Rotary Tree of Life and Santa Sleigh

The town Christmas lights and Tree of Life switching on ceremony was observed by a sizeable crowd, in addition, to apparently another 3,000 people online.

With the support and generosity of local business, Shipston Rotary took Santa, in his new sleigh and grotto (thanks to Unity Cross Roads in Tredington) around the town throughout December. The sleigh was all lit up and played Christmas music. Santa’s new grotto was constructed thanks to Shipston Building and Plumbing Supplies, who supplied the materials.

While Santa was limited in what he could do he still made lots of friends from a distance. Everyone, not just Shipston parents and children were as generous as ever making donations to Rotary charities.

Rotary President David Gill, Amit Patel (Pharmacy To My Door) and Town Mayor Cllr Ian Cooper switched on the lights on the Tree of Life.

Micky Cornock

We are shocked to hear of the passing of Micky Cornock, our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.
Statement from Town Mayor Ian Cooper:
"I'm extremely shocked and saddened by the very sad news of the death of Micky Cornock. Micky was one of the Town's real characters and will be greatly missed by very many people. His work as caretaker at the primary school meant that he was known to everyone whose children attended there, but he was also so heavily involved with so many organisations especially the sports clubs. He was one of the most generous and well meaning people you could hope to meet and would always be found volunteering to help where he could. I considered him a friend, but I know of many who were also very close to him and my condolences and best wishes are with them now. I know we will all be greatly saddened by this news but long may he live in the memories of the town."

Introducing Town Councillor Shirley Madams

Shipston was recommended to us by my late mum in law who used to frequent the WI’s embroidery group that met at the Catholic Church rooms. She described Shipston as a compact little town that had all that we as a family would need. She was particularly fond of the playing fields of the primary school, that she looked out onto from the windows of the church rooms.

We took her up on her word and have not been disappointed. We have been resident in ‘Sheep Wash Town’ for the last 18 years bringing up two well-balanced children. Both are now at university at Undergraduate and Masters levels.

My husband Rob is an environmental manager and I work for the NHS at Warwick Hospital in the Aseptics pharmacy department where we make medicines for Cancer treatment. My career has been mainly in the Education , Health and the Care sectors.

Regarding interests, I enjoy sports, reading and cooking. Rob and I also spend time walking, enjoying the brilliant countryside that we are blessed with around us. Due to my son’s influence, we are also novice level but avid surfers.

Shipston has been and continues to be a wonderful home town for me and for us as a family. It has a special place in my heart (one tends to put down roots in the place where you grow your family). Having been a recipient in this town I believe that I am at a stage in my life where I want to take my serving of the people and the town to the next level, hence applying to become a councillor. I trust that I will do the role justice and I am very much looking forward to getting stuck in.

Remembrance Sunday 2021

Watch the Video here: https://vimeo.com/645816045/df5035a727


A Warwickshire town’s Remembrance Sunday service was able to reach far more people than ever before thanks to a big screen showing it live in the town centre.

Shipston-on-Stour Town Council hired a big screen to broadcast the service from inside the town’s church, St Edmund’s, which can only fit a few hundred people inside.

The screen was installed above Lloyd’s Bank in High Street, close to where the parade started its procession.

Those wishing to pay their respects but who could not enter the church due to its limited capacity were then able to stay in High Street and watch the service safely.

And plenty of people did so, with many returning to High Street after the wreath-laying at the memorial to watch the indoor service.

The use of the big screen coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion and the first ever Poppy Day.

The funding for the big screen was provided through the Welcome Back Fund, from the European Regional Development Fund money through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The programme is managed by Shakespeare's England on behalf of Stratford District Council.

Grants are given to projects that help to attract local residents and visitors alike into high streets or town centres post-Covid.

Cllr Ian Cooper, Shipston’s mayor, thought the big screen was a great addition to the service and meant turnout was a lot higher than in previous years.

He said: “We were so happy with what the screen brought to our Remembrance Sunday service this year.

“Turnout in Shipston is usually very good for Remembrance Sunday, but in the past we often had people hanging around outside St Edmund’s as they weren’t able to get inside. They had no way of knowing what was happening or when the service would finish.

“The big screen changed all that. It allowed residents to gather safely in High Street, watch the service and pay their respects in a much more inclusive way than what was possible before.

“We would definitely consider using the screen again in subsequent years – it worked really well.”

Mike Wells, chairman of the Shipston branch of the Royal British Legion, added: “Anyone wishing to quietly reflect during Remembrance Sunday should be able to do so, and the big screen allowed more people than ever in Shipston to watch the service.

“St Edmund’s is a lovely church, but its size means we cannot fit everyone in. But this year, having the big screen allowed more people than ever before to view the service. I think it was a great addition to the day.”

And Glyn Slade, Welcome Back Event Manager from Shakespeare’s England, said: “Projects funded through the Welcome Back Fund are supposed to attract people back onto the High Street, which is exactly what Shipston’s big screen did.

“It was fantastic to see so many people come out to watch the service on the screen and pay their respects to the fallen.”

Shipston remembers fallen on Remembrance Sunday

Shipston’s Remembrance Sunday service was able to reach far more people than ever before thanks to a big screen showing it live in the town centre. An online livestream of the service was also made available for people to watch, including residents within Shipston Residential Care Homes, the Ellen Badger Hospital, Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The big screen was hired by the Town Council to broadcast the service from inside St Edmund’s, which can only fit a few hundred people inside. It meant those wishing to pay their respects but who could not enter the church due to its limited capacity could watch the parade make its way through the centre of town and watch the service safely.

The use of the big screen coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

The funding for the big screen was provided through the Welcome Back Fund, from the European Regional Development Fund money through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The programme is managed by Shakespeare’s England on behalf of Stratford District Council.

Grants are given to projects that help to attract local residents and visitors alike into high streets or town centres post-Covid.


Armistice remembered

The High Street fell silent at 11am on 11th November in memory of those who fell during the First World War. Bob Pitts from the Town Band played the Last Post preceding the silence and sounded Reveille following its conclusion.

Introducing Town Councillor Tony Booth

As a young man, I lived in Stratford but my career took me away for 20 years until I had the opportunity to relocate to Shipston 16 years ago with my wife, Jane, and our 4 children who have since progressed through the Shipston Schools and moved on into their own careers.

I am already known to many people in the town having previously served as both a scout leader and as a youth leader for several years. For the last 10 years, I have had the pleasure of serving the town as a Community First Responder, something that I remain passionate about.

Career-wise I have been a store manager in a variety of well-known brands like Woolworths, B&Q and Wickes. I am currently a procurement professional working for Bromford Housing Group, a charitable public organisation providing affordable housing solutions. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling and eating out and also having simple nights in.

Throughout my life, I have been committed to helping and supporting people in the community. The opportunity to represent Shipston as a councillor is both an honour and a challenge that I hope will allow me to help make a positive difference for the

SAFAG hailed as best practice example in reducing flood risk

Remembrance Plans Announced for Shipston

This year, Remembrance Sunday is 14th November. The Royal British Legion (RBL) has been working closely with the Town Council, Police, Lions, St Edmund’s and the Town Band to agree a format for the morning and this will involve both a full parade and service at St Edmund’s.

Parade participants and spectators are invited to assemble in the High Street from 10am in preparation for the parade, led by the Town Band, moving off promptly at 10.45am, 15 minutes later than usual.

To enable as many participants as possible to witness the laying of wreaths, the reading of the names of the Fallen and the Two Minute Silence, all three of these elements of the service will take place in Church Street in front of the War Memorial.

The members of the parade and those members of the public who feel comfortable to be indoors with other people will then enter St Edmund’s for the remainder of the Service – limited to 330 people total and masks will be mandatory. For those who would normally attend the service, but are uncomfortable doing so, it will be screened live in the High Street on a big screen hired by the Town Council. The funding for the big screen was provided through the Welcome Back Fund, from the European Regional Development Fund money through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

At the end of the Church Service, the parade will reform and return to the High Street, led by the Town Band. Following fall out, all are welcome to join the RBL in The George.

Further details will be published on Facebook (Shipston Notice Board and Town Council), as well as on the RBL and Town Council websites and on the RBL Notice Board in The Bury.

Armistice Day will be observed on Thursday 11th November with a Two Minute Silence in the High Street outside The George at 11.00am.

For more details about Remembrance fortnight or to find out about joining the RBL as a member,

Continued Success for Shipston Town Band

After 18 months when they were unable to perform in public due to the pandemic, the Shipston Town Band recently travelled to Kidlington to take part in a competition organised by the Oxford and District Brass Band Association.

Held at the Exeter Hall, the band conducted by Howard Gibbs played a varied programme and were placed second by adjudicator Alan Morrison. The March The Avenger by William Rimmer was contrasted by the Christina Aguilera hit Candy Man. Principal Cornet Grace Coates was the band soloist and played a solo aptly entitled Grace originally composed for Kirsty Abbotts. The programme concluded with The Triumph Of The Optimists by the Italian Composer Armin Kofler. All in all a very successful day and great to be performing again

Band Member on the National Stage

Young cornet player Luke Barker has had a momentous period. In August, Luke was appointed Principal Cornet of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain made up of the very best young players in the country. This prestigious position has been held by many of the very best cornet players in the country since the band was founded in 1952.

In October, Luke played assistant Principal Cornet for the famous Flowers Band at the National Brass Band Championships at the Albert Hall in London. He had the added honour to play with the world-famous Black Dyke Band in a cornet trio Bugler’s Holiday alongside their solo cornets.

After winning the inaugural Phillip McCann International Slow Melody Competition, Geneva Instruments provided Luke a new cornet as a prize. Luke recently visited the Geneva Workshop at Stokesley and tried out a number of Geneva Heritage cornets — the instrument developed by Phillip McCann to enhance the lyrical sounding qualities of performers.

Shipston Town Band are proud of the grounding Luke received as he progressed through the sections and reached the level he has reached. He has maintained his connection to the band and regularly assists both the Town Band and Stour Concert Brass.

2022 Grants for Community Initiatives

Shipston Town Council is inviting grant applications for the 2022/23 financial year, which begins in April 2022. This year grants totalling more than £20,000 were made, supporting a wide range of community initiatives across the town, delivered by voluntary groups and charities.

The scheme is open to any voluntary group or charity based in Shipston, or those who actively work in the town. Grant applications must be for specific projects, for example, the purchase of equipment or to support a planned event. Typically grants range from £250 to £2,000 for individual organisations, however, larger sums can be made available for
some causes.

The closing date for applications is 30th November. Application forms can be requested from the Town Clerk (see page 15 for contact details).

Grants from Shipston Educational Charity

This year nine applicants to the Shipston Educational charity received a total of £1340 in grants. Each year local young people can apply for funding to support their educational aspirations with applications invited during mid-summer.

End of an era for The Wool Fair

After 11 years of staging the fabulous Shipston Wool Fair it is with sadness that the Wool Fair committee has taken a unanimous decision to discontinue the event.

As many of you are aware, the logistics of putting on such events is no mean feat, both in the huge volume of work that is involved and the sheer numbers of people - some with specialist skills in the agricultural sector - required to pull it off.

Forging links to its past as an old - “Scepwaestune”- Sheepwashtown - the Wool Fair has been an enormous success. It has raised awareness of Shipston’s history and links with the Wool Industry and local farming community; provided local craftspeople with the opportunity to show and sell their wares; enabled local musicians entertain and created a community event catering for all ages.

The committee would like to sincerely thank all the many people who have been involved in helping make the Wool Fair possible each year. The event simply couldn’t have happened without all the dedication and hard work contributed by a wide array of volunteers from our local community.

Introducing Councillor Tim Shickle

Tim was co-opted as a member of Shipston Town Council at the September meeting.

I moved to the Shipston area some 18 years ago from the big smoke (London).

I currently live in Hanson Avenue with my fiancee Caroline, two sons and a very young daughter. Caroline works at Greenfields Nursery and our son has just started in Reception at Shipston Primary School so we are well and truly embedded in the town which we proudly call our home.

So why join Shipston Town Council? Well, I felt that I would like to use some of my work skills to help make our amazing town more resilient for our future generations plus I get frustrated seeing so many moans and groans that I thought why not try and help.

Some of you may already know me as the “Three bed house man” – so the story goes during lockdown we were urgently looking for a private rental and I literally bombarded local social media pages asking for a house. It worked and we finally found one. So lesson learnt constant pestering can help you get what you want.

I’m a lover of most forms of music, I DJ at local events, I like to refresh myself in our amazing drinking establishments, I like to keep things local to help support our economy, I’m passionate about the climate and how we leave it for our children and our children’s children, I want to see safer routes to schools, the right infrastructure for the town given all the growth that has occurred, great accessibility routes for users of pushchairs, mobility scooters & cyclists within Shipston whilst retaining a fair and equitable environment that takes into account the needs of everyone. Oh and I have two rescue donkeys called Fifi and Honkey and I’m mad about a specific brand of 4x4 that have a very large head office near the M40 (sorry Greta).

That’s me in a nutshell. I welcome conversations with members of the town to discuss how you feel we can make things better. You can contact me by emailing tim.shickle@shipstontowncouncil.org

If you have really strong feelings about our amazing town why not use that fire in your belly and come and join the Town Council to help make a difference to the place where we live and love. There are still vacancies if you would like to join.

Update on the community hospital inpatient review

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) are currently undertaking a review of the inpatient beds at the community hospitals: Ellen Badger and the Nicol Unit at Stratford Hospital.

SWFT told us: “The focus of this review is to ensure we are providing the services that meet the health and care needs of the people of south Warwickshire, both now and in years to come. The first stage of the review has been exploring previous, current, and future use of the community hospital beds. We have been working with Healthwatch Warwickshire to gather the views of previous and potential patients regarding the inpatient services. We are very grateful to Healthwatch and everyone who took their time to share their views and experiences.”

We were asked to gather and analyse the views of past and potential patients about their experience, or hypothetical needs in relation to community bed provision in South Warwickshire.

We heard from over 500 people, and the feedback received was largely positive. It is clear that the community beds provision is a highly valued service. Some people told us that they felt it was an appropriate way to transition between an acute stay in hospital and returning home. Others told us how they valued being close to home, and family and friends so that they could visit; and the benefits of the smaller nature of community hospitals as opposed to larger hospitals which can be hard to navigate your way around.

Full reports of the surveys conducted by Healthwatch can be found here:


New Deputy Mayor

At the August meeting of the Town Council, Councillor Marianne Westwood was unanimously elected as the new Deputy Town Mayor after Councillor John Dinnie withdrew his nomination for the post in her favour.

This followed the resignation from the council of the previous Deputy Mayor Councillor Sheelagh Saunders and Councillor Peter Cowley for personal reasons.

During the meeting, Councillors paid tribute to each of them for their valuable contributions to the town.

Young People speak out about importance of Youth Club

At the Shipston Town Council meeting on 9th August, a group of local young people made an impassioned plea to the assembled Councillors to help save the Youth Club, explaining its importance to the town. Some of the speakers chose to share details of the tremendous adversity they had faced in their lives and the huge value they placed on the support offered by the team of counsellors and other staff at the club. Many of them emphasised that while Shipston may appear an idyllic rural community, there are still many disadvantaged and vulnerable young people who need professional support.

Daniel Pulham, Chair of the Youth Club’s Management Committee, explained that the Youth Club had been given a second notice of eviction by Shipston High School, but they were challenging the authority of the notice. He went on to say that he understood that the current premises might not be appropriate long term, but it was essential that the Youth Club could resume supporting vulnerable young people in the town, and the building at the school is the best and only viable option at present.

Could you be one of Shipston’s new Councillors?

Shipston Town Council currently has four Town Councillor vacancies and would like to hear from anyone interested in becoming a community leader by representing the views of Shipston residents.

We are looking for people who would like to become more involved in influencing and shaping the future of our town by improving the environment and services available in Shipston and the surrounding area. Shipston Town Council is an elected body of Councillors, including a Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who are supported by a town clerk and assistant. It is the first tier of government providing services on behalf of the residents of the town.

Formal meetings are held monthly on the second Monday of the month and there are working groups which Councillors are encouraged to join depending on their individual experience and expertise.

Councillor Peter White has been serving on the council for over seven years and is the current chair of the Communications Working Group. “I joined as Councillor to understand more about local government and to work with fellow Councillors to try and improve the town for its residents,” said Peter. “I have a young family and I’m particularly keen to hear from the younger generation on how we can improve the facilities and services available to children and young adults. It is important that young people in Shipston have a voice and are able to discuss their views about what Shipston is like to live in, it would be fantastic to hear from anyone who would like to join as a Councillor to represent the younger population.”

Please feel free to contact any of the current Councillors (see page 11) to discuss what is required for this role and how you may be able to volunteer around your current commitments.

 Celebrating twelve years of service to Shipston Town Council

Fay Ivens retired as a Shipston Town Councillor in May this year.  At the start of the Town Council meeting on 12 July, she was thanked by Councillors for her service.

Fay Ivens joined the council in October 2009, following her successful work as a member and Chairman of Shipston in Bloom for seven years. In 2008 she had secured the Britain in Bloom Heart of England Gold Award for the town and was recognised with the Ann Sankey Medal (now the Shipston Community Award).

Throughout her time on the Council, Fay was a passionate community campaigner;

  • Securing footsteps on the path going from Station Road up to the Tilemans Lane entrance to the Primary School, so that children had a safer way to walk to school.
  • Campaigning for flashing 30 mile an hour speed signs at the Stratford Road and London Road entrances to the Town.
  • Launching “Proud of my Town” in 2011, which saw the start of the monthly Litter Picks.
  • Overseeing several Dog Fouling campaigns, including new signs, spray painting dog poo with fluorescent paint, stencilling footpaths and installing a poo bag dispenser on Tilemans Lane.

She succeeded the late Alan Noyce as Chairman of General Purposes on his retirement and was integral in efforts to strengthen relationships with Allotment holders through the introduction of allotment reps and an Annual Meeting and Allotment Competition. Other major projects during her tenure included the installation of the pod at the Skate Park and a £45,000 renovation of Cemetery Lodge, during which she made sure the retired Sexton was able to stay on-site in a caravan.

Fay also became the Council representative on Shipston Youth Club, consequently becoming a Trustee.

In 2012/13, she served as Mayor during a time of huge change for the council, with the move to the former Police Station which was renamed as New Clark House. It was also the year of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, and she represented the town at a Service at Coventry Cathedral, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by HRH Princess Anne.

Thank you Fay for your incredible service to our town!

 Abigail Sheridan De Graaff – BEM award

Local resident Abigail Sheridan de Graaff was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queens’ Birthday Honours in June for the part she played in setting up and running the Warwickshire Scrubbers, a group formed to make and deliver PPE to local healthcare settings. At the beginning of the pandemic there was a severe shortage of PPE and Abigail saw the need arise in her local area from the NHS Trust hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies to community health teams and care homes. From the initial fundraising, procuring fabric, distributing fabric and patterns, collecting in the items to delivering over 25,000 items across the county it took a whole army of people.

“There were, of course, hundreds of other people involved who all stood up to help in whatever way they could in the strangest of circumstances,” said Abigail. “We all worked as a truly phenomenal team and it was an amazing thing to be part of. People who could sew made scrubs, headbands and laundry bags and those that couldn’t, helped by driving, delivering, cutting patterns or even supplying food!”

At one stage there were over 360 dedicated scrub makers and nearly 1000 people in the group. The scrubs were made in lots of different fabrics. There was, of course, the standard polycotton but people delved deep into their laundry cupboards and no bedding was safe. There were scrubs made from vintage floral bedsheets, Winnie the Pooh and superheroes – the paediatric teams loved the bright and cheerful sets. Shipston and the surrounding area was particularly well supported and lots of people were making scrubs and other items across the region.

“It was great to be able to supply the local GP surgeries and Ellen Badger Hospital with scrubs, bags and headbands as required,” she continued. “It’s brilliant to know that a lot of these scrubs are still being used today, 15 months after being delivered. One of the nurses at my surgery received a pair of scrubs made from Liberty fabric which make me smile when I see her at work! The strange thing is that although I started out with the intention of making scrubs myself, sewing is therapy after all, I didn’t make one set of scrubs because the coordination took all of my time!”

The British Empire Medal is a public recognition of meritorious civil service and Abigail will be presented with the medal at a ceremony later this year.

Could you help deliver the Forum?

Over a year has passed since the Shipston Forum was last delivered to every household in the town and sadly the planned Royal Mail distribution in July turned out to be unfeasible. Some parts of the town and surrounding villages received deliveries made by volunteers.

The Shipston Town Council Communications Working Group are now eager to speak to anyone who might be able to help with distribution on a commercial or voluntary basis. Groups or individuals offering to help would not necessarily need to commit to delivering the whole town and offers to deliver a couple of hundred households would be gratefully received.

Please contact Cllr Peter White if you might be able to help peter.white@shipstontowncouncil.org or 07792 507168

Local Charity Appeals For Support After A Difficult Year

Local charity, Shipston Home Nursing, is appealing for support in anticipation of another difficult financial year. The impact of fewer fundraising events during the pandemic, and a limited calendar of events planned for this year, is taking its toll on the charity’s income.

The Shipston based hospice at home charity, which cares for adults with incurable illnesses who wish to spend the last few weeks in the comfort of their own homes, provides free of charge nursing care for patients in Shipston, Wellesbourne, Kineton and the surrounding villages.

As the need for its hospice at home services continue to grow, there is concern that fewer community events and the associated goodwill generated by the members of the public attending the events, may reduce and put a strain on the charity’s finances. In a normal year nearly 90% of the cost of the care provided is funded by donations and events. However, most of the planned events in 2020 were cancelled due to the pandemic and in 2021 there will only be a limited number of socially distanced events, which means the charity’s forecasted income is significantly reduced.

Andrew Revell, Executive Director of Shipston Home Nursing, said: “Like so many other charities, 2020 was challenging, we have been both delighted and humbled by the generosity of our friends and local supporters, but we don’t take this generosity for granted. We continue to nurse more patients, year on year, and have seen an increase in those wishing to die at home.

We are acutely aware that there are many other incredibly good causes. However, in this uncertain environment, with an increased demand for our services and reduced income, the charity needs to be to able plan with confidence to ensure that we can continue to care for everyone who needs us.”

“We are therefore asking for our community’s help by setting up a regular monthly donation to ensure that Shipston Home Nursing is sustainable for the foreseeable future. If you cannot manage a regular gift, even a small one-off donation will be very much appreciated.”

If you would like to help, please visit: https://shipstonhomenursing.enthuse.com/profile where you can sign up for a monthly donation to Shipston Home Nursing.

War on Waste celebrates two years of action

It has been two years since the incredibly popular War on Waste Shipston Area group was launched on Facebook, which has now grown to a community of more than 2,500. Members of the group are committed to reducing waste sent to landfill and to encouraging greater re-use and redistribution rather than just recycling. People offer previously loved items for free collection daily and #WantedWednesday post provides an opportunity for people to make requests.

“It has been fantastic watching our sharing community grow,” said Alison Packer, founder of the group. “In addition to freely giving away items that may have otherwise been destined for the bin, members do a fantastic job of sharing useful advice and handy tips to help each other reduce their impact on the environment. ”

The Facebook group is open to anyone living in Shipston or the surrounding villages:


Shipston Area Flood Action Group Programme of Works

On 14th June, the Town Council unanimously approved amendments to the budget for Shipston Area Flood Action Group’s (SAFAG) programme of works for the remainder of the year. Two further projects, amounting to £5,000 of work have now been fully scoped and agreement has been reached with the landowners. A total of £78,000 of expenditure is now planned in 2021, funded through £46,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy grants via Stratford on Avon District Council, £30,000 in grants from the Environment Agency and drawing £2,000 from an existing balance of £40,000.

All of the schemes delivered by SAFAG are reviewed by the relevant flood authority to ensure compliance with environmental and health and safety regulations. The adverse weather means that the programme of works is currently running a month behind schedule. Any work unable to be completed before October when conditions become unworkable will be rolled into the 2022 programme.

 Ian Cooper elected as new Town Mayor

The Annual General Meeting of Shipston Town Council took place on 4th May where a new Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor were elected for the forthcoming year.

Councillor Ian Cooper was elected Town Mayor and his immediate predecessor, Councillor Sheelagh Saunders, was elected as Deputy Mayor. The chain of office was then handed over virtually during the meeting. Councillor Cooper will be supported throughout his Mayoral year by the new Mayoress, his wife Tina.

Councillor Cooper led a vote of thanks to the outgoing Mayor, highlighting what a difficult year it had been with little or no Civic Duties but the need to adapt to a whole new approach of running the Council, and bearing witness to how Shipston had responded to the pandemic. He noted that few would have managed to cope with these pressures and congratulated Sheelagh on handling it to tremendous success.

Shipston Museum to open soon

The doors to the past will be opened when the doors of the new Shipston Museum are finally unlocked this Summer, after last year’s opening was halted due to the pandemic.

It fulfils the long held dream of the late Shipstonian Mike Ashley who saved local artifacts for years with the idea of sharing the story of the Shipston area with our community and visitors to the area.

The delayed opening due to lockdown was disappointing but work in its future home of Clark House (near the Town Council offices) continued with recording and archiving the many items collected by Mike and his long term friend Dick Burge plus others donated by local residents.

Archiving Mike’s extensive photograph collection is Martin Russell who says interest in Shipston already comes far from our borders. “A lady now in Australia asked if we have any pictures of her mother as May Queen and I hope to discover one among the many we are currently sifting through.”

Recognising and recording the past are vital tasks but plans also focus very much on the future. An integral part of the Museum will be the handling room where kids will learn by holding items from the distant past. “And we have other exciting ideas and initiatives in mind,” explains Trustee Chair Bekky Hillman. “Garden Finds – identifying what you come across close to home, video clips introducing items of particular interest and changing displays – we want to involve our local community so they come back regularly to see the latest events in their museum.”

This reflects Mike’s concept of a museum for the local people, by the local people, as his daughters: Rebecca Ashley and Justine Taylor explain; “Our father asked us both to keep the connection and we have kept that promise by becoming Trustees and are proud of the wonderful legacy for us all embodied in our new Museum.”

Visiting the Museum promises to be fun as well as fascinating as trustees Martin Russell, Rebecca Ashley and Bekky Hillman show by wearing firemen’s old helmets as they foresee the entrance door’s unlocking – date to be announced soon.

Be part of this exciting community project

Here’s your opportunity to help with the launch of our Museum. A team of volunteers is needed to greet visitors and help with admin tasks. You may be retired? working? kids at school? carer? job seeker or student looking to add to their CV? Think about helping for a few hours each week/month. If you would like to know more about volunteering please make contact (sewalker3@hotmail.com) You don’t have to be a history expert – but have some time for a great local cause and want to contribute to our vibrant community- so welcome aboard!

School Parking

Parents and other adults are being asked to be mindful and considerate of where they park to help make the roads around their child’s school safer, less congested and help keep the air clearer of pollution.

The ‘Cars and Kids Don’t Mix’ campaign from Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police, encourages parents and other adults to think about how and where they park outside schools and to take responsibility for helping to keep children safe. It aims to help schools reduce inconsiderate, unsafe and illegal parking outside the school, whilst helping to ease congestion.

Parents of students at Shipston Primary should be aware that the school have secured free parking for parents in Telegraph Street Car Park during drop-off and pick-up times. Parents can contact the school office for a pass. This initiative aims to reduce the number of cars being parked around the school and neighbouring streets.

Local Housing Needs Survey

Keep an eye out for your copy of the Local Housing Needs Survey which will be dropping through your door very soon. Commissioned by Shipston Town Council, the results will provide detailed information about the future housing needs of all Shipston residents.

The results will stand alongside the Neighbourhood Plan to support building that is wanted and needed by residents and help resist unwanted developments.

It is essential that as many people as possible complete the survey, regardless of whether they have a pressing housing need so that everyone is represented. To incentivise participation, every survey returned on time will be entered into a PRIZE DRAW with a chance to win one of 3 cash prizes of £100. Winners will be contacted after the survey deadline and, subject to their agreement, will be announced in a future edition of the Forum.

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Everyone at Shipston Town Council was very saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and we remember with gratitude his extraordinary lifetime of service. Whilst guidelines discouraged any formal ceremony, the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast and Mayor Sheelagh Saunders made a donation on behalf of the Council and people of Shipston to the Living Legacy Fund of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Concerns over future of Youth Club buildings

When the County Council disposed of the Youth Club building in 2008, it was to a landmark joint-venture between the Youth Club and High School. After £35,000 of County Council funded repairs, the project was viewed as a great example of the community coming together to make maximum use of assets, with the school having access during the day and the youth club for their club nights.

The Youth Club has continued to go from strength to strength with high attendance (over 50 young people on some evenings) and activities delivered by a fantastic team of staff and volunteers. Sadly, in Autumn 2019, issues with drains and the boiler meant it was deemed no longer safe and the Youth Club has been informed that approximately £9,000 of repairs are required.

Now the Youth Club has been asked to vacate the premises within six weeks, meaning they risk losing their permanent home.

Rev Daniel Pulham, who Chairs the Youth Club Management Committee, addressed the Town Council during their meeting of 26th April, lamenting how the original vision had “reflected the Shipston spirit” and that he has received “no invitation for further conversation or consideration”.

It is hoped that the council can mediate a discussion between the school and Youth Club to reach an amicable solution.

High Sheriff of Warwickshire presents awards for public service

Joe Greenwell, the High Sheriff of Warwickshire presented three High Sheriff awards to Shipston residents during the Town Council meeting on 8th March. This included a posthumous award to Dr Sue Pritchard, which was accepted on her behalf by her husband Michael Booth, who expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of prayers and love from members of the community following the passing of his wife.

Sue Pritchard

Shortly before Sue passed away, she was recognised with a Fellowship of the Royal College of GPs. She was nominated for a Fellowship for her care and advocacy of the most disadvantaged patients; her ability and knowledge of the networks of statutory and voluntary sectors which enabled her to resolve or improve some of the most intractable problems. She also led a community initiative - DASH (Drugs Action Shipston); she was the lead clinician in setting up Dementia care in the practice, including the community Dementia cafe, to support Dementia sufferers and their carers. The nomination also referenced her involvement and commitment to teaching; for supporting and developing staff members at the medical centre, as well as caring for them in a pastoral sense.

More recently, Sue had been instrumental in setting up Walking for Health – a fore-runner of the health walks that exist around the county today. Sue was passionate about encouraging movement, exercise and mindfulness and was instrumental in creating Activ08 which also occurred in 2011, to promote the various sports clubs and societies in the town and the importance of exercise in retaining our wellbeing.

Linda Cornock

Linda Cornock received the Award in recognition of her contribution to the community of Shipston on Stour, using her knitting and needlework skills having set up the Shipston Knitting and Crochet Guild. Over many years, she has knitted beautiful Christmas scenes for the Rotary Victorian Christmas evening. She has knitted sheep to embellish the annual Shipston Wool Fair, ‘yarn bombing’ the town with countless other objects to enliven Shipston events. She has knitted 100’s of poppies to decorate St Edmund’s internally and externally in the dramatic waterfall of poppies that cascades from the tower for Remembrance Sunday.

Most recently, Linda has dedicated her time to making masks for the community during the pandemic. She has raised the phenomenal sum of £2000, shared between Shipston First Responders and Shipston Home Nursing.

Charlotte Haines

Charlotte Haines sprang into action, joining the newly created Facebook group, Shipston on Stour Isolation Support Group. This was swiftly renamed Shipston SOS so that the group could continue to offer their support to the community after the pandemic. Possessing outstanding organisational skills, honed by her time serving on and then chairing the Shipston Proms committee, she met with the Town Clerk, the Town Mayor and others to formulate a cohesive plan for the initial logistics and set-up. She became the hub of the group and devised a zone system to ensure that every household was covered. This initiative covered the whole of Shipston and was extended to the villages of Honington, Tidmington, Burmington, Darlingscote and Blackwell. The zone system was used to coordinate the volunteers so that offers of help could be specifically targeted to those in need. She also forged links with the Self Isolation Groups in Brailes, Long Compton, Halford and Tredington. In addition, Charlotte liaises with local social housing providers, Age UK and the local hospitals and food bank.

About the High Sheriff

The High Sheriff is the Queen’s representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order; much of the High Sheriff’s year is therefore spent supporting and encouraging the voluntary and statutory organisations who work in this area. In Warwickshire, this means involvement with the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, in addition to the Police, Prison and Probation Services.

Traditionally, High Sheriffs look after visiting High Court Judges to the county, although such visits are now rare in Warwickshire. However, the High Sheriff does make awards to those who, in the opinion of the Judges at a criminal trial, have been active in the apprehension of certain offenders.

The Office of High Sheriff is apolitical and as such the High Sheriff is in a unique position to be able to bring people together within the county and to support the enormous contribution made by the emergency services, the armed forces, local authorities, church and faith groups and the voluntary community.

As part of their ceremonial duties, the High Sheriff assists the Lord Lieutenant of the County with Royal visits, is the Official Returning Officer for parliamentary elections and has responsibility for proclaiming the accession of a new Sovereign.

Search for local health champions

The Stour Health and Wellbeing Partnership is seeking to recruit and develop approximately 16 local health champions. They will be tasked with raising awareness, directing people to local health services and providing help to those who need a little extra support.

These volunteers will be positive role models, supporting people to make positive choices regarding their own health and wellbeing. They will work as part of a team to support people from a wide range of backgrounds. All volunteers will receive access to training and a level 2 qualification from the Royal Society for Public Health.

The training and DBS completion is free of charge, but a commitment of 3 to 4 hours per week is required for a minimum time frame of 6 months. Volunteers will be supported by the organisation, Volunteering Matters, for the first year.

Shipston Rotary award over £2,600 to good causes

Recently Shipston Rotary have made a further £2,000 donation to Shipston Home Nursing (Right: Rebecca Mawle, Head of Community Nursing at Shipston Home Nursing with Rotary president Stuart Mclean). In addition, the funds raised from the Tree of Life (£632.20) have been presented to Acorn’s Children’s Hospice.

N.B St Edmunds church is closed at present, however, the Book of Life will be there when it reopens.

On-street electric vehicle chargers proposed for Shipston

During the February Town Council meeting, Councillors discussed a proposal from Warwickshire County Council to apply for grant funding to install electric vehicle charging facilities on the High Street and/or Sheep Street. In either location, four dual-headed charging points would allow for up to eight vehicles to be charged at once.

The maintenance costs of the charging points would be borne by the operator and Warwickshire County Council would receive a 5% revenue share. Following the initial three year contract, the County Council would have the opportunity to renew for 12 months on two occasions, before going to a competitive re-tender.

While some concerns were expressed about vehicles occupying parking spaces for an extended period, it was felt that on balance this was a great opportunity for the town and both schemes should be supported, with a preference for the High Street if funding was only available for a single location. Councillors were particularly keen to explore future grant opportunities for off-street charging provision as it was felt this would be the most beneficial solution. The Planning Committee will review the proposals and report back.

Census 2021 – Sunday 21st March

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to local organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health.

Information from the Census makes a difference to the life of every single person in Warwickshire as Census data is used to plan things as diverse as maternity services, apprenticeship schemes, new bike lanes and nursery spaces.

Privacy is also respected throughout the process. All data is made anonymous and personal information is locked away for 100 years, so it cannot be seen by government officials dealing with individual applications for support or influence the payments or services someone receives. The anonymised census results are available 12 months after the census takes place.

Households will begin receiving letters with online codes in March explaining how they can complete their online census. People can also request a paper questionnaire if they’d prefer to complete the census that way. In areas where lower online completion is expected, around 10% of households will receive a traditional paper form through the post.

There is plenty of help available, with people also able to complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS’ freephone contact centre. The ONS also aims to provide in-person support to complete the census online through Census Support Centres where it is safe to do so.

Census 2021 will include questions about sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. For the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit census.gov.uk.

 Healthwatch Warwickshire survey about planned Health and Wellbeing Centre

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust has been working with Shipston Medical Centre to develop a facility that integrates healthcare for the residents of Shipston and the surrounding villages. Phase 1 of the development will create a new GP surgery, a health and wellbeing centre with clinic facilities, integrated shared spaces for community nursing teams and Shipston Home Nursing, as well as a new car park and landscaping. This will be in addition to the outpatients, the day hospital and physiotherapy gym. For more information please visit: https://www.swft.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/ellen-badger-hospital/ellen-badger-hospital-development-plans

The Health and Wellbeing Centre will support the health and wellbeing needs of the community in Shipston and the surrounding villages, by delivering conventional healthcare alongside activities to address social factors. It will offer opportunities to learn, connect, get active and give something back.

The survey from Healthwatch Warwickshire allows residents to help to develop and shape the Health and Wellbeing Centre. Healthwatch Warwickshire is a local independent organisation that works to collect patient and public experiences of health and care.

Complete the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7RZXBXZ, organise a telephone interview by calling 01926 422823, or collect a paper copy from Shipston Medical Centre.





Rotary donate £1000 for school laptops

In its latest act of generosity, Shipston Rotary has donated £1,000 to Shipston Primary School to enable the school to purchase laptops, broadening access to online home learning.

Glyn Roberts, Head of School at Shipston Primary School, said: “Throughout all of the past difficult year, and especially over the past week since Lockdown was announced, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our wonderful community. The help that you have given to provide laptops to ensure that all of our children can access online home learning is amazing and extremely humbling.

“We have already been donated some laptops raised through donations and are hugely grateful to the Rotary for their continued support which now includes a donation of £1,000 towards purchasing more laptops.

“The support of our community means so much to us in school, not just in helping us to continue to deliver the very best education to our children that we possibly can, but also in reminding all of us in school that we are all it together. It is moments like this that we hold on to and give us the strength to know that we will get through these times. Thanks again and stay safe.”

Photo:  Children of Shipston Primary School, Lucy Bosley (School Computing Lead) and Glyn Roberts (Head of School) with some of the Chromebooks donated to the school.


Stratford District Council Garden Waste Subscription Early Bird Offer

From April 2021, there will be a charge for green bin collection by Stratford District Council with an annual charge of £40 per bin. There is currently an early bird offer of £35 for each green bin for a 12-month subscription, available until 28 February 2021.

Householders who pay to have their garden waste taken away will be issued with a non-transferable permit to attach to their green bin.

Those without a permit will have the choice of home composting (discounted bins are available from Warwickshire County Council) or taking their garden waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Food waste will still be collected on recycling collection weeks for those without a permit who use food waste caddies. Free food waste caddies are available on request by calling 01789 260628 or emailing: streetscene@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Best Dressed Window Competition

The winner of this year’s Rotary Best Dressed Window competition is Dice of Church Street. Pictured outside her shop is Jayne Scandrett, the proud owner, holding the trophy presented by Rotary President Stuart Mclean.

In second place was the Cottage Garden Florist, The Alleyway (Jemma Parnell) and third placed was Dr CP Grey Opticians at 29 High Street.

The judges said they were very impressed with the number of shops that took part and the quality of the beautiful displays. Picking the top three was very difficult!

This is a very good reminder to shop in Shipston if possible, but if you do need to buy something from Amazon, Shipston Rotary urges you to go to smile.amazon. co.uk and choose Shipston Rotary as your charity. It won’t cost you a penny more, and the Rotary will receive a small donation.

This year Rotary’s focus is local charities especially Shipston Home Nursing. You can donate at JustGiving, or by using the QR code here. Scanning the code using your mobile phone takes you directly to the Rotary’s Just Giving page and is an easy way to donate.


Shipston Area Flood Action Group

Phil Wragg and Geoff Smith reported on a busy year for the Shipston Area Flood Action Group, which had continued its work in slowing river flow, managing to implement 270 measures in areas upstream of the town – and a total of 694 altogether in the past three years. Interventions have included dams, ponds and tree planting, and installing monitoring equipment at Ditchford Farm.

With funding from DEFRA and the Environment Agency, and involvement in three academic studies, the group is seen as a key contributor to natural water management. The team of around 12 will be continuing their monitoring throughout this winter across the 198km2 catchment to see how the schemes are working, and has a full programme of works planned throughout 2021.

To the right is one of the 600+ dams in action, slowing the water’s passage downstream.  This is on Sutton Brook upstream from Brailes. There is also an attenuation pond at Ditchford Farm which will fill up in flood conditions and hold back over one million litres of water for several hours before slowly releasing it back into a stream feeding Pig Brook.

Census 2021

Households across England and Wales will soon be asked to take part in a once-in-a-decade survey of housing and population. Census2021, run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), aims to give the most accurate estimate of people and households. The information will help decide how everyone, from local authorities to charities, spends funds and puts services in place. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

The census has been carried out every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941 due to the Second World War.

Early in the new year, households will receive a letter about the census with a unique access allowing them to complete the questionnaire online on their computers, phones or tablets. Paper questionnaires are available on request. Census day is March 21 but households with access codes can take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months although all personal records and any detail that would identify an individual will be locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations.

For more information visit: census.gov.uk