Redditch

From Academic Kids

Borough of Redditch
Redditch
Shown within Worcestershire
Geography
Status:Borough
Region:West Midlands
Admin. County:Worcestershire
Area:
- Total
Ranked 295th
54.25 km²
Admin. HQ:Redditch
ONS code:47UD
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 294th
79,216
1,460 / km²
Ethnicity:94.8% White
2.7% S.Asian
Politics
Redditch Borough Council
http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/
Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
Executive:Labour
MP:Jacqui Smith

Redditch is a town and local government district in Worcestershire, England, just south of the West Midlands urban area. The district has a population of about 80,000 and is represented in Parliament by Jacqui Smith.

The first recorded mention of Redditch is in 1348, the year of the outbreak of the Black Death. During the Middle Ages it became a centre of needle-making. It was designated a new town in 1964 and the population increased dramatically from 32,000 to around 77,000. Entire new estates such as Church Hill, Matchborough, Oakenshaw and Winyates were created to accommodate the large overspill from an industrially expanding Birmingham. Now mainly a dormitory town with one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the country, it has some light industry and is also well-known in the region for its speciality Batchley Cheese. With the redevelopment of the flagship Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2002 Redditch is undergoing an economic and cultural renaissance.


Contents

Transport

Located in the heart of England, Redditch is an ideal point of departure for destinations in the surrounding region. The M42 motorway is a short drive away and it is linked by dual carriageways and A-class roads to surrounding towns such as Bromsgrove and Evesham. The Cross-City Line provides a regular train service via Birmingham New Street to Lichfield. There is a regular bus service to Studley.

There is an extensive network of local bus services run by First Midland Red and other operators. 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.

Redditch is locally well known for its confusing road system dominated by a system of dual carriageways built when it became a "New Town". Due to their similar appearance drivers easily become disorientated, 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 famous for a tongue-in-cheek calendar featuring its "picturesque" roundabouts created by a local printing company, which proved so successful it has sparked a national series (http://www.roundaboutsofbritain.com/).

Places of Interest

The Kingfisher Shopping Centre, opened in 1978, is the town's primary retail centre and is well-known for its palm trees in the centre's main square. Originally a small troupe of spider monkeys inhabited these trees, but this marketing gimmick was dropped after protests from animal rights groups and from the parents of small children injured by items of fruit thrown by the monkeys.

Local Dialect

Due to its geographical location Redditch was isolated from the Worcestershire vernacular, instead developing a distinguishable local mode of speech which owes more to the influence of nearby Warwickshire and Birmingham. With the establishment of Redditch as a new town this influence has been strengthened with the influx of migrants from the West Midlands area. For example, policemen are colloquially known as "tadgers" instead of "bobbies", and their distinctive helmets are referred to as "peckers". A "kingfisher" is a shoplifter, while a "roundabout" is a drug-induced high (thought to derive from the children's television programme The Magic Roundabout; to avoid confusion, the type of road junction usually called a roundabout is known in the town as a "swing", as in the phrase "swings and roundabouts").

Notable residents

John Bonham (1948–1980) of Led Zeppelin was born in Redditch.Template:Inote

External links

References

  • Bonham, Mick. Bonham by Bonham: My Brother John (Solihull: Icarus Publications, 2003). ISBN 0954571703


Districts of England - West Midlands Flag of England

Birmingham | Bridgnorth | Bromsgrove | Cannock Chase | Coventry | Dudley | East Staffordshire | Herefordshire | Lichfield | Malvern Hills | Newcastle-under-Lyme | North Shropshire | North Warwickshire | Nuneaton and Bedworth | Oswestry | Redditch | Rugby | Sandwell | Shrewsbury and Atcham | Solihull | South Shropshire | South Staffordshire | Stafford | Staffordshire Moorlands | Stoke-on-Trent | Stratford-on-Avon | Tamworth | Telford and Wrekin | Walsall | Warwick | Wolverhampton | Worcester | Wychavon | Wyre Forest

Administrative Counties with multiple districts: Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire

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