A VERY special event in Redditch's history was marked on Monday by town dignitaries, business representative and members of community organisations.

They gathered at the town centre bandstand to mark the 50th anniversary since Redditch was designated as a new town.

A pledge was signed, with people vowing to do all they can to help make the town a better place to live over the next 50 years.

The first of the So Redditch 50th anniversary events began on April 12 and 13 at Forge Mill Museum, which played host to performances and readings from local company Jestaminute Community Theatre c.i.c, telling the stories of working lives in the borough between 1939 and 1964.

The readings will be based on the testimonials of local people who lived in and moved to Redditch during the war and who worked in factories such as the HDA, Royal Enfield and BSA but stayed through the building of the New Town.

The readings, supported by local U3A members, took place twice each day, alongside a ‘Preserving Living History’ family workshop and an exhibition of how the testimonials were gathered and used.

The testimonials were gathered as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded 'Engineering the Past' project.

For ‘Engineering the Past’ project details contact Jestaminute Community Theatre on 01527 514 049 or email jestaminute@blueyonder.co.uk.

For more details on a huge number of activities taking place as part of the So Redditch celebrations, including local choirs performing at the bandstand on May 17 and a look at like during the Second World War at Forge Mill on May 18, visit .so-redditch.info/home-page.html.