, also admitted he was not in favour of the plans.

Although the number of Shipston children directly affected by these plans is very small, a number of neighbouring parishes may be more seriously affected. Shipston Town Council agreed to write to WCC to express its concerns about this cost saving initiative, which will deliver limited savings and yet, it believes, could have a significant impact on the safety and wellbeing of the children, bus drivers and other road users. Anyone wishing to add their name to a countywide petition against the plans should visit http://bit.ly/11t528M.

Scout Hut Rebuild Starting

This month (February) will see the start of work to demolish and rebuild the scout hut in New Street after a lengthy battle to secure funding. The new hall will provide a much improved appearance and facility for the scouts and guides as well as the wider community. In the short term, there will unfortunately be inconvenience to ensure the demolition and construction can take place safely.

Weather permitting, the start date will be the 4th February 2013 for a period of twenty weeks. The New Street car park will be fenced off from the end of the pathway to the rear of the properties backing on to the site property, up to the recreation area, across the rear of the hut and then from the end of the allotments back to the back wall of the houses in Cherry Orchard. David Wright, Group Scout Leader, said "we apologise for any inconvenience caused but every effort will be made to keep this to a minimum. Once the main structure is up and weather-proofed we will review the situation and adjust the fencing if it is safe and practical to do so."

Snowy Shipston from a Drone

AN EERIE video taken from a drone flying over Shipston-on-Stour during the recent snowfall has been put on YouTube. Be mindful of the creepy music!

NO! to Supermarket in Shipston


Contraversial plans to build a supermarket on the edge of Shipston-on-Stour was unanimously on Thursday night (24/01/13) at a lengthy and heated meeting in the town.

All ten members of a planning committee voted against the proposal to build a supermarket, a petrol station, and housing, on greenfield land in between the Norgren site and the town. Nearly 300 people packed into Shipston High School to watch the meeting, which at times turned rowdy, with some pro-supermarket campaigners slinging insults at the committee.

Councillors and speakers were cheered and jeered, applauded and booed. When Sebastian Tibenham, representing developers Ainscough Strategic Land, told the committee the majority of people in Shipston want a supermarket, a sea of yellow "Just say No" signs were held up behind him by anti-supermarket campaigners.

The pro-supermarket supporters made their presence felt too, but the committee rejected the application on planning grounds, rather than any perceived support for or against it. Cllr Roger Wright said: “If we approve this it will sound the death knoll overnight to the businesses in the town.” Cllr Chris Spencer pointed out the developers initial plan did not include a supermarket, just housing. “This causes me to think this is just to get residential on a greenfield site that would not otherwise be possible,” he said. Cllrs Peter Barnes and Stephen Kittendorf said they could not support the plan because of the ludicrous proposal to put extra-care housing for elderly people up a hill, 750 metres away from town.

Chairman Simon Jackson, after having to tell several members of the crowd to be quiet throughout the night, described it as "the most significant application and the most controversial one this committee have had to deal with.” When it became apparent the plan was getting rejected, one member of the audience shouted out to Cllr Gillian Roache: "You don't even live in Shipston! None of you do." But there was an ominous parting note from Jeff Kenner, the ferociously pro-supermarket Labour district councillor for Shipston. Smugly, he predicted: "If you reject it, it will be upheld on appeal."

Don't Let Your Dog Cause Disease


Dog fouling is not just unpleasant, it can be a health hazard. Shipston Town Council is calling on all dog owners to clean up after their pets as part of its Proud of My Town campaign. It is illegal to allow your dog to foul public ground, be it a road, bridleway, footpath or field. Dog faeces often contains the roundworm toxocara which can cause the serious infection, toxocariasis, in humans.

According to information produced by ENCAMS (now the Keep Britain Tidy campaign), toxocara eggs are not infectious until they embryonate, which is usually two to three weeks after they have been deposited by a dog. It is therefore safer to clean up after a dog immediately, but leaving mess lying around could be hazardous. Keep Britain Tidy states many UK parks are contaminated with toxocara eggs.

If ingested, either because hands haven’t been washed properly or toys or other objects may have come into contact with dog faeces, toxocariasis can develop, sometimes leading to serious symptoms. Shipston Town Council has joined forces with the police and the district council dog warden to tackle the dog fouling issue. An action plan is being developed, which is expected to include awareness raising, reporting and fines. In the meantime, all dog owners are asked to ensure their dogs are wormed frequently and effectively and that any mess is rapidly cleaned up.

Please consult your vet for further advice. Mayor, Fay Ivens, said, "it is always a joy to see people out enjoying walks with their dogs, but there is no excuse for leaving dog mess lying around. I’m particularly shocked that so much dog mess can be found near schools and playgrounds. Please be responsible – clean up after your dog and use one of the many dog bins provided to safely dispose of the mess."

Catalytic Convertor Theft


Please be advised that the area is currently suffering from a spate of theft of catalytic convertors from Mitsubushi 4 x 4 vehicles. If you own such a vehicle or know of some one that does please make them aware of the situation and take all reasonable steps to protect your vehicle as possible.

We stopped and searched a car in Shipston yesterday and recovered a catalytic convertor from its boot but unfortunately it doesn't relate to any of our local thefts so we are spreading our investigation wider. We believe that the catalytic convertor is off a Renault or Vauxhall van according to its parts number?!

Please ensure all incidents are reported to the Police on the non-emergency telephone number 101.

Shipston factory could face closure


Shipston's largest employer could be closing following an announcement this morning. GE Power & Water have confirmed it is proposing to close Turbine Blading Ltd, an engineering firm in Station Road, which could affect up to 64 members of staff.

The company will now begin a 30-day consultation period with impacted employees before a decision is made whether or not to close the facility. Nicolas Delaby, spokesman for GE Power & Water, said: “This announcement is in no way a reflection of our employees and their hard work, but part of a long term strategy to simplify our business, manage costs and improve the overall competition position of our fulfillement network. “We expect a consultation period for a minimum of 30 days. Subject to the consultation, the business will decide whether or not to close the facility. “If so - in this kind of transitions, GE provides a full range of services and benefits – fully supporting impacted employees.” Since the closure of the Norgren factory in 2008, Turbine Blading was thought of as the town’s largest employer.

Councillor Jeff Kenner, Shipston ward member at Stratford District Council, said: “This is terrible news for the town if the proposed closure is certain. “My thoughts are with the workers and their families at this difficult time.” 

Opposition Maintained to Proposed Large-Scale Developments


Following a passionate discussion in which a full range of views were expressed, Shipston Town Council voted to maintain its opposition to the proposed ASL development on the Campden Road. Councillors also voted to support the submission of additional evidence opposing the Cala Homes development, to the public inquiry being held in February.

After some debate, the town council supported the submission of additional information to the Cala Homes inquiry, prepared by the local business community and other interested parties, to ensure many of the original planning arguments, including concerns about the loss of employment land, are considered. The inquiry will take place from 5th to 7th February at Elizabeth House, Stratford.

When it came to discussing the ASL proposal, the one indisputable fact was that opinion, both at the council meeting and across the town in general, was split. Fervent support for the proposal was met with equally fervent opposition, both among councillors and members of the public. This split was reflected in the vote when six councillors voted to change the town council’s current position while six objected to the change.

The casting vote by Deputy Mayor, Veronica Murphy, means there is no change in town council policy and the council remains opposed to the proposal. Reflecting on the outcome, Ronnie Murphy said, "Shipston will be in a better position to determine its future once the neighbourhood plan is in place and I believe it would be better to wait until that plan, and the district council’s Core Strategy, have been completed before developments of this scale are decided." 

Shipston High to be Re-Developed


It is all change for Shipston High School as a project to redevelop its site in the town takes shape. Since its adoption of academy status in September, the school has been working with architects on a project divided into five phases. It will include a new six-classroom teaching block and sports hall complex to be built on land at the back of Shipston Leisure Centre.

Jonathan Baker, headteacher, said: “We know from community sports groups we have spoken to that this will be a popular new facility in the Shipston area and one that really will benefit the whole community. “We are holding a public meeting so that we can share our ideas with local organisations and listen to the views of potential users of the new sports hall.” The project has been kick-started by the need for the school to expand in order to cope with existing numbers and projected future growth.

The school currently has capacity for 388 students but has 436 on roll, and has been working with Birmingham-based architects BDP since September. Phase one will include the construction of the teaching block, new toilet facilities, offices and storage space. The school has submitted a bid to the Department for Education, and is awaiting its agreement so that work on phase one – costing £1.4 million – can begin in March. Later phases of the school development include the gradual demolition and replacement of the entire school building, with only a core of the existing site remaining including the school hall, canteen and kitchen. Mr Baker said: “Phase two of the project is particularly exciting as we are looking to build a new four-court sports hall complete with a dance studio and classroom on school land at the back of Shipston Leisure Centre so it can be used by local schools during the day and by community groups in the evenings and at weekends.” Since the project was unveiled the school has been receiving considerable interest in its proposals and the plans have received support from Shipston Town Council.

Warwickshire County Council has agreed to fund the development costs of the project and contribute to the cost of the new building. A public meeting to discuss the proposals will be held on Thursday, February 7 at 7pm at the school. All are welcome.

School's Closed

Both Shipston Primary and Shipston High School are closed today due to the snow.  For updates on the school's status for the coming days visit:

Shipston Primary School

Shipston Primary School News

Shipston Primary Twitter Feed

Shipston High School

High School Website

High School Twitter Feed...

Snow Wardens in Full Force

The Shipston Town Council Snow Wardens are out clearning the town centre of snow, pathways and working with the vulnerable residents in the town to ensure their safety. 

If you need help, please call the out of hours number: 01608 662113

Take part on TV Show

Do you desperately need help with your house? Fed up with the interior décor in your home? Fancy a makeover for one of your rooms?

Raise the Roof Productions, makers of Kirstie’s Vintage Home and Phil Spencer: Secret Agent are producing a brand new prime time series for Channel 4 and could help. Interested in taking part? To find out more, get in touch with our team ASAP at free@raisetheroofproductions.com

Citizens Advice Burea


Get advice online now from www.adviceguide.org.uk for practical, reliable, up-to-date CAB information in English, Welsh, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu on a wide range of topics. The information covers England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and is continuously reviewed by our team of advisers.

Please note some bureaux can only give advice to people living or working in a certain area. Please check with the bureau that they are able to help you.

Shipston-on-Stour Outreach

Clark House
West Street
CV36 4EL

Advice sessions

Many bureaux now have a short introductory interview to help decide how you can be best advised. You may then be asked to make an appointment. If the bureau is open only for appointments or specialist advice this will be indicated in the notes.

Wed: 10.00 - 13.00.  Appointment only.

To make an appointment call 01789 200136. Telephone advice 0844 855 2322

New Police Commissioner at Neighbourhood Watch

The Shipston Neighbourhood Watch meeting at New Clark House, starting at 7.30pm on 20th February, will be attended by Ron Ball, the new Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Shipston-on-Stour Visitor Survey

The survey took place during the peak visitor period from the middle of July 2012 until the end of September 2012. Comparisons with the previous survey in 2007 are included in the report.

The survey took place in order to:

  • Provide basic data on the profile, origin, behaviour, use of facilities and opinions of visitors to Shipston to help improve understanding of tourism within the town.
  • Ensure that marketing campaigns are properly focused and allow their effectiveness to be monitored.
  • Identify the main reasons why visitors come to Shipston and their particular likes and dislikes.

The findings of the visitor survey research which took place in Shipston are detailed in this
report.  Download the full report below:

Mayor's Report, January

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I was invited by Shipston Flower Club to their annual Gala Evening This was an amazing evening when the very imaginative Nigel Whyles created stunning floral displays to accompany Music from the Shows.

I attended the High School Awards Evening where it was wonderful to witness the high success rate that the students achieved in this years G.C.S.E. exams.It is always so evident that all students are encouraged by the dedicated teaching staff to strive to reach their highest potential.It’s little wonder that Shipston High School has become the first choice for Secondary School education in the area.  

We were invited to the Norgren Bowls Club Presentation Evening when,after a delicious meal, l was honoured to be invited to present some of the trophies.The evening highlighted to me just how much local talent we have at the Bowls Club.

Sunday November 25th was the date of the Civic Service, following an early morning call to say the River Stour had burst its banks again,and a quick phone call to Rev.Jill Tucker letting her know the situation and the possible postponement of the Service due to flooding l donned my Emergency Plan Jacket and got into situ. However a few hours later l was amazed when the Bishop of Warwick drew up and l realised the service was going to go ahead ----so with no time to change l had to attend my special service in my bright orange jacket!!

I was delighted that so many townspeople joined me for coffee and delicious mince pies at New Clark House on Friday morning December 7th---- I hope that this will become an Annual Event in the Civic Diary.

It was great to be invited onto the stage by The Rotary Club of Shipston along with special guests and other dignitaries for the switching on of the lights for the Tree of Life and the Town Centre.This is always such a special evening when l think our town is transformed into a magical story book setting.

We were delighted to be invited to another wonderful Christmas Concert performed by the Stour Singers conducted by Richard Emms ---a performance worthy of the Royal Albert Hall.

The Shipston Town Band Christmas Concert was as usual another extravaganza of musical delights,readings and singing ---a wonderful finale in this their Centenary Year.

Visitors Happy with Shipston


Over ninety per cent of visitors to Shipston feel satisfied with the welcome they receive, the atmosphere of the town and its overall appearance, according to results from a Visitor Survey conducted by Stratford District Council.

The research, conducted among 200 visitors to Shipston this summer, asked a range of questions to identify satisfaction with Shipston as a visitor destination, alongside two other market towns in the district, Alcester and Southam.

When asked to state their main reason for visiting the town, over a quarter (27%) cited general siteseeing/interest, with 22 per cent stating shopping or browsing. Across the three surveys, Shipston scored the highest (75 per cent) in response to satisfaction with the range of shops available. Over 80 percent also expressed satisfaction with the range of places to eat and drink in the town Over nine in ten visitors felt safe from crime in Shipston and nearly ninety per cent were happy with the overall cleanliness of the town.

Although most scores are very high, satisfaction with some aspects of the town has fallen slightly since the survey was last undertaken. This will provide useful pointers for the town council, business community and local organisations when considering future plans for the town.