Stratford's Shakespeare Connection

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On 3 December 1877, the name Stratford-upon-Patea was adopted for the new town, on the motion of William Crompton of the Taranaki Waste Lands Board.

The supposed similarity of the Patea River to the River Avon in England led to the adoption of this name. There was a trend at the time to name towns after the birthplace of prominent British men. The William Shakespeare ‘connection' led to the naming of 67 streets after Shakespearean characters from 27 of his plays.

New Zealand's only glockenspiel clock tower plays the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet four times a day (10am, 1pm, 3pm and 7pm). The spoken words are provided via external loudspeakers - there is no carillon (multiple bells) as would be more typical for glockenspiels in towers.