The last few days in Stratford-upon-Avon have been warm and sunny, but with a chilly wind reminding us that winter’s not quite lost its grip yet. In anticipation of the big day on Saturday many preparations are in hand and it’s also good to see that the natural world of the river, the trees and the swans are also getting ready. I’ve been out taking a few photos that include the building of the special pavilion for the lunch, swans optimistically creating a home for their new brood, a new arch to greet visitors to Holy Trinity Church, the arrival of the BBC outside broadcast units, and Titania meeting Bottom in a newly-planted grove outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. I hope you enjoy them, even if you’re not able to get to see the weekend celebrations yourself.
I recently found this little rhyme, part of an impromptu written and recited by Mr James Bisset at the very first celebration of Shakespeare’s Birthday two hundred years ago, in Stratford’s Town Hall, on 23 April 1816.
Revered be the season a Shakespeare appear’d,
Revered be the date of his birth.
Ever sacred the day, which two centuries since,
Snatch’d “the pride of all nature” from earth.