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History of Aldridge,
in Walsall, West Midlands, uk.
Short History of Aldridge....with further links and info below
Aldridge is a town in the Borough of Walsall, West Midlands, although historically it was part of the county of Staffordshire.
New transcribed details from Aldridge Parish registers completed in October 2010 The Staffordshire Parish Registers Society has published details of baptisms, burials and marriages registered at the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldridge, Walsall from 1771 - 1900.
in 1215 the Rev. CM Roberts, BD, Rector of Aldridge, Staffordshire, published a Treatise on the History of Confession until it developed into Auricular Confession which in the Christian Church required confession at least once a year, this was made obligatory. A priest alone could hear confession. An abbess, even of the most important convent of women, had no such right.
Here is an extract from : A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
From: 'Aldingham - Alfreton', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) www.british-history.ac.uk
An Extract from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-1895.
In 1981, cencus records indicated Aldridge had a population of 26,500.
Aldridge historically was an industrial town with coal mines and lime kilns. After the Second World War it became a dormitory town or suburb of Birmingham, to accomodate the growing population.
In 2004 to the present, Aldridge's MP is Richard Shepherd (Conservative), the MP for Aldridge-Brownhills.
Aldridge became an urban district in Staffordshire in 1894. Other villages within the district included Pelsall, Walsall Wood, Clayhanger and Streetly.
This merged with Brownhills in 1966 to form Aldridge-Brownhills, and then became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall in 1974.
Aldridge has a variety of schools, which includes St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College, St Mary of the Angels Catholic School, Aldridge Science College, Cooper & Jordan Primary school, Whetstone Primary School, and Leighswood Primary School.
Aldridge has a growing number of factories, located on Redhouse industrial estate, and West Gate, making up the 1000 registered businesses in Aldridge including many smaller sole traders and work from home companies. Noteable Factories include the large Ibstock brick works and the GKN Driveshafts factory.
Aldridge has a small central shopping area called 'The Parade' that contains most of the shops in the town. Well-known shops here include WH Smiths, Iceland supermarket, and Boots The Chemist. There are also a number of independent shops and a large Morrisons supermarket just outside the town centre on the Aldridge bypass. The Home Bargains chain owned by TJ Morris Ltd. have recently opened a store in Aldridge.
There are a number of pubs and bars in the area around Aldridge,
Aldridge is served by a good local bus service. Buses to Walsall are very frequent, namely the 366, 367, 368, 355, and there are half hourly buses to Sutton Coldfield [the 366] - which used to run all the way from Walsall, via Aldridge and Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham Airport. There are also two buses that run in to Birmingham City Centre from Aldridge, the 156 and the 997.
In recent times, there has been talk of re-opening the railway that runs through aldridge as a passenger line, which is still operating as a goods line. In the late 90's / early 2000's, plans were drawn up for a modern station to be built on the site of the old one, which closed in 1966. The site of the old station lies behind the new medical center, at the bottom of Portland Road - part of the platform can still be seen. Should the station be re-opened, it would offer services to Birmingham via Sutton Coldfield, or the short journey in to Walsall. Despite the plans that have been drawn up, nothing has happened yet and most predictions would suggest a new station will be built by around 2017.
Aldridge has a Cricket Club, located up the green, behind St Mary's Church, and the Masonic Hall.
Victoria Cross holder "Captain Charles "Gus" George BONNER" Read more about George Bonner here
A wartime story about Aldridge, with acknowledgment to:
I recall being in Stafford walking along the road past the hospital with my mother one day when the sky was filled with aircraft towing gliders. You saw the odd glider at Aldridge from time to time but these were large military gliders. The whole of the time we walked from the town centre to Tillington Street, where uncle Joe lived, the 'planes and gliders kept coming over and looking back this must have been the time of the allied invasion of Europe in June 1944 - D-day. I can still see my grandfather cleaning his rifle, issued as part of his Home Guard duties, and I have his Defence Medal issued by Lieut-Col Cowan, Secretary of the Staffs TA Association to him, Pte E Sleath, after the war.
Some weekends the home guard (of modern 'Dad's Army' fame) would train in the local streets - jumping in and out of local gardens as they exercised. Very often they would make their way down Paddock Lane into Dumblederry Lane and over the canal bridge to fight a mock battle either side of the canal. Local children would follow knowing that any explosive thrown into the canal would stun the fish and bring them floating to the top.
During the war all iron railings were removed for the iron and steel and aluminium pots and pans were collected for air frames. Everyone had to carry an identity card and had a ration book. There was a gun battery on Barr Beacon Hill and Aldridge airfield was in use with fighters, spitfires and hurricanes, and bombers, Lancaster and Lincoln, in evidence. There were regular flights of two winged aircraft (known as biplanes) used to train pilots. At the start of the war the road to Pool Green took a detour against some open ground on the left while the land in front of the council houses on the right had a row of oak trees. During the war the road was aligned as it is today, straight, using German prisoners of war. These spoke good English and their base was the air raid shelter at the end of Tynings Lane. Here they would brew their strong black tea and eat tins of corned beef and hunks of bread - better rations than we had. They were all very friendly and one later married a Satchwell daughter. I have no idea where the prisoners were kept at night. After the war many German prisoners decided to stay in this country rather than return to their own country.
After the war, in 1947, I heard and saw my first jet engine. It was mounted on a flat truck on the railway and was being used to clear the track in the cutting on the Sutton Goldfield side of the railway bridge. All the aircraft in the Aldridge area during the war had piston driven engines, English and German alike. When petrol did become available, after the war, that supplied to essential services, tractors and transport vehicles, was dyed red in an attempt to prevent its illegal use by private motorists.
(This story was submitted to the People's War site by a volunteer from Wyre Forest Volunteer Bureau on behalf of Paul Bailey and has been added to this site with his permission. Mr Bailey fully understand the site's terms and conditions.)
Aldridge Local History Society have been successful for many years with over 145 members and have a large regular meeting place at Aldridge Parish Church.
St Mary's Church
Aldridge between 1801 and 2001
Aldridge Home Guard
Honours and Awards
Angela and Tony Kirk offer a personal service. They have a deep respect for all military and historical matters.
© Copyright Alan Neath. 2005 - All Rights Reserved
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