While Redditch will never be a chosen city of the Olympics, a designated holiday destination or even home to a big football team, Redditch natives still have a lot to offer the world.
1. You’re basically a member of One Direction
Well not really, but 1D front-man Harry Styles was born in Redditch. Other famous faces include the likes of musicians John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) and Tony Martin (Black Sabbath) as well as actress Zoe Lister and the late Jimmy Davis (footballer).
2. Everybody you know is traumatised by roundabouts
You haven’t been lost until you’ve been lost in Redditch. Between the never-ending onslaught of roundabouts to Redditch’s infamous ring-road, the first thing anybody who has visited Redditch will tell you is “take a satnav”. Despite being a reasonably small town, Redditch is home to over 40 roundabouts and one of the only 3 US-style ‘Clover-leaf’ roads in the UK.
3. You had to visit the Needle Museum with school
Despite having faded to near obscurity, Redditch was once world renown as being the supplier for over 90 per cent of the world’s needles… during the 19th century. Despite the popularity of its needles having taken a slight nose dive, native Redditch-born children are still subjugated to school trips to Forge Mill Museum in order to bask in what was once the epicentre of the needle-making universe!
4. You literally have no idea what primary and secondary school means
Sorry fellow UK citizens, we genuinely have no idea what it means when you refer to something funny that happened to you in primary school. This is because Redditch is one of the few places left in the U.K. that has a three-tier schooling system (first, middle and high). Don’t worry though – our school years are the same… I think.
5. Every Thursday is ‘Thirsty Thursday’
A proud Redditch tradition spanning back to the beginning of time, Thirsty Thursday is when Redditch natives from 16 to 54 would ramble to one of the two clubs in the town for cheaper drinks before stumbling either home or to the dreaded Warwick. In the golden days, the night would also continue at the ill-fated MooMoo’s (later Area, then closed).
6. You spent every Bonfire night at Arrow Valley Lake
November 5 in Redditch? Poppin’! Grab your gloves and a bottle of Frosty Jacks before meeting your friends by one of the burger vans situated by the make-shift annual fair. Of course, this is after standing for an hour in a field watching the most unimaginable fire-work display ever made.
7. You hated anyone who dared go to a different school
From first-school to high-school, anybody who went to a different school to you was DEFINITELY a weirdo. Why would they go to that weird school that nobody else in Redditch has ever heard of? You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘savage’ until you hear the rumours each Redditch-based school has for it’s competitors.
8. You went to the Spider Park at least once
Or you even lived there. One of the greatest landmarks in Redditch. Based in the B98 region locally known as ‘Woodrow’, the Spider Park was once a meeting ground for all, the base for games such as ‘Ackey 1,2, 3’ and ‘Kick the Can’.
9. You’re amazed by public transport that runs past 8PM
Getting a 50p day ticket to the centre of Redditch sounds amazing, until you completely lose sense of all time and space and realise you can’t get home as it’s now 8.01PM and all the buses have stopped running. While some may see this as a downfall, native-Redditchians know that this lack of late-night transport made us master walkers and travel-planners. HA.
10. You can’t remember taxi numbers that don’t end in all 5’s or all 6’s
After you inevitably missed the last bus home from your friend’s, you would invoke that age-old adage… “Shall I call all the 5’s or all the 6’s?”.
11. Anybody who’s postcode didn’t start with B98 was posh AF
Stepping into your first day of high school is always intimidating, but mixing with a bunch of kids from postcodes that you then considered affluent where only the rich kids lived? Impossible.
12. “Don’t Mingle with the Dingles!”
No-one knows where this catchy phrase came from, but everybody knows what it means. Before it was demolished in 2008, Dingleside was considered as one of the rougher middle schools. Hence the open evening slogan of “don’t mingle with the dingles” – easily recognisable by their tomato red jumpers.
13. Nobody understands a word you’re saying
From slightly-Brummie to absolutely undiscernible, nobody really knows what the Redditch accent is. What we do know is that we all love to draw out our words. On top of our strange nothing-accents, we also love to assign new meanings to words. Some classics include mould/mouldy (tired, feeling rough), nause (annoying/irritating) and creasing (laughing).
14. You know everything there is to know about the MP expenses scandals
Ok so maybe not, but you DO know that one of our most infamous MP’s was busted during the expense scandal – for the most Redditch reason ever. It was reported that she had ‘mistakenly’ submitted an expenses claim which included pay-per-view and adult movies.
15. You were both impressed and afraid of the ‘Devil’s ditch’
Every town has it’s occultist myth – Redditch’s place of mythical terror and awe was the ‘Devil’s Ditch’. A large ditch made of red clay (fun fact: the town is thought to be named due to the red clay present at nearby River Arrow) where the legend says the devil would appear at midnight. There was also a tree trunk with a deep hole in the centre which people would say was used by witches at night. It was also great for hide and seek.