Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Summing up Stratford Upon Avon

'So, how did Stratford go Paula?' I hear you ask. Well, now that I've had time to put on my thinking cap and mull things over, I can tell you that overall, I was very impressed by the organisation of the show and I loved catching up with old friends, some of whom I haven't bumped into since my early days selling on the UK show circuit.
Unfortunately I must have had a 'senior moment' whilst making my preparations for the show. I thought I had organised my trip with military precision, but when I went to set up my stand on arrival, had to face facts, my memory is nowhere near as good as it used to be! I had left the entire centre section of my stand at home in Kent. It just goes to show there is always room for calamity on show days, no matter how experienced you are! By some miracle, I had a spare table covering in my box of tricks, so had to improvise by tipping the entire contents of my transporting box out under the table, turning the box upside down, covering it with the spare sheet et voila! Not perfect by a long shot, but I think I just about scraped myself out of trouble!

The Civic Hall is a super venue, not big enough to overwhelm and not small enough to tire of quickly, it was beautifully dressed by the organiser and I absolutely loved the addition of balloons everywhere ... so cheerful! Mind you, Sunday was very warm and by the afternoon, the temperature in the Hall sure had risen! Phew!

 The Civic Hall is the white building next to the Clock Tower

 The magnificent 1887 clock tower, outside the Civic Hall

I think overall, the show achieved its promise to offer a new collecting experience and managed to create an enthusiastic atmosphere amongst both visitors and exhibitors. Hopefully next year it will bring forth even more eager visitors! There was a super mix of teddy bears available from a wonderful range of bear artists, both newly establishing and old timers. I'm afraid I didn't manage to take more than a couple of photos inside the show but you should get the general idea. I think Samantha (show organiser) is going to add her collection of photos to the event website, so if you would like to see more pics please pop over in the next few days when she's had a chance to upload them. http://www.teddybearartistevent.co.uk/

We stayed at the White Swan Hotel, just a few steps from the Civic Hall

Stuart chilling out in the afternoon sunshine on Saturday
The Garrick Inn, where we had a lovely dinner. Stratford's oldest public house, dating back to the 14th Century!

On a personal note, my weekend in Shakespeare's home town of Stratford Upon Avon was an absolute treat and for those of you who love a little history and revel in a little literature, here are a few of the photographs I took on our balmy Saturday evening, spent exploring the town.

The house where William Shakespeare was born in 1564
The Guild Chapel, rebuilt in 15th Century - isn't it magnifcent in the evening sun!

Twilight on the River Avon


Modern uses for historic buildings ... the pizzeria!

Breathtaking Harvard House 1596, now houses the Pewter Museum. The intricate carvings on the front of this building are fabulous!

Nash's House, Shakespeare's retirement home 1597
Hey, there's even a very pretty teddy bear shop!

The RSC theatre is undergoing renovations, still a crowd pleaser though!

Stratford's War Memorial Gardens

16th Century Hall's Croft, Shakespeare's daughter's residence

Beautiful Tudor buildings around the town

The old Grammar School built 1428, where Shakespeare was educated

The beautiful Holy Trinity Church built in 1210, Shakespeare was baptised and buried here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your visit to Stratford Upon Avon! I must admit, I was frustrated by lack of time and next time I visit, I would love to arrive in time to beat the 5pm closure deadline for the Shakespeare's Trust buildings and immerse myself in some of the wonderful history available by actually entering the buildings!


  1. OMG Paula I was staying in the same hotel !!!! I adored your bears from afar - until I plucked up courage to come and "visit" HeeHee !
    Fantastic photos too ; it was so scenic wasn't it ? I'm thinking of going back soon for a proper sight-seeing weekend .I'm SO glad I took part in the show it was wonderful :0) I've truly "got the bug" now !! LOL
    Huggies , Ruth

  2. Thank you for the fantastic tour, Paula!! You're right, the carvings on that building are something to admire. I'm sure in person they are even more amazing! Beautiful, beautiful pictures!! Thank you again.

    Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

  3. Looks like a great venue. Thanks for the pictures. Amazing for me to see building centuries old and still in use.

  4. Wow Paula, what a beautiful place! We don't have many old buildings around here. The history of those buildings must be amazing. It is hard to imagine they are so old!


  5. GORGEOUS photos, Paula, of a beautiful, so-romantic spot. I'm glad you were able to take your honey along for the trip.

  6. Hi Paula, thanks for sharing the lovely pics with us, Stratford Upon Avon is truly beautiful and you captured it so well! Looks like a great time was had by all,
    Hugs Ginie-Lee.

  7. Many thanks for sharing your wonderful photos.
    I just love all those old buildings and what a beautiful place Stratford Upon Avon is.


  8. Hey, thanks for taking a peek at my mini photo album of Stratford! I'm really pleased you enjoyed it! I think I got lucky with the lighting on some of the evening shots ... note to self: must learn more about exposures!

  9. Wow Paula !!!! I guess I know what I am saving my Airmiles for now :). What a beautiful location and I can shop for Teddy Bears at the same time. Hmmmm . . . maybe next year :).

    It makes me realize how young Canada is. We might have trees that old, LOL!

    Karen at Ciderantiques


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