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Shakespeare's Stratford


Welcome to the SCR blog page. This is where you can find out the inside track about everything (well almost!) that's going on at Stratford Community Radio. Presenters, producers and all the back room staff will keep you up to speed on all the latest developments at YOUR radio station, so remember to check back on a regular basis. Don't forget, if you've got something to say about the town in which you live, then contact us.


Stratford Christmas Lights 2010 Appeal

It was just another day in the Stratford Community Radio studio last week when Town Councilor Maureen Beckett came in asking for donations for the appeal for next year’s Christmas Lights in Stratford.

She told us about the difficulty the Christmas Lights Committee are having in raising sufficient funds to ensure we have festive lights in the town centre next year, and we think the people of Stratford would be happy to help.

This year sees the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Stratford Christmas Lights and to mark the occasion new lighting displays have been arranged. The lights are funded by generous grants from the Town Council and the Town Trust, but these grants are by no means guaranteed, and are dependant on additional funding being raised from donations from local businesses, residents and visitors to the town.

The Christmas Lights Committee is made up of only six people, but already they have sent letters out to all the businesses in the town asking for donations. A number of fundraising activities have been arranged, but the level of contribution has dropped this year, undoubtedly due to the recession. Cllr Beckett and her colleagues are doing everything they can to achieve the £18,000 needed to secure next year’s grants, but they need YOUR help!

The Stratford Christmas Lights are considered to be one of the finest displays in the country. We are lucky to benefit from visitors to the town all year round, and it’s important they leave wanting to come back next year. So – please help! For more information or to find out where to send your donation, please go to the relevant website and do what you can to make sure that Stratford looks as beautiful next Christmas as it will do this year.

This year’s Christmas Lights will be switched on at 5pm on Thursday, 26th November by the Town Mayor, Cllr Mrs Jenny Fradgley

Cllr Maureen Beckett will be appearing on ‘Over The Fence’ with Mandy Webb 12-2pm on Friday, 23rd October. Listen in and join in the debate by visiting the website and clicking the ‘Listen Live’ button.

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Happily Ever After – Radio Book Review

Penny Friedman and Sally Nailer joined presenter Jacqui Alexander in the studio of Stratford Community Radio last Friday to review ‘The Eyre Affair’ by Jasper Fforde.

Penny and Sally are part of the Reading Group of the Stratford Soroptimists. The Reading Group was set up quite recently and the ladies borrow their books from Stratford Library.

Penny told us “The heroine of the book, Thursday Next, is a literary detective, trying to catch the evil Acheron Hades, who is kidnapping characters from great novels and threatening to change the plots of the novels forever. It's a wacky, slightly Sci-Fi book, the first of a series of Thursday Next books, which have become a bit of a cult among some readers.”

Both Penny and Sally enjoyed the book, although they said that some of their group found it a little difficult to get into. Sally told us that although not a page-turner, it is a compelling story. They plan to read other books in the Thursday Next series, of which they think there are currently four titles.

Overall Mark for ‘The Eyre Affair’ by Jasper Fforde - 7/10

The book the group is currently reading is 'Snow Falling on Cedars' by David Guterson, a beautifully written book set on a remote island off the west coast of the US in the 1950's.

If you have read either of these books, please let us know what you thought of it.

Soroptimist International is a worldwide organisation for women in management and professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women around the world. There is a UK division many local groups across the country.

The Stratford group fundraises for international, national and local projects. Locally they are helping the Shakespeare Hospice, Warwickshire Air Ambulance and also maintaining a garden at Stratford Hospital. For information about the Stratford Soroptimists, please visit their website:

Jacqui would like to thank the ladies of Stratford Soroptimists Reading Group for contributing to the show.

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THEM IS ME drop into the Studio

Them Is Me

Photo: Jason Jervis

On Friday we had another treat in the studio! Gary Stringer (vocals) and Jack Bessant (bass) from Them Is Me came for tea (along with their lovely PA, Martha) to talk to us about the gig they were doing that very evening at Cox’s Yard.

Their names might well be familiar to you, as the guys were part of the very successful Reef, the Somerset band who had massive hits in the 90’s and early 00’s with albums like ‘Gold’ in 1995 and ‘Glow’ in 1997.

The pair has teamed up with Nathan ‘Tugg’ Curran (drums) and Jonas Jalhay (guitar) to form Them Is Me and the band have spent the whole of September touring around the country and the response has been fantastic. Reef fans will remember that Tugg took over from Dominic Greensmith for the final months of the old band.

This was the band’s first visit to Stratford but hopefully won’t be their last as they told us they think it’s a pretty little town! Adrian interviewed the guys and played several tracks from their debut album, also called Them Is Me.

It has a lot of strong tracks and is a brilliant first album. You can buy the CD direct from the website for a bargain £8 – their first single and tee shirts are also available to buy online.

The guys were both an absolute delight to have in the studio, friendly and chatty and not at all ‘rock and roll’, and we look forward to welcoming them back again soon.

The band have some further dates coming up later this year – on 27th November at The Roadhouse, Manchester; 28th November at The Flapper, Birmingham; and 4th December at The Monto Water Rats, London.

For more information, please visit the band’s website

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