Stratford College Photography students lift Christmas spirit

Stratford Advent Trail 1920 x 1440

Stratford-upon-Avon College students have helped lift the spirits of Stratford residents this Christmas in support of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Bell Court. 

The collaboration aims to encourage residents to support Stratford businesses by shopping locally, while at the same time bringing Christmas cheer to the town’s residents after a tough year.

As part of the project, Photography and Media students at the College set up a photographic shoot against the backdrop of the new Bell Court development with the key attraction being a rare Ferrari F40 and Santa with his sleigh full of ‘Shop Local’ bags and presents.

Photographer and Media lecturer, Sophie Jolly who was the driving factor behind the College’s involvement in the project, commented: “The aim is to raise Photography students’ aspirations and enhance employability skills by providing them with an opportunity to develop course skills in a real and stimulating work environment.”

The photos and videos students produced are on display to the public in a shop window in Bell Court as part of the RSC’s Advent Window Trail. The Trail has been created in partnership with local shops, community groups and independent businesses based in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre.

Sophie explained the benefit of the project to all involved: “This is an opportunity to recognise what’s available to us whilst spreading a bit of Christmas spirit, reassurance, positivity and normality to the people of Stratford-upon-Avon. We are hopeful that the final outcome will bring pleasure to children knowing that Santa is still busy preparing for Christmas.”

On behalf of Bell Court, Centre Manager Rich Jones said: “Partnering with the Royal Shakespeare Company and working together with Stratford College to showcase the talents of Stratford-upon-Avon’s budding students is a great way to spread some festive cheer at this time. Visitors and passers-by are all welcome to enjoy this Christmas display at Bell Court, which will be available to view throughout the month of December.”

In support of the Stratford Advent Trail, The Royal Shakespeare Company are giving one lucky winner the opportunity to get their hands on a selection of goodies including: an RSC mug, notebook and a selection of The Boy in the Dress merchandise.  To enter, simply share a photo of your favourite advent window and gingerbread hiding spot on Instagram using #StratfordAdventTrail and tagging @theRSC. The competition opened from 10am GMT on Monday 7 December 2020 (the ‘opening date’) and will close at 6pm GMT on Sunday 3 January 2021 (the ‘closing date’) inclusive. The winner will be contacted no later than Friday 8 January 2021.

Full details of the Advent Trail featuring a list of participating businesses and locations can be found at