REDDITCH is a town and local government district in north-east
Worcestershire , England, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of
Birmingham . The district had a population of 84,300 in 2011. In the
19th century it became the international centre for the needle and
fishing tackle industry . At one point 90% of the world's needles were
manufactured in the town and its neighbourhoods. In the 1960s it
became a model for modern new town planning. It is known locally by
the nickname The Ditch.
* 1 History
* 2 Governance
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Climate
Districts of Redditch
* 4 Transport
* 4.1 Railway
* 4.2 Buses
* 4.3 Road system
* 5 Education
* 6 Amenities
* 7 In popular culture
* 8 Places of interest
Kingfisher Shopping Centre
* 8.2 Arrow Valley
Royal Enfield motorcycles
* 9 Notable people
* 10.1 Friendship links
* 11 Sport
* 12 See also
* 13 References
* 14 External links
Commemorative pavement plaque in
The first recorded mention of
Redditch (Red-Ditch, thought to be a
reference to the red clay of the nearby River Arrow ) is in 1348, the
year of the outbreak of the
Black Death . During the
Middle Ages it
became a centre of needle -making and later prominent industries were
fish-hooks, fishing tackle, motorcycles and springs, the last of which
was notably undertaken by Herbert Terry and Sons.
designated a new town on 10 April 1964, and the population increased
dramatically from 32,000 to around 77,000. Housing developments such
as Church Hill, Matchborough, Winyates, Lodge Park and Woodrow were
created to accommodate a large overspill from the industrially
Redditch was built as a "flagship" town using
new methods and new town planning: all the main roads (mostly new dual
carriageways as well as a ring road for the town centre) were banked
to reduce noise to the new housing estates, and the whole of Redditch
By the 21st century needle-making and other traditional industries
had been replaced by modern light industry and services, with Redditch
also functioning as a dormitory town for Birmingham. The automotive
Halfords and engineering giant
GKN both have their
headquarters in Redditch. Manufacturer of precious metal contacts
Samuel Taylor Ltd has manufacturing plants within the town. Following
the redevelopment of the flagship
Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2002
Redditch is undergoing an economic and cultural renaissance.
The town is home to several historical sites. The National Needle
Museum and the ruins of
Bordesley Abbey are located in the Abbey Ward
district, and the remains of a medieval moated settlement called Moons
Moat are within the Church Hill estate.
The parliamentary constituency of
Redditch is represented by Karen
Lumley of the Conservatives , who defeated the Labour incumbent and
Jacqui Smith in the 2010 General Election .
Redditch has a Borough Council with councillors elected from the
Wards of Redditch.
Redditch is in
Worcestershire , just south of the West Midlands urban
area. It is 15 miles (24 km) north of
Evesham on the A435 , which
skirts it to the east. The main access routes are the A441 via
junction 2 of the M42
Motorway , the A435 from junction 3 of the M42
and the A448 via junctions 4 or 5 of the M5 . The
Roman Road known as
Icknield Street is prominent, running north to south through the
eastern side of the town.
Redditch has an oceanic climate (
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification Cfb)
similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.
CLIMATE DATA FOR REDDITCH
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
DISTRICTS OF REDDITCH
The Borough of
Redditch is divided into several districts. To the
east of the town are "New
Town Districts" built in the 1970s and
1980s. To the west of the Borough are older "Former Village Districts"
that dominate the south and west.
Districts of Redditch
Redditch has participated in the Greater
Redditch Bus Station, circa 1996
There is an extensive network of local bus services run by Diamond
and other operators (including Stagecoach, Johnsons Excel Bus and a
community run bus). Many services run from the bus station in the town
centre, a postcard of which was voted Britain's most boring postcard
in a competition run by the photographer
Martin Parr . The bus station
was rebuilt as part of the 2002 shopping centre expansion.
Some areas of
Redditch have dedicated bus routes; however, there have
been issues with safety on these routes and 3 children have died over
the past 15 years.
Redditch is occasionally noted for its confusing road system
dominated by a system of dual carriageways built when it became a New
Town , including the only cloverleaf interchange in
England at the
junction of the A441 and the Bromsgrove-bound A448 . The system is
designed to allow rapid flow of large volumes of traffic around the
various districts and into the town centre, whilst keeping fast moving
vehicles separated from residential streets. Due to the self-similar
appearance of the road layout, some drivers find it disorientating,
although the story of an elderly couple admitted to hospital with
severe dehydration after spending more than sixty hours trying to
navigate the highway system is an urban legend .
Redditch was briefly
The Graham Norton Show ) for a tongue-in-cheek calendar
featuring its "picturesque" roundabouts created by a local printing
company. The calendar was called, unsurprisingly, 'Roundabouts of
Redditch' and it proved so successful that it sparked a national
series. This self-similar pattern is found on a smaller scale in many
of the modern estates in the town, which follow a Radburn style of
See also: List of schools in
Redditch is one of the few areas of the country where the three-tier
system of first, middle and high schools still exists. Students attend
first school from the age of 4, middle school from the age of 9, and
secondary school at the age of 13. Other areas of Worcestershire
adopted this system at the same time as
Redditch (in the 1970s), but
many have reverted to the traditional 5–7 infant, 7–11 junior and
11-16/18 secondary schools.
Redditch currently has four high schools (
RSA Academy Arrow Vale ,
Saint Augustine\'s Catholic High School , Tudor Grange Academy ,
Trinity High School ) and six middle schools.
Worcestershire College (often referred to locally as "HOW
College") is a large general further education college: one of its
three campuses is in central Redditch; the other two are in Bromsgrove
St Stephen's Church (Church of England)
Since June 2013 the swimming pool at Abbey Stadium leisure centre has
been heated using waste heat diverted from
Redditch Borough Council expects the scheme to reduce the leisure
centre's gas bill by more than 40%, equivalent to an annual saving of
IN POPULAR CULTURE
Malcolm Bradbury 's novel
The History Man , which was dramatised by
BBC in 1981, contained a reference to
Redditch when Flora
Beniform, a sociologist , mentioned to the hero Howard Kirk that she
was studying an outbreak of troilism in Redditch. It is also sometimes
reported as being mentioned in the
John Cooper Clarke song, 'Burnley',
Reddish (a district in Greater Manchester) is the more likely
Rik Mayall 's Kevin Turvey — The Man Behind The Green Door was set
and filmed in Redditch.
The 2012 film
Sightseers is partly set in Redditch.
Redditch is featured in a section heading in An Utterly Impartial
History of Britain by John O\'Farrell .
Birmingham and national TV comedian
Jasper Carrott makes
repeated butt of his jokes, for example over the difficulty of
Redditch ring road.
There is thriving listed theatre in
Redditch called the Palace
PLACES OF INTEREST
Bordesley Abbey : remains of a former
Cistercian abbey, later used
as a Royal Swannery.
Forge Mill Needle Museum : exhibition of traditional needle
Morton Stanley Park : A public park in the village of Callow Hill
with views of the
Malvern Hills and wider
KINGFISHER SHOPPING CENTRE
Kingfisher Shopping Centre was opened in 1976 by the then Prime
James Callaghan and now forms the town's primary retail
The centre has over 1,100,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of retail
space, with stores like
Next plc , Marks and
Spencers , Argos ,
Boots UK , H"> View across Arrow Valley Lake
Redditch has 900 acres (3.6 km2) of public open space in Arrow Valley
Country Park . This incorporates the 30-acre (120,000 m2) Arrow Valley
Lake, fed by the River Arrow . The park incorporates a Local Nature
Reserve, Proctor's Barn Meadow. The Arrow Valley Countryside centre,
opened in 2000 in the
Country Park, has a lakeside café, gift shop
and an interactive exhibition. The lake is also used for water sports.
There are four waymarked trails for walking and cycling around the
lake and through the
Country Park. There is a skate park in the south
of the park with walks along the river Arrow through the
to the Forge Mill Museum in the north. There are interactive events
and family activities at the Countryside Centre and a comprehensive
children's play area.
ROYAL ENFIELD MOTORCYCLES
Redditch was the home of the
Royal Enfield motorcycle. This is where
the main factory of the original company was located and the business
continued manufacturing until the 1960s, the last model being the
Interceptor . The
Redditch factory was closed in 1967 and production
was moved to the
Bradford on Avon factory, which closed in 1970,
ending English Enfield manufacturing. In the mid 1950s, the company
established a partner,
Madras Motors , in
Madras , India, who
manufactured the Bullet 350 model. The Indian factory is still very
successful, with new Indian models and has taken
Royal Enfield into
its third century of manufacturing. Some of the original factory
Redditch still remain, most are in a derelict state and
can be seen from Hewell Road. Some buildings have been taken over and
now make the old part of Enfield Industrial Estate close to the town
centre on Hewell Road.
John Bonham (1948–1980), musician with
Led Zeppelin , was born
Redditch and attended Bridley Moor High School.
Lionel Britton (1887–1971), novelist and writer of science
fiction plays was born at
Astwood Bank now a suburb of Redditch.
Russell Brookes (born 1945), British rally champion
Nigel Clark from band
Dodgy grew up in
Redditch and went to The
Leys High school, now Tudor Grange Academy
Stacy Coldicott (born 1974), footballer, West Bromwich Albion and
Town F.C. was born in Redditch.
Charles Dance (born 1946), actor, born in Redditch
* Jimmy Davis (1982–2003), footballer, Manchester United , Swindon
Watford F.C. . Born in
Bromsgrove , his funeral took place at
Jonathan Dow , actor was born in Redditch.
England (born 1970), TV presenter, educated in Redditch
* Luke Johnson , musician,
Lostprophets was born in Redditch.
Antony Johnston , author, was raised in Redditch.
Zoë Lister , actor
Hollyoaks trained at the Starlight School of
Dance in Winyates, Redditch.
Joe Lolley , footballer, Huddersfield
Town and Kidderminster
Harriers was born in Redditch.
* Tony Martin (born 1957), singer,
Black Sabbath frontman
Tom Paddock (1822–1863) was born in Redditch, and known as the
Redditch Needlepointer", champion heavyweight bare-knuckle boxer of
England in 1856
Freddie Starr (born 1943) lives in Mappleborough Green, just
Harry Styles (born 1994) born in Redditch. Raised in Holmes
Chapel . Member of boy band
One Direction .
Jacqui Smith , former MP for
Redditch and first female British
Alan Styler , (1925–1970) D'Oyly Carte Opera Company baritone,
1947–1968 was born and raised in Redditch.
* John Taylor (born 1960), musician,
Duran Duran , went to Abbey
High School in Redditch
Raymond Thompson , scriptwriter and TV producer, born in Redditch.
Creator of hit New Zealand teen/sci-fi television series The Tribe
Charlie Clemmow , soap actress who is best known for her role as
Imogen Hollins in the
BBC soap, Doctors . She grew up in Astwood Bank
Redditch was twinned with
Auxerre in Burgundy, France. This
twinning proved sufficiently popular to form an organisation named The
Auxerre (FoA). At the beginning of June each year the
coupling of these two towns is officially celebrated.
Redditch was twinned with
Mtwara in Tanzania. Frequent events
are organised with assistance from the community of Tanzanian students
Birmingham University and
Selly Oak College .
Auxerre , France
Redditch also has formal "Friendship" links with:
* St. Elizabeth ,
Gruchet-le-Valasse , France
Gujar Khan ,
Redditch sport teams include:
Redditch United F.C. playing Football in the Southern Football
League Premier Division
NEW Ravens playing
Rugby League in the Midlands Rugby League
Redditch RFC playing
Rugby Union in the
Midlands 4 West (South)
Redditch CC playing
Cricket in the
Worcestershire County Cricket
Redditch Arrows American football Team
Badminton Club playing
Badminton with 8 teams
Worcestershire and Solihull Leagues.
Redditch Roller Sports Club Roller Derby and Recretational Roller
Redditch Athletic Club
Redditch Rockets Skater Hockey Club
Redditch Swimming Club
Redditch Road and Path Cycling Club
* Thaitans Martial Arts Academy
Districts of Redditch
* ^ A B "Ditch youngsters make a big difference to their
* ^ "Councillor Bill Hartnett".
Redditch Borough Council. Retrieved
7 March 2016.
* ^ "Councillor Joe Baker".
Redditch Borough Council. Retrieved 7
* ^ "Standard Area Measurements (2016) for Administrative Areas in
the United Kingdom".
Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics . 1 February 2017.
Retrieved 9 February 2017.
* ^ "
Population Estimates for UK,
England and Wales, Scotland and
Northern Ireland, Mid-2016".
Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics . 22 June
2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
* ^ A B
Worcestershire Demographic Report – Census 2011 (PDF),
Worcestershire County Council , 2013, p. 10, retrieved 6 March 2017
* ^ "First Census 2011 figures published by Office for National
Worcestershire County Council. 2011. Retrieved
* ^ "
Forge Mill Needle Museum and
Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre,
Redditch". Forge Mill Needle Museum. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
* ^ "No. 43296".
The London Gazette
The London Gazette . 14 April 1964. p. 3202.
* ^ "Former home secretary
Jacqui Smith loses seat to Tories". BBC
News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
* ^ "Averages for Redditch".
* ^ "
Redditch Crematorium begins to heat town pool".
* ^ "Sightseers". Independent Film Office . November 2012.
Retrieved 8 February 2014. Tina's mother's house is in Redditch; many
Internet sources describe Chris and Tina as "a
England Divided into Separate Kingdoms: no one wants Redditch,
* ^ "Are these the worst ring roads in England?".
* ^ "Major UK Shopping Transaction with Prudential" (PDF). Liberty
International. March 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on
2007-10-27. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
* ^ "Habitats".
Redditch Borough Council . 2013-11-22. Archived
from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
* ^ Bonham, Mick. Bonham by Bonham: My Brother John (Solihull:
Icarus Publications, 2003). ISBN 0-9545717-0-3
* ^ Clute and Nicholls's Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993)
* ^ "RallyBase". Rallybase. 1945-08-16. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
* ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
* ^ Fricker, Martin (2013-04-26). "Freddie Starr: Police are after
me because they failed to nail Jimmy Savile – Mirror Online". Daily
Mirror. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
* ^ Des Styles (@des styles) (22 December 2013). "Des Styles,
Bromsgrove Advertiser says H might be born there? He
was born in Redditch, we were there just in time!We lived in Evesham.
* ^ "
Harry Styles born in
Redditch – confirmed". Redditch
Standard. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
* ^ See
Jacqui Smith MP\'s web site archived on Wayback Machine.
Note though Ms Smith's actual place of residence was subject to some
controversy in 2009, see her article .
* ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community
Media Ltd. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
* ^ Archived 27 June 2006 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "
Redditch Roller Sports Club homepage".
* ^ "
Redditch Athletic Club homepage".
* ^ "
Redditch Swimming Club".
Redditch Swimming Club. Retrieved
* ^ "
Redditch Road & Path Cycling Club – Home".
Redditch Road &
Path Cycling Club. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
* Website of