By Ian Dipple 31/08 Updated: 31/08 09:45
A PROJECT to archive the swathes of Redditch lost during the New Town development is underway.
Redditch Local History Society is carrying out the study in the build-up to the 50th anniversary of Redditch being designated a New Town in 2014. The project focuses particularly on the streets lost in and around the town centre during the 1970s, which underwent the most radical transformation.
And the group is appealing to Standard readers to help preserve the town’s heritage for future generations by offering their memories, stories, pictures, or documents which shows the town centre as it was before the Kingfisher Centre was built.
Over the last 12 months the society has been collecting and cataloguing who lived where and what they did from census records, trade directories and other records from local historians. But in order to bring the facts to life Derek Coombes, of the society, said they wanted people’s personal stories.
“The designation of Redditch as a New Town brought fundamental changes to the area, none more so than in the town centre. Whole streets were lost in the rebuilding of the town centre and those residents with first hand memories of these streets are reducing year-by-year,” he said.
“Talk to any Redditch resident over fifty and they will recall shopping in Evesham Street, perhaps going to the Methodist Chapel or even working in one of the many factories in the area. With these memories we want to create an interactive view of lost Redditch which residents can explore, learn from and enjoy.
“We are looking for memories, stories, photographs and artefacts to create both a visual and informative archive that residents can browse, enjoy and hopefully learn from as part of the legacy we create as part of the 50th anniversary commemorations.”
The group will have a stand at Forge Mill Needle Museum next Saturday (September 8) as part of Heritage Open Day where people will be able to drop off artefacts, photographs or add their memories to the project.
Those who cannot attend but would like to contribute to the project should email Derek Coombes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01527 404365.
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