Growing up in Stratford-upon-Avon in the 1940s

Stratford upon Avon Hospital from the front, facing the Alcester Road. 1900s
IMAGE LOCATION: (Warwickshire County Record Office)
Reference: PH, 352/172/210, img: 2828
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The war left a high level of tension in Stratford, with a lot of people suffering with nerves and anxiety affecting many families in town. To add to this  there were some cases of diphtheria, typhoid and scarlet fever which also added to the worries people were already facing. A fever hospital located on Birmingham Road was an place of isolation for those with these illnesses. It is possible that one child may have caught diptheria from the well water in a different local village.

Italian prisoners of war were commissioned to build a trench of Luddington Lane in order that water pipes could be laid. Children walking home from school would see this on a daily basis until the water was succesfully connected to the houses. A vivid memory for many children growing up during the war was seeing their father’s in their Home Guard Uniforms.

VE Day

Families decorated their houses with bunting in celebration of the end of the War. Red, white and blue were colours that could be seen around town – even in the dresses that were worn by the children, which were also decorated with ‘ric rac’ braid all around the bottom.

Sylvia Atkinson School of Dance, 1947

Girls attended this school in Stratford-upon-Avon town from the ages of five years upwards. Growing up with the school has left me with a life long passion for Ballet and many fond memories of growing up in Stratford. The weekly class involved small groups of girls  working towards passing exams and gaining awards.

Spending 11 years with the school left me with many achievements – usually all of us achieving an one-hundred percent success rate! –  and many good memories of growing up in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This story was created as part of an intergenerational digital inclusion project, in conjunction with Orbit Heart of England, with the assistance of students from Stratford Girls’ Grammar School.


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