22nd Oct, 2017

Ex mayor rescues Stratford on Avon history from skip

Stratford Editorial 24th Jul, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

DETECTIVE work by a former Stratford mayor has saved a part of the town’s history from the rubbish dump.

Coun Joan Macfarlane

was puzzled as to the whereabouts of the historic water trough which sat for many years outside Stratford railway station.

Aware it had been moved during the drawn out development of the neighbouring former Cattle Market site, Coun Macfarlane went straight to the site foreman to find out what had happened to the trough – one of the three in the town.

The foreman told her had no idea but would investigate, and it was lucky he did, as it was found to have been thrown on a skip as workman did not know what it was.

It was immediately rescued and this week was re-installed a stone’s throw from its former location.

Coun Macfarlane – a keen historian who has written a number of books on Stratford’s history – said she was relieved the trough had been rescued, and thanked RM Contractors which had paid for it to be re-installed.

“It would have been a great loss to the town because it matches the other two troughs, ” said Coun Macfarlane.

“I don’t think in all my time as a councillor, which I’ve been for 42 years, I’ve had as many calls as I have about the missing trough.

What I really like is the inscription on the side – ‘Be merciful to all God’s creatures’. That always gets me.”

The town’s water troughs have a long history. They were originally loaned to Stratford in the late 19th century by The Drinking Fountain and Horse Trough Association of London, to allow residents and animals access to fresh water. They were never returned and became permanent fixtures in the town.

The other two are located outside the Guild Chapel in Chapel Lane, and at the junction of Sanctus Road and Evesham Road.

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