Annex to Chapter 6

Ref 1

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These are the enumerators' routes for the census of 1841 in Redditch (not including the parish of Ipsley)
All that part of the township of Redditch :

1. Commencing at Batchley in Red Lane, extending to Littleworth and taking in Unicorn Hill North and South, Evesham Street East and West and culminating with the house occupied by Richard Field at the top of Ipsley Street.

2. Commencing at the first cottage from the Headless Cross Turnpike Gate, extending from thence to the bottom of Ipsley Street to Pool Place - Red Lion Street North and South, the whole of Wapping from the Red Lion Inn to the Bull Inn and Tanners Row.

3. Salters Lane, Brockhill Lane, Common Side, Bates Hill, Chapel Green West, William Street, Fish Hill West, Birmingham Road to Bordesley Turnpike Gate, Albert Street and Fish Hill East.

4. Chapel Green East, Little Wapping, Easemore Lane, Beoley Street, Beoley Lane to Beoley Brook, and Chapel Green South from the end of Red Lion Street to Watson's (?) corner.

5. All that part of the township of Webheath situated at and known as Headless Cross and from thence along the Bromsgrove Turnpike Road to The Fox and Goose at Foxlydiate. From Foxlydiate to the old workhouse, from thence to Hill Top and along the East of Webheath Common to the Bromsgrove Turnpike Road.

6. All that part of the township of Webheath from Foxlydiate House along the Bromsgrove Turnpike Road North and South, including the old Paper Mill houses at Hewell, to Hewell Lane; from thence to Church End and the Holyoakes Farm; from thence to the Lane House, Cur (?) Lane, Shellwood, Banks Green and ?? at Ragless (?) near Hill Top.

The full details of the streets, farms etc are as follows:

1. Red Lane; Littleworth; Unicorn Hill; Evesham Street; New End.
2. Ipsley Street; Tanners Row; Wapping; Red Lion Street; Pool Place; Red Lion Street; Ipsley Street.
3. Brockhill Lane; Birchinsale; Bridley Moor; Round Hill Lodge; Gate Farm; Salters Lane; Bates Hill; Salters Lane; Common; Bates Hill; Chapel Green West; William Street; Bates Hill; Walford Street; Chapel Green West; Fish Hill West; Green Lane; Fish Hill West; Birmingham Road; Bordesley Lodge Farm; Middle Home Farm; Pigeon Bridge; Forge Mill Cottages; Fish Hill; Albert Street; Fish Hill East;
4. Easemore Lane; Chapel Green East; Little Wapping; Chapel Green East; Beoley Street; Beoley Lane; Beoley Lane Farm; Chapel Green South; Chapel Green East; Beoley Lane; Prison - Chapel Green South.
5. Bromsgrove Road; Spring Hill; Webheath Road; Ragless; Hill Top; Bromsgrove Road; Headless Cross;
6. Banks Green, Church End, Hewell Gardens, Hewell Lane, Holyoaks Farm, papermill, Foxlydiate House, Tack Farm.

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Poem written in 1840 and quoted in "Needlemaking" by J.G. Rollins
In hurden* aprons and paper caps
The scourers looked such funny chaps.
Blue-pointers dressed like other men
For they were thought quite gentlemen.
What wicked men the pointers were
To drink and curse and fight and swear -
A short and merry life they'd lead
And of the future take no heed.
Hard times for those who'd work
Twelve hours a day, one couldn't shirk.
The bell was rung, and you must hear
Or the "sack" you'd get first pay day near.
Saturdays brought them no enjoyment
They stayed till six at their employment.
Boys and girls eight, nine and ten
Toed the mark with women and men.
Village stampers brought their pockets
Hung in wallets behind their jackets.
With ninety thousand on heel and toe
'Twas a hard walk from Crowder's Row**

* "hurden" is a coarse type of linen ** Crowder's Row was in Crabbs Cross.
"ninety thousand" refers to the number of needles, though the meaning of these lines is a bit obscure
Note that the blue pointers were considered of higher standing than other workers, as they commanded high wages for their skills.

Ref 3

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Number of houses in Redditch as listed in the Poor Rate of 1849
Red Lane 15 Britten Street 13 Edward Street 24
Littleworth 11 Windsor Street 27 Unicorn Hill 45
Hill street 13 Walford Street 68 Evesham Street 84 (of which 28 are shops)
New End 53 Tanners Row 6 Wapping 90 (of which 75 are tenements)
Brockhall 71 The Common 7 Church Green West 5 (of which 2 are shops)
William Street 26 Adelaide Street 8 Chapel Green 88 (of which 15 are shops)
Fish Hill 78 Forge 6 Birmingham Road 3
Weights Farm Lodge Farm Albert Street 27
Easemore Lane 13 Beoley Road 9 Wellington Street 5
Queen Street 11 Beoley street 25 Beoley Lane 50
Pool Place 23 (of which 22 are tenements)
Ipsley Street 48 (of which 25 are tenements)
Red Lion Street 36
Farm & House, Birchinsale, ditto at Bradley (sic) Moor

Ref 4
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Noake's comments on the Old Chapel on the Green - "It had large semi-circular headed windows with keystones, pilasters, an apsidal east end, flat celing and, over the western part of the roof a cupola or miniature dome covered with some kind of dark metal which gives it an appearance of a railway engine boiler, surmounted by a gaudy globe and weathercock, and having a clock face for each of the cardinal points". he states that the chapel was surrounded by a wall, and also by a circle of lime trees. We wonder whether Noake ever returned to the town, and what he would have thought of the present-day church of St Stephen's, with its elegant spire. For further details about St Stephen's church

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The enumerator's route for the census of 1851 first lists Webheath, and then :

1. All that part of the township of Redditch from Batchley in Red Lane, Littleworth, including Britton Street, Edward Street, Windsor Street, Hill Street, Unicorn Hill and the West side of Evesham Street to the house occupied by Edward Cooke at the end of Evesham Street.

2. …including the East side of Evesham Street, the whole of Walford street, New End and Mount Pleasant to the Plough and Harrow Inn.

3. From Monk's cottage near the Turnpike Gate at Headless Cross, thence to Back Hill or Ipsley Street, Tanners Row and including Wapping from the Red Lion Inn Archway in Red Lion Street to the Bull Beer House in Evesham Street.

4. Brockhill Lane commencing at Jarvis' cottage to Lowan's Hill, Birchinsale and Bridley Moor farms, Brockhill, Bates Hill, The Common, Mill Street, Adelaide Street, William Street, Chapel Green west, Fish Hill West, culminating at the residence of Joseph Holyoak on the Birmingham Road.

5. From Mr Holyoak's house at the bottom of Fish Hill to the Old Mill, thence to Lodge Farm, thence to Forge Nills, thence to Fish Hill east including Albert Street, Little Wapping, Easemore Farm and Lane, Chapel Green East, Smallwood Row, Peakman Street, Wellington Street, Beoley Street to John Brown's Beer shop and Allcocks Street.

6. From Allcock Street, Beoley Street and Queen Street, thence to Beoley Lane as far as Beoley Lane Farm, thence to Mr Millward's and on to Pool Place and Red Lion Street on both sides, Chapel Green South and terminating at Brown's shop next to the Malt Shovel Beer House.

Full details of the streets are as follows:

1. Batchley, Red Lane, Musket Way, Littleworth, Britton Street (including 2, Prospect Buildings), Edward Street - 6 houses being built, The Parsonage (residence of G. Fessey, curate), a house being built, Windsor Street, Unicorn Hill, Hill Street, Pound Yard, one house and school being built.

2. Evesham Street, New End, Mount Pleasant, Walford Street.

3. Redditch Gate, Headless Cross, Ipsley Street, Prospect Row, Wapping, Silver Street, Izod's Yard.

4. Brockhill Lane (etc) Bridley Moor, The Fir Trees, Springhill Cotages, Hewell Lane, Victoria Place, Bates Hill including Chapel House (residence of the Wesleyan minister) The Common, Mill Street, Adelaide Street, William Street, Albany Cottage, Chapel Green West, Fish Hill (including Albion Printing Works), the Crown Inn and ending at The Willows. Gipsies in tents numbers 1 - 5 at Brockhill Lane / Salters Lane.

5. Old Mill, New Mill, Lodge, Smallwood's Row, Forge, Middle House, Chapel Green East, Peakman Street (only 5 households) Beoley Street, Alcester Street, Allcock Street, Wellington Street, Easemore Lane, Easemore Farm, Fish Hill, Fish Hill House, Little Wapping, Birmingham Road, Albert Street.

6. Beoley Street, Queen Street, Beoley Lane, Pool Place, Red Lion Street, Church Green South.

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The centenary edition of The Redditch Indicator reports that in 1859:

The area roughly bounded by Evesham Street, Alcester Street and Ipsley Street was a hideous huddle of dreadful little cottages piled almost one on top of the other, row upon row of back-to-back houses long since swept away, where lived the greater part of the working population of Redditch. The centre of the town was honeycombed with wells ……..
An example of the type of building existing then was the line of cottages built below pavement level and sheltering behind a hand rail in Red Lion Street which were knocked down in the recent
(i.e.1959) slum clearance programme. Just before their disappearance they were considered to have been the oldest property in the town……
The area included Walford Street, Silver Street (between Red Lion street and George Street), Clarke's Yard, George Street, Herbert Street (now the Evesham Street End of George Street), Ipsley Row, and the north side of Ipsley Street. A similar but smaller cluster of cottages stood in William Street, Adelaide Street and Hewell Road.

Approaching Redditch from the direction of Birmingham, one really entered the town at Albert Street. The original intention was that Albert Street should be carried through to link up with Easemore Road, but this has never been achieved. British Mills already stood on the corner.
As one climbed the hill (
Fish Hill / Prospect Hill) one was flanked by the larger houses of the Bartleets, the Hemmings and other manufacturers. …..
On the left, at the top, in buildings which are still there
(in 1959) was the Literary and Scientific Institute. Just above there was the first office and printing works of The Redditch Indicator ……….

The church yard was quite small and was bounded by a high wall which later gave way to railings to take in a larger area. The remainder of the Green was a green in name only, being so trodden that it was a dust heap in summer and a mud-patch in winter. Barely 40 years previously (i.e. the 1820s) it had been common grazing land. Even in 1859 there were no pavements; road and green merged. Pavements did not come until 1881.
On the right there were various rows of cottages and small houses where the hospital
(Smallwood Hospital), the library and the building society now stand (1959)…….

Just where the station now stands, the town petered out into countryside.
Evesham Street, then as now, was the main thoroughfare, but it presented an even less neat and tidy appearance than it does today. There was no established building line beyond which premises might not protrude, and the street was narrower at the northern end than it is now, widening out lower down.
Evesham Street was by no means a mixture of shops and public houses. Much of the property there was residential, ranging from a doctor's house to another row of mean little cottages sunk below road level.
Having climbed the hill at the end of Evesham Street one was out of the town again. There was nothing beyond there but as isolated building or two, and Headless Cross was a quite separate village.

Returning to the town centre:
The best houses in Redditch were the Georgian houses in Church Green East which are still there today (1959), *
*(and several are still there in 2005, among them number 20, the premises of Webb and Sons for 100 years).
To reach them from Birmingham one passed the narrow mouth of Easemore Lane - now the much wider Easemore Road, a road which led only to a few farms. Further along (in 1859) building had begun in the Peakman Street area, but had by no means reached the extent of today. Mr Peakman had died around 1839 and his land was sold off in building plots. The scheme was far from complete in 1859, but Peakman Street itself, Queen Street, Victoria Street and Wellington Street were sketched out and partly built. They represented the limit of eastward development; Archer Road did not exist. The National School was the last urbam building in that direction, the school yard being bounded by the hedge of Easemore Farm (NOTE :
this was the main farm, which was later demolished, not the one later bought by Ernest Edwrd Webb & his wife Lillie)

This new property going up in Peakman Street area reflected the tendency of the times for master and man to live side by side. Even today (1959) we see large houses next door to factories, with an archway big enough to take a horse and carriage, and a row of small houses opposite or alongside. The young Herbert Terry was one of the people living and working in Peakman Street.

Smith Street, the short connection between Alcester Street and Wellington Street, was then a fore-draught leading to a smithy. Further along Alcester Street there was another of the motley collections of cottages which were such a feature and a disfigurement of the town at that time. They were grouped together round a courtyard in the most haphazard fashion, and were old in 1859. Known as Salters Yard, they were demolished in 1912 to make way for the Palace Theatre.

Beyond the end of Alcester Street there was very little. Washford Mills was just round the corner and Mount Carmel Church had been built a few years previously. The first few cottages were beginning to apear in Beoley Road, and Holloway Lane was a country lane disappearing down between high banks under an archway of trees.

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The reminiscences of the former station master, Thomas Diggles (stationmaster from 1864) are recorded in the Redditch Indicator:

We used to have bumper excursion trains, and when the Redditch Volunteers were camping at Malvern we had a day excursion, booking 970 passengers. At the Birmingham Onion Fair a special train was provided and when 1,050 passengers had booked, all the carriages, the guards' vans were full to the door. I then had to stop the booking, and the waiting ones took ordinary return tickets at 2s 6d. The ordinary trains followed the excursion train (myself on the engine) and, as I expected, we had to push the excursion (train) off the branch (line) at Barnt Green.

He also recalls an excursion train to take passengers to the pantomime in Birmingham on January 30th 1875:
On the return journey at midnight there were eight or nine inches of snow on the tops of the carriages. It kept snowing all night, and next morning when I went down to see the 8.10 train off I found the line blocked.
The report goes on to relate that Driver Fox was reluctant to take the train out, but was told that he must. Diggles accompanied the train, although they had to leave one carriage which was off the rails. After the canal bridge beyond Alvechurch they ran into a long stretch of snow which was level with the footplate of the engine, and they were eventually dug out with the help of another engine and local labourers. The second engine then got stuck in a drift with its boiler nearly empty. When Diggles and Fox finally got back to Redditch they found a crowd of intending passengers, but the station master firmly closed the station. Diggles explained: We had no telephone at that time, so I was ignorant as to what was taking place elsewhere, but during the night or early morning assistance came from Birmingham.

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The report by the Officer of Health (1875) found that too many houses in the lower class streets such as Edward Street and Walford Street had water in their cellars, damp walls, small rooms, no water supply and no drainage.The inhabitants of the more populated areas, such as Silver Street, Hill Street, Izods Yard, Walford Street and George Street had to make do with a stand pipe in the communal courtyards, (but this was certainly preferable to drawing water from contaminated wells such as at Pool Place, thought to be the source of the cholera epidemic of 1832).

The report counts 72 closets among 3,000 inhabitants, while of the 700 middens in the town, 458 of them were uncovered. Of the 43 streets in the town, 23 were unsewered, and there was no town plan to provide sewers throughout. In the new residential area at Headless Cross (population 2,000) there were 304 houses of which 105 tenants were without closets, and 91 had no water supply.The Officer of Health recommended regulation for slaughter houses and bake houses (which included the cooking of meat products, as well as bread and pies).

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In order to provide piped water to the town, the East Worcester Waterworks Company was founded in conjunction with the Earl of Plymouth, and bore holes were sunk at Burcot. The water was then pumped to Hewell where it was stored in a water tower, and from there to the water tower and reservoir at Headless Cross. In 1882, to celebrate the arrival of clean, piped water to the town, Mr Bartleet had a fountain erected at Church Green at his own expense, a monument which can still be seen today. .

Ref 10

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William Smallwood was apprenticed to Richard Bartleet as a needle maker, but later established his own needle making business, and refined the process by gilding the eye of the needle. The business, which took in other members of the Smallwood family, proved very successful, but as there were few heirs, the accumulated wealth filtered down to one Smallwood brother, who left his fortune to the Hospital Trust Fund, enabling Redditch to have its first hospital, (named after the family) which opened in 1895.
The Trust set up a fund to which employees paid 1d per week, entitling them to treatment, but fund-raising schemes were constantly needed to supplement this income. One of the most popular and enduring schemes was the Carnival which was held in September each year, and became the focal attraction in the town. There were sideshows and rides, and most of the businesses in the town sponsored "floats" in the procession, which seemed to become more ambitious every year. With the advent of the National Health Service the funds were no longer needed to support the hospital, but the carnival continued, sponsoring other local charities.