Who remembers "Needles and Pins(-a)" by the Searchers?
And that was the key industry of Redditch.
So a small Worcestershire market town ...
... became something much bigger and, arguably, much less attractive.
The planners made a brave attempt to provide for good public transport with numerous bus only links, but inevitably the motor car won the battle with a network of fast (?) main roads with potentially complex junctions. Indeed Redditch has the dubious pleasure of being the site of one of the few (the only?) "clover leaf" road interchanges in the UK at the (in)appropriatelty named "Headless Cross"
The so-called "clover leaf" and its multi-level derivatives, forms the only junction design (apart from a simple roundabout) that allows turns in all direction without conflict. Clever, but expensive in cash terms and land use!
So the small needle-producing community of the 1930s ...
... became the sprawling dormitory town of the late 20th Century.
Like most growing settlements, the first significant public transport was the railway which arrived by way of a branch from the main line at Barnt Green in 1859. Thus it is that we examine the train service development in tomorrow's blog.
In the meantime, visitors to Redditch may like to visit the Forge Mill Needle Museum.
And if, like fbb, you wondered why Mrs fbb's knitting needles had the same name is a celebrated bubbly chocolate bar ...
... you might be able to find out. But not for a few days as the Museum is closed in January.
So next we record Redditch's three railway station sites with four station buildings; an unusual and intriguing train ride for fbb; plus a slightly quirky link with the town's bus services.
Who would have thought that Redditch would be so interesting? (?)