Much more progress this week (which wouldn't be hard as i did nothing last week!) Maybe it was the onset of September that gave me a better sense of urgency. Well this week I went to the Stratford archives as already mentioned. I have also begun trying to tie all the data i have been gathering up to form the narrative i will be constructing when i write the thesis (writing will begin in early October i think).
I have recreated the trade maps i experimented with a few weeks ago, this time i have focussed more on the core area of the town the mapped coal and malter locations from 5 decades (data gleaned from trade directories). That has helped show me that the economy of Stratford did indeed see plenty of changes especially in terms of the coal merchant business. By 1850 the town had a similar number of merchants to the much larger Warwick which indicates (especially as the town's population did not increase much between 1820-60) that much of this coal business was for elsewhere. The transport links therefore did have an effect.
Well thats my idea anyway, now i am going to add to my weight of evidence. More archive trips are planned for the next few weeks.