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Despite the existence of a variety of cottage industries needle-making emerged to dominate the area. As the population grew the work of cutting and pointing the needle wire was taken over by the rapid rise of needle factories.  In 1855 the town finally became a parish in its own right and the Chapel in the centre of town was replaced by St. Stephen's Church. Industry thrived and diversified with the coming of spring making, fishing tackle and cycle manufacturers, and in 1894 Redditch Urban District Council was created allowing the town to be governed by its own local authority. By the early 1960's the population had risen to 32,000, the following pages give some insight into life in the Old Town..

Redditch Old Town

Redditch has a long history spanning many centuries stretching back to the founding of the Abbey at Bordesley. After the dissolution of the Abbey the displaced community moved from the valley of the River Arrow up the hill to a wide flat area of land that was to become the centre of Redditch, but it was not until 1805 when the Gatehouse Chapel moved to the centre of the town that the Redditch we now today really started.