I HAVE often felt sad that once all those of us who were born and raised in old Redditch were gone, there would be no record or memories of the history of our town, as I felt that ‘incomers’ would not have any interest in it.

However, my pessimism was misplaced as there are people, even though they were not born in the old town, are working hard to keep the memories alive.

As far as I am concerned the heart was torn out of the town by the development corporation, creating a soulless concrete structure which could be anywhere.

We saw our old homes, churches, pubs, shops, schools, razed to the ground with a ruthlessness that broke our hearts.

However, although the heart no longer beats, something remains in the area around St Stephen’s Church, including the bandstand and the fountain. Good use is being made of the bandstand after many years of neglect. I remember going there as a child. Once a year we had the carnival and talent competitions which ran all week long in that area. Now there are those who are determined to preserve what we have left and there are regular events planned round the bandstand and gardens.

The last was a lovely evening culminating in the lighting of a beacon for the Queen’s birthday in April.

We should be thankful for organisations like the Redditch History Society and the Redditch Arts Group, who work so hard to give us a sense of pride in our town and hopefully remind those who work so hard to give us a sense of pride in our town. It also benefits those who have come here for our history of needle making, springs, fish hooks and tackle, motor bikes, etc, and of the towns benefactors, the Smallwood brothers, William Morton Stanley and many others.

Redditch will never rise again like a phoenix from the ashes, but at least we can preserve what we have left and show our support by attending these celebrations and give the younger generation cause to be proud of where they live.

M Morley Headless Cross