Review of the year - May

Stroud News and Journal: Wap queen Rachael Rutter Wap queen Rachael Rutter

VIVID colours filled the streets of Stroud as the 2013 Site Festival got underway at the beginning of May.

Workshops for aspiring artists were held at the former Curry’s store and the famous Rinky Dink Sound System led a lively procession through the town centre.

There was controversy at Ebley Mill after Stroud District Council opted not to fly the flag at half mast following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

The authority’s Labour leader Geoff Wheeler said his administration saw the late Prime Minister was a ‘divisive’ figure.

Across the county, statistics showed that crime had fallen by some 15 per cent, with reductions in burglaries and vehicle crime, but that was little consolation to a woman from Quedgeley who had jewellery stolen after inviting scrap metal dealers into her home.

Unpopular plans for 140 houses in the Slad Valley were unanimously rejected by the district council but the developer Gladman vowed to appeal.

Teachers at Marling School spontaneously acted out scenes from Romeo and Juliet during a lunch break.

The Shakespearean flash-mob saw staff pretend to do battle with wooden swords.

In Brimscombe and Thrupp, 100 bio-degradable ballons were launched to signal the start of the Grand Village Fete, whilst Horsley Village School marked May Day with traditional spring celebrations in the parish churchyard before parading through the village.

Hundreds enjoyed Randwick Wap, with the highlights this year including a dog display, Morris dancing and the usual cheese-rolling.

Wap mayor Michael Cratchley and the Queen of the May Rachael Rutter were sworn in and carried through the streets followed by dozens of villagers in traditional costumes.

And Rupert Grint, better known as Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter films, helped pull a truck through Stroud in aid of The Door Youth Project.

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