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Stroud & Proud: Annabel Richmond – wing-walking, Fleetwood Mac, Brexit


Annabel is a locally grown Stroudie. She is a community builder, passionate about supporting new business, particularly where there is a focus on social entrepreneurship or supporting the arts.

She supports The Good Grief Project with their social media and fundraising, is a potter’s apprentice at The Silver Spot, sits on the Subs Advisory Bench and is currently producing ‘Chatter’ a short film designed for the visually impaired.The Silver SpotChatterThe Good Grief Project

When were you at your happiest?    

When I’ve been out and about meeting and connecting with people. Some folk hate networking, but I’m endlessly curious and easily delighted by the many fabulous entrepreneurs and talent incubating within these five valleys. I adore sharing what I’ve learned from each, in a (hopefully) supportive way!   

What has been your biggest disappointment?   

Brexit. It has been such a divisive process nationally. And, personally, with all our grandchildren living in the EU, it has been a really hard one to accept.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?   

A tequila/cointreau Margarita while reading ‘The Stroud Gusset’ (anon local satire eg: read here)

What is your favourite smell? 

Laundry just washed and dried in the wind over my balcony – and, the aroma of tomatoes growing in the greenhouse.

Who would play you  in a film about your life?  

Oh goodness. That’s a difficult one… My favourite actresses are Kristin Scott-Thomas and Juliette Stevenson.  Mixed with a dash of Sofia Helen would be a great cocktail.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?  

My late uncle Gerald. He was commissioned by the CND movement to create the peace sign in 1958. 

What do you like most about Stroud?

Its ability for acceptance. You can be anyone you like here.  I have always appreciated its history of protest plus its sense of independent identity. I love its community and its vibrant support for the earth … Stroud houses a fabulous melting pot of entrepreneurs and artistic talent and all of this is set against such a stunning rural backdrop – how to choose?

What would you improve about Stroud?  

I’d like to see a direct rail link to connect us to Bristol – this has always seemed a no-brainer to me. I would like there to be more events, facilities and programmes for our young people. We have hosted a Swiss student for the past couple of years. And this always highlights to us how few spaces there are for teens.

What is your ideal weekend? 

A Friday night catch-up with a gang of friends and neighbours. A de-brief of the week!  A bit of a lie-in on the next day followed by a visit to the town market for treats or china that needs rehoming. Supper with friends in or out at one of Stroud’s fabulous venues followed by dancing.  Sunday would see a long lazy brunch then a stomp around the Heavens’ fields with our two whippets.

What is on your bucket list?  

I’d like to make a feature film in Stroud, try wing-walking and finally learn to use a sewing machine.

What is the most important  lesson life has taught you?

I can’t remember who said this but I’ve always enjoyed its encouragement: ‘Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end’. Whatever life throws at you, there is always something good that emerges from each situation or encounter. So to keep at it!

What book and song would you take with you if stranded on an uninhabited island?  

Until recently it would always have been ‘The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. But, I recently read ‘Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile’ by local author Alice Jolly. And was completely blown away by her story. I think I’d need to take this tale about Stroud and its stoic female protagonist with me.  
A favourite song is really tricky. But it would probably be ‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow’ by Fleetwood Mac.

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