RECORD-BREAKING DAYS FOR STRATFORD BUSINESSES THANKS TO FESTIVAL OF MOTORING
Stratford businesses enjoyed record-breaking days as tens of thousands of people flocked to the town for the Festival of Motoring.
The festival, which took place on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, brought more than 45,000 visitors to Stratford in scorching temperatures to eye up an array of cars and check out the town’s retailers, restaurants and bars. Roly’s Fudge Pantry on High Street enjoyed its best three days of the year over the weekend, while Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen had a record-breaking day on Monday.
Andy Irvine, the owner of Roly’s, said: “We had our best three days certainly of the year and the last 12 months. The festival is well organised and it brings people into town - full credit to Stratforward.” Sara Young, co-founder of Hooray’s, said: “Monday was our record-breaker, but on Sunday we had the van out as well which was great and gave us a lot of publicity. It was amazing, at one stage we had two queues going on.”
Other businesses enjoyed a busy weekend thanks to the influx of visitors to the town taking advantage of a sun-drenched Bank Holiday weekend, with shops, bars and restaurants on Sheep Street, Bridge Street and Wood Street all reporting great sales figures. Chris Allpress, the owner of Knights Fine Jewellery on Wood Street, said: “It’s been busy, footfall in Stratford has been very good and also into the shop and the festival brought a wonderful clientele.”
And Ash Baker, owner of The Steamhouse, said both their High Street shop and its stall outside did a roaring trade, selling 400 doughnuts across the weekend, as well as plenty of iced and cold drinks.
This year’s festival - one of several events organised by the award-winning events team at Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) - featured 300 motor vehicles parked up on Stratford’s streets each day following organised runs in the countryside.
Local businesses embraced the Italian Job theme on Wood Street, with The Townhouse offering special Italian cured boards and Prosecco and The One Elm an outdoor Peroni Bar and two-for-one on Aperol Spritz.
Mat Faulkner, General Manager at The One Elm, said: "It went fantastically well. We had our Peroni bar in the car park which was awesome - ironically, we were so busy in the pub that we couldn't have it open as much as we wanted, but it went down brilliantly and was a real spectacle. The whole weekend was brilliant - the fact that you literally couldn't walk through town because there were so many people shows how great it was. The weather helped but a lot of people came for the Motoring Festival - it's a fantastic event, any event that Stratforward does is always a winner in my eyes and great for the town."
Stratford Picturehouse put on a showing of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Saturday followed by a Motoring Reel Big Quiz on Monday evening while Everyman Cinema showed The Italian Job on Sunday. Castle Fine Art displayed four motor-themed original paintings by contemporary artist Robert Oxley and Whitewall gallery also put on an automotive art exhibition.
Stratforward BID Director Joe Baconnet said: “We are delighted to have had so much positive feedback about the Festival of Motoring from so many of our businesses. It was lovely to see the town so busy so early on in the season and with such a great atmosphere. This is the reason we exist and the reason we do events - to get people into the town and through the doors of our businesses to benefit everyone in Stratford.”
Vehicles on display at the festival included a ‘My Dad Had One of Those’ display, luxury cars and displays from automotive clubs including Auto Adrenalin and Aston Martin. There were also commercial car displays from festival sponsor Listers, Guy Salmon, Nissan Westway, DV8 Works, the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, Dallas Burston Polo Club and the British Motor Museum.
Awards were handed out to Ian Mccormack, from Neath, who won the Mayor’s Choice with his Pink Cadillac and Graham McDonald, from Tenbury Wells, who won Stratforward’s Choice award with his Cadillac Sedan Deville. Ian Draper, from Potters Green, Coventry, won the Listers Group Choice with a Ford Grabber Mustang, while Ian Fuller from Rugby won the Broadway Treasure Hunt in his Marcos Mantula.
Awards handed out to participants included a prize for the winner of the treasure hunt, a Stratforward-sponsored award chosen by patron Quentin Willson, a Mayor’s award for her favourite vehicle and an award chosen by Listers.
Parents and children enjoyed a special family area at Rother Market including hands-on demonstrations, go-karts, bouncy castle, emergency vehicles, an engineering pod from Stratford Sea Cadets and more; live music at Bell Court and on Bridge Street; and a Wacky Races workshop with community arts organisation Escape Arts.
Visitors also enjoyed Stratford’s own version of popular TV show Carpool Karaoke in a competition organised with Listers, recording their own rendition of Dean Martin classic ‘That’s Amore’ on their mobile device inside one of Listers’ cars.
Stratford Mayor Cllr Victoria Alcock said: “I love things like this that bring people to the town who wouldn’t necessarily venture in. It’s people who might not ordinarily come for a Bank Holiday but come for the cars then they see how wonderful our town is and will probably come back.”
- This was the sixth Stratford Festival of Motoring and is one of a number of popular festivals organised by Stratforward’s award-winning events team each year. Others include the Stratford River Festival in July and Stratford Town Centre Food Festival in September.
- Stratforward is Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) which represents nearly 450 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford town centre.
- Listers sponsored the 2018 Stratford Festival of Motoring. With its 39-year strong history, Listers Group Ltd is one of the UK’s largest family owned automotive businesses and leading retail groups. Listers is a proud partner of 15 premium manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Honda, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, MINI, SEAT, Skoda, Smart, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volvo. The Group now boasts over 50 sites strategically located across the south west, Midlands and east of England. For further information, contact Toni Dunk at Listers on 07793 314832or email Toni.Dunk@Listers.co.uk