Spoon Carving on The Welcombe Hills **Don’t Miss**


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If you want to see live action spoon carving then make sure you come down to the Rowley Fields picnic on 12th June. It’s calming just to watch someone whittling wood.  The act reaches into our ancient past, a fusion of practicality and art.  Michelangelo said that the statue is already in the stone, the job of the sculptor is to discover it.  Mike will show you how.  More info over at WhatISawuponTheHills.co.uk




The Queens Birthday Celebration on Rowley Fields – Sunday 12th June @ 1pm

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Did someone mention cake?  I’ll pretty much go anywhere for cake so I’m definitely in!

The folks over at Rowley Fields are throwing a little bash and everyone is invited – Looks like it’s going to be a fun afternoon.


Picnic Marquee

Opening of Children’s Grass Maze

Miniature Fairground Organ

Annie Antics Vintage Ice Cream Van

Wood carving demonstration

Family Treasure Hunt

Stratford Cancer and Eye Unit Hospital Fund Raising Merchandise

Shakespearean Strolling Players from Stratford Secondary Schools

Vintage Car Display hosted by Quentin Willson



The Friends of Rowley Fields Launches

Tim Bailey has been a leading light in the campaign to end this dreadful scheme cooked up by The Town Trust and is taking steps to ensure it is protected for years to come.

Along with other passionate locals he has formed an official organisation called The Friends of Rowley Fields to represent the interests of this key town asset and will work with The Town Trust to make the fields accessible to everyone. They are looking for locals to join up and help protect the land for generations to come.

There will be a launch meeting at Welcombe Hills school on 11th June.

If you want to roll up your sleeves and get involved in your community then click on the image below or follow this link www.friendsofrowleyfields.co.uk and join up people!



The Friends of Rowley Fields – PICNIC – SUNDAY 26th APRIL

spring picnic

Although we have secured a “victory” in saving lower part of the Welcombe Hills we need to make sure the threat doesn’t come back.  So to keep an eye on things and ensure this land is protected for future generations we’re forming THE FRIENDS OF ROWLEY FIELDS – and we would like you to join. This group will be constantly vigilant and represent the interests of the fields and people who use them. It will meet a few times a year and it will also work with the Trust to make sure the land is promoted and used to its full extent. It is after all land that belongs to all of us. it will also forge links with other groups and associations that wish to protect our natural spaces.
This is not the first time Rowley Fields has been threatened with development, it is unlikely to be the last.

  •         Stratford Town Trust have decided not to develop on this occasion but, the Trustee’s are obliged to consider all options for all its land and buildings. In the future, (perhaps when the Board of Trustees has changed, or sooner), it would not be unexpected if  the option of developing on the fields is once again subject of consideration. The next ‘developer’ will only offer more money!
  •         We need to demonstrate clearly and irrevocably how RF supports the Trusts Objects (Articles of Association 3.4) ‘to provide/support facilities for recreation/other leisure time occupation’. To do this we need evidence of the fields use by a wide and increasing group of Townsfolk. Our evidence should include photographs, surveys, events etc., the FORF can do all that and much more.
  •         Over the last few weeks we achieved a great deal, our opposition was powerful and clearly influenced the Trusts decision. We need to maintain that strength ready for what the future may bring. Good communication will be important.
  •         At the same time I hope we will also get something out of this, new friendships and a stronger local community, perhaps even a better Rowley Fields.
  •         By supporting the Trust, hopefully we can strengthen our ties and change the mind set!

The weather is going to be nice this Sunday so we’re having an informal meeting in the form of a picnic. We’ll be putting on some snacks and some tea & coffee and we can share our ideas and move forward with the group. We hope you can make it and we can all meet and move this group forward.  And apart from anything else it’s always lovely to meet the neighbours – and this time it won’t be so cold!


The event will be held up at the gate.

TO JOIN THE FRIENDS OF ROWLEY FIELDS you can fill out a form on Sunday or if you can’t make it but want to get involved please email tim_bailey@talktalk.net





Stratford Town Trust

Extraordinary General Meeting

Monday 2nd March 2015

Please attend the EGM 7.00 pm at The Arts House, Rother Street, Stratford upon Avon.

If you can’t attend don’t waste your vote – nominate a Proxy voter.
This is really easy – use the form sent to you by The Trust. If possible nominate a friend to attend on your behalf (they don’t need to be a member).


All Proxy Nominations MUST reach the Trust office by 5.00 pm Friday 27th February or your vote won’t count.


Follow the guidance included with your EGM papers sent from The Trust. If in any doubt ask for help.




Monday 2 March 2015 (and any adjournment thereof)


To be valid this proxy form must be completed and delivered to the Trust offices at least 48 hours before the start time of the meeting.  Completion and delivery of this proxy form will not preclude you from attending and voting at the meeting if you so wish.


I,(note 1)  ____________________________________________________________________


Being a member of the Trust, membership number  _________________________________


Hereby appoint the chairman of the meeting,(note 2)  or ______________________________

of _______________________________________________________________________

to act as my proxy to attend and vote on my behalf at the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Trust to be held at Stratford ArtsHouse, Stratford-upon-Avon, on Monday 2 March 2015 at 7.00pm and any adjournment thereof and to exercise all rights conferred on proxies under law, regulation and the Articles of Association of the Trust.


I wish my proxy to vote as indicated below in respect of the resolutions to be proposed at the meeting.




Please indicate how you wish your vote(s) to be cast by ticking the appropriate box next to each resolution (note 3).

  1.     Should the Trustees pursue opportunities to generate a large capital sum from part of Rowley Fields in order to enable them to permanently increase the income available for grants?





Signature _______________________________________              Date _______________






  1.      Please insert full name in BLOCK CAPITALS


  1.      A member of the Trust may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on your behalf.  A proxy need not be a member of the Trust, but must attend the meeting in person in order to represent you.  If a proxy other than the chairman of the meeting is preferred, cross out “Chairman of the meeting” and insert the full name and address of the proxy desired in the space provided.  If no name is inserted the Chairman will act as your proxy.  For ease of registration the proxy should bring suitable identification along to the meeting (e.g. Utility bill, driving licence or similar)


  1.      If this form is returned with no indication as to how your proxy is to vote on any particular matter, the person appointed will exercise his/her discretion as to whether he/she votes, and, if so, how and, unless instructed otherwise, he/she may also vote or abstain from voting as he/she thinks fit on any other business (including amendments to resolutions) which may properly come before the meeting.


  1.      Appointment of a proxy does not preclude you from attending the meeting and voting in person. If you have appointed a proxy and attend the meeting in person, your proxy appointment will automatically be terminated.


  1.      To appoint a proxy using this form, the form must be:
  •          Completed and signed;
  •          Sent or delivered to the Trust at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust, 14 Rother Street,
    Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6LU, or by email to lynn.wilson@stratfordtowntrust.co.uk and received by the Trust no later than 48 hours before the Extraordinary General Meeting.
  •          Any proxy forms received after this date shall be disregarded.


  1.      Any power of attorney or any other authority under which this proxy form is signed (or a duly certified copy of such power or authority) must be included with the proxy form.
  2.      If you submit more than one valid proxy appointment, the appointment received last before the latest time for the receipt of proxies will take precedence.
  3.      To change your proxy instructions simply submit a new proxy appointment using the methods set out above. Note that the cut-off time for receipt of proxy appointments (see above) also apply in relation to amended instructions; any amended proxy appointment received after the relevant cut-off time will be disregarded.
  4.      In order to revoke a proxy instruction you will need to inform the Trust by sending a signed hard copy notice clearly stating your intention to revoke your proxy appointment Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust, 14 Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6LU. Any power of attorney or any other authority under which the revocation notice is signed (or a duly certified copy of such power or authority) must be included with the revocation notice. The revocation notice must be received by the Company no later than 48 hours before the Meeting.
  5.   If you attempt to revoke your proxy appointment but the revocation is received after the time specified then, subject to the paragraph 4 above, your proxy appointment will remain valid.

EGM CALLED – What can you do

save the welcombe hills

These are the facts as of now

1. An Emergency General Meeting has been called on 2nd March at 7pm at The Stratford Art House

only members can attend

only members can vote

Members will be asked to vote on an incredibly loaded question, namely :

Should the Trustees pursue opportunities to generate a large capital sum from part of Rowley Fields in order to enable them to permanently increase the income available for grants?.

There was a clause :  Those who submitted their applications before 30th Jan at this moment in time won’t be allowed to vote.

Some members are pursuing this clause with the Trust as it seems entirely unfair to disenfranchise a lot of people who want to vote to stop this development going ahead. There doesn’t seem to be any legal reason for this – other than The Trust want this to be the case.


2. What can you do

Join – if you’re  not a member you can’t do anything.  You need to be over 18 and live in Stratford – membership is free.



3. What I learned this week.

Interesting fact #1

Trustees are personally liable for the actions of the Trust.  Paid employees of the Trust can leave whenever they want – so despite dragging the reputation of the Town Trust through the mud, speculating £620,000 on a Benson Road property, spending thousands on advertising the development scheme, spending thousands on PR firms and spending thousands on law firms, the paid ‘Management’ could leave tomorrow and it’s the Trustees that are left holding the baby.


more to follow this afternoon – i have to go out !!









The Town Trust Meeting Tues night

Like many I had mixed feelings about the meeting at The Art House last night.

I spoke to Helen Munro who in person was poised and warmer than I expected.  She’s a pro, empathetic elbow touching, making eye contact and keeping her cool in room full of people that were wholly opposed to everything she was proposing.   I’m not saying meeting Mrs Munro in person has had any effect on my view of the Trust and their wholly misguided actions, but at the same time I’m aware that when this is all over I hope that interactions between the Trust and the townfolk could be conducted on a more friendly level. Her assistant, solidly at her side, maintained icily that only 30 people had come out for the coffee morning at the weekend without flinching which made me laugh when I thought about it afterwards.  It made me realise what we’re up against here.  We are very much the enemy who need to be rubbished and ultimately crushed, there is no room for sentiment here.

For the record The Stratford Herald put the attendance figure at 100 when they visited at 10am – the event ran from 8 until 11, so estimates of 200 are not far off.  A lot more than 30.

The other Trustees seemed to hold the line on the face of it but clearly some were nervous to be facing such obvious hostility from their fellow Stratfordians.  Not all were there. I didn’t get to talk to the Chairman who I’m told is a London executive with a weekend place in Old Town, but feedback from those that did was that he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.  Given that the last two Chairmen have resigned over this very matter it did occur to me that it’s a sorry state of affairs that the only Chairman they can find is one who lives in London who doesn’t really see why the people he represents are upset.  In a nutshell is everything that is wrong with this situation.

Towards the end of the evening there was a palpable sense of relief amongst the Trustee and hangers on as the pesky residents of Stratford filed out into the chilly night.  I didn’t meet a single person there apart from Trust personnel and developers & architects who stand to get rich from the scheme, who was pro the development.  Some people were visibly shocked as they looked at the plans and the reality of what was going to happen dawned on them.  The plans have all been drawn up.  I got the very real sense that as far as The Trust is concerned this is a done deal.

On the positive side opposition to the scheme seemed to solidify further last night.  Stratford has some very talented professional people who will be gathering in the next week or so to formulate a plan on how to deal with The Trust. I’ll post updates on this as I learn more.

Finally the big question of the evening is “What Can I do?”  Up and down the country middle England is getting crapped on by developers and land owners.  This is very much a story of our time.  The feeling of helplessness is one we all share and it leads to frustration and then anger, all of this was on display last night.

Right now there are 3 things you can do

1. Join the Town Trust (we’re raising questions on the validity of the membership issue at the moment but don’t let it stop you joining). Click here to get to the membership page – it’s free. Do it now.  Don’t wait until you’ve had lunch, or picked up the kids, or whatever other little job crops up, download the form, get a pen whilst it’s printing, fill it out and drop it off in the post box at the Civic Hall / Arts House reception.

2. Wed 2nd MARCH is the Emergency General Meeting – 8.00 PM. There will be a vote on whether to proceed with the development. We think this is going to be a straight YES/NO vote but will advise how this is going to work as we find out- More info here 

3. Write to Mrs Munro – details here .  Write to the Trustees.  Make them know how you feel.  It’s your town, it’s your land, its that simple.


That’s all for today – will post an update on this when things move forward later in the week.












A Poem Has Appeared At The Gate

I was on my usual walk up on the hills today and noticed that someone has posted up a poem about what this area means to them (apologies for the fuzzy pics, but I’m sure if you squint then you can read it – or you can of course head over to the gate on Maidenhead Road to read it in person).


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The Coffee Morning was a great success


Using the most up to date scientific crowd measuring technology (how many disposable cups were used!) we’ve estimated that 200 residents from Stratford came out in the sleet and rain this morning at 9:00 to show their support. Part of me thinks it a shame that it takes something so serious as trying to block a housing development to have a coffee with your neighbours. Perhaps when this is over and we’ve sent The Trust and their developers packing that we can do this again just for fun.

Lots more photos over on our Facebook page >> click here



The Town Trust Calls an Emergency General Meeting


This just come across my desk.

“The trustees have called an EGM of the Trust on 2 March.  All members on the register of members as at [9am] on [30 January] will be receiving 21 clear days formal notice of the meeting as required under the Articles of the Trust.  Any new membership applications received after 30 January will be held over and processed after 2 March.  The reason for this is order that the trustees can fully comply with the required notification period for the EGM for all members of the Trust.”

The press release came out at 10.00 am – one hour after the deadline for memberships to be registered.

Link to Town Trust site :http://www.stratfordtowntrust.co.uk/news/trust-calls-egm/

Curious that this announcement came out today and not earlier in the week so it could go in The Stratford Herald.