The town council is also planning to mark the coronation of King Charles III in style in May and a group is currently working on arrangements for a celebration in the High Street on Sunday, May 7 – the day after the monarch is crowned.
Councillors discussed the town’s events calendar at a meeting on Tuesday, where dates of a series of free events for families were revealed. Activities are set to include the return of classic cars to the town centre in September, a concert by Florence Brass Band on August 13 and a battle re-enactment on April 22 to celebrate St George’s Day, which falls the following day.
They also welcomed a series of monthly Sunday activities planned by Stone’s traders and the organisers of the annual food and drink festival to attract visitors to the town. The traders are planning to stage a music festival during the August Bank Holiday too.
The Stone Sunday Series is set to start with a garden-themed Spring Awakening Market on April 16, with stalls selling plants, ornaments, tools, pots and other goods. May 21 will bring a vehicle display, June 18 will be a cheese and wine festival and other events during the year will include family dance. sausages and cider and a Christmas market.
Canal-based traders are planning to travel to Stone to host a floating market during the Bank Holiday weekend of May 27-29. The Roving Canal Traders’ Association has earmarked a stretch of water off Stafford Road, near Westbridge Park and the leisure centre, as the venue.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of the Earl of St Vincent, Admiral John Jervis. He was born near Stone and went on to become a naval hero, helping to win the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797.
Following his death in March 1823 he was laid to rest in the Jervis Mausoleum in St Michael and St Wulfad’s churchyard. On March 12 at 3pm he will be commemorated at a service in the church.
It is also the 80th anniversary of the death one of the town’s most decorated heroes of the Second World War this year. Flight Lieutenant R N Stubbs was just 22 when he died in a flying accident while instructing a new crew in the techniques of evading German fighters, but during his short career he completed over 60 operational missions as a bomber pilot.
On February 26 Christ Church will host a commemoration service in his honour, with a display of historical items and a small reception afterwards for official guests. The town council has awarded a £500 grant to Stone’s RAF branch to support the event.