Column by leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

I am sure I can speak for most of us when I say during lockdown, our cultural life really helped sustain us – whatever our tastes, listening to music, watching films online, catching up with favourite books.

We’ve all sorely missed live performances, and the crisis has been so tough for everyone who works in the cultural sector.

So it is great to see that the 8th Stroud Theatre Festival is going to be taking place at various locations from 2nd to 4th October – billed this year as “Outside, Inside and Online”.

Twenty five companies will be taking part – some local, some national, coming to perform with a range of shows from childrens’ shows to hard hitting dramas and satirical comedies.

Everything is being done to ensure that Covid guidelines are met, and open spaces will be used creatively at Stratford Park and the Museum’s Walled Garden.

There will be online performances too, so check out the website for more information and go along if you can in person or online to support performers who really need support at this time:

I’m pleased also to see this week that our Museum in the Park is opening up the temporary exhibition gallery along with the Garden and Shop.

The current exhibition is ‘Lost in Time’ by Theo Deproost, an intriguing exhibition of photography exploring the secrets of the Museum’s stores.

As with the Walled Garden, a visit has to be booked in advance online at You will get a one hour timed slot is for you and up to 5 family members or friends and there will be a maximum of one other visitor group on site during your visit.

There is no cost but donations are welcome.