Since Save Shottery launched its online campaign and petition on Sunday 11 November, there has been significant progress in the battle to fight the 800-house development and link road that would have disastrous consequences for Stratford upon Avon and Shakespeare’s 400-year legacy to the world.
In just five days, nearly 850 signatures have been collected from 18 countries. 49% of signatures came from the people of Stratford upon Avon, 45% from the wider UK and 6% from around the globe. A whole alphabet of overseas nations is represented: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Togo, UAE, Uruguay and USA.*(see below)
Save Shottery set a target of 800 signatures in a week – one for every proposed house. That target was exceeded in 100 hours. The petition remains open so that trustees of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) meeting tomorrow are in no doubt how strongly people feel about the threat to Shakespeare’s land and heritage, managed, in trust for the nation, by SBT.
“Thanks to the power of social media, the Trust has been under the spotlight like never before this week,” says Mark Griffiths, Save Shottery campaigner. “I’m not surprised we smashed our initial target, but what now?
“The people of Stratford are against this development. Stratford District Council is against this development. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is opposed to this development. MP Nadhim Zahawi is against it. What if everyone could now work together, present a united front? What might we achieve?
“Success or failure will not be down to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust alone. Save Shottery now calls on all parties to come together, put their differences aside and find common ground. There is a legal battle to be won. Let’s work out how we can present a united front and say NO TO PICKLES, YES TO PRESERVES. Stratford Together! There is no time to lose. Let’s get on with it!”
The latest number of signatures can be found on: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/shakespeare-birthplace-trust-no-sell-out-save-shottery .
*Quotes from local, national and international signatories of the SBT: No Sell Out petition:
Stratford upon Avon:
“Spoiling the beautiful countryside around Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Shottery may bring some ready money into the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s coffers, but it will endanger the appeal that the place has for so many travellers who visit us every year. There must be another way to raise funds for the Trust’s conservation projects other than selling away that beautiful patch of land to developing speculators. Please stop this, and find a more suitable alternative.”
“The greenfield setting of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a vital, priceless part of its historic, national and international importance. We look to the trustees of the SBT to safeguard its future for all of us now and for the countless ‘yet unborn’ who will come to Stratford for a precious glimpse of Shakespeare’s England.”
“The beauty of one of the most important tourist spots in the country is about to be lost forever”
“This town is of Global significance, and should be protected”
“Sites need to breathe the same air that the history demands. Otherwise you might as well dig up the cottage and ship it to Las Vegas.”
“This is a piece of our heritage–and one that has some economic value which even the money men should understand.”
“Shakespeare and his influence are one of the greatest, unblemished things we still have as a nation in Britain and to sell out now would be a betrayal to our heritage.”
“I love Shakespeare’s plays. The Bard was an incredible playwright and we should honour this. The modern view that every scrap of faintly green looking land should have concrete poured over it, is disgusting. Nature is the reason we are here and we need to respect her too.”
“Our heritage is being put under threat across the country, don’t blight this beautiful part of our country with yet another unwanted housing estate. The government should be ashamed that they are willing to go against what residents and the local council want, don’t swamp our wonderful heritage with modern bricks and mortar !”
“Shottery does not need 800 new houses but, more importantly, Shottery does need to maintain its historic links to Shakespeare and the surrounding natural area.”
“i think we have to say enough is enough stratford is already so built up, but tis project is going to far, and will be the last nail in the coffin, stratford will be finished.”
“It will destroy Stratford for more little boxes.”
“Once you destroy heritage it will never come back. It’s not about profit, it is about protecting a treasure.”
“respect for heritage”
“This would be a massive mistake for the area of Shottery and the town of Stratford upon Avon”
“Once you destroy heritage it will never come back. It’s going to be a huge mistake. Please find another way to raise funds.”
“it would be a crime to damage such beautiful and historic land.”
“this is a most historic area. It is why you have global visitors coming to Stratford and spending $$$’s. Why wouldn’t you want that to continue….”
“My wife and I visited Stratford this summer and had the pleasure of walking the greenfield land in question. Without a doubt, it is an irreplaceable plot of land with stunning views and pastoral scenes throughout. Treasures like these are the source of our great affection for G.B.”
“I visit Anne Hathaway’s often, bringing my students…. It is a peaceful spot in a busy world, and I hope it will remain so!”
“Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is my favorite location of the entire Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It is beautiful and peaceful…. I believe it is an important part of history.”
“Shakespeare belongs to the world, not to greedy developers.”
“Living in the USA I know how envious the American people are of our history and heritage dont destroy it”
“Anne Hathatway’s Cottage is an important international destination. It represents an image of peace that is not possible withought the countryside around it. It has inspired the imaginations of poets and painters for hundreds of years!”