Stechford facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Stechford
The Stone Cross war memorial, near the A4040
The Stone Cross war memorial, near the A4040
Country England
County West Midlands
City Birmingham

Stechford /ˈstɛfərd/ is an area of Birmingham, England, situated about five miles east of the city centre, bordering Ward End, Yardley, Hodge Hill and Kitts Green.

History

Stechford's history is unclear. Its oldest components are Station Road (known as Stoney Lane since Norman times) and Flaxleye Farm, first referenced in 1218. The farm itself no longer remains, however there is a farmhouse at 143 Flaxley Road, although the oldest parts of the current building cannot be older than the 17th century. The closest buildings of historical importance are St Edburgh's church and Blakesley Hall, both a stone's throw outside Stechford in Yardley. The name Stechford is apparently a reference to the Stich or Stitch, a local tributary of the River Cole, although the Stitch is now entirely under culverts. A ford over the Cole is first referenced in 1249. The name Stechford was unknown until the construction of Stechford Station in 1844 that it was simply a railway misspelling. The name Stycheforde is attested since 1400. The common misspelling Stetchford is not an acceptable variant.

Old Stechford appears to have been mainly a cluster of buildings around the railway station.

For most of the 20th century Stechford was its own parliamentary constituency, represented by Roy Jenkins, Labour for 27 years from 1950, although it has been alleged in parliament that he never lived there. When Jenkins stepped down to become a European Commissioner in 1977, the seat was won by Conservative Andrew MacKay, and Jenkins's future partners, the Liberal Party were leapfrogged by the British National Front, whose candidate Andrew Brons obtained third place. The National Front and its successor British National Party have continued to target the area. In 1983, the Stechford constituency was broken up into Birmingham Hodge Hill and Birmingham Yardley.

Attractions

Stechford has a popular swimming baths and many restaurants. Local attractions in the area include the Stechford Cascades, a swimming pool with a large slide and other machines which involve water. It was opened on 20 June 1962 and had a major refurbishment which was completed on 21 September 1991 celebrated with the reopening by former swimmer Nick Gillingham. Another is Stechford Retail Park.

Stechford has a long-standing row of shops along Station Road, with a lesser group of shops on Albert Road. Main shopping centres are connected by the Outer Ring Road (A4040) and Outer Circle bus. Nearby shopping areas are the Fox & Goose in Ward End and The Yew Tree in Yardley. Links to Birmingham are provided by bus services 14 (Audley Road) and 97 (Bordesley Green East).

The local railway station is Stechford railway station. On 28 February 1967, Stechford station was the scene of a train collision which killed nine people and injuring 16. Opposite the station is The Stechford Club which was founded in 1907. Houses in the area are mainly council houses or old Victorian houses built around the station.

Geography

The district is cut across by the River Cole, the Birmingham to London railway, and the Birmingham Outer Circle (A4040).

All of the land around the Cole is flood plain, which means that Stechford has a wide swathe of green, semi-wild vegetation. It is still possible to canoe from Stechford to Water Orton. The Cole and the green area around it, are being restored through the Kingfisher Project.

The project also takes in Stechford Fairground, which is home to two funfairs each year. The area around the River Cole is now green belt land which prevents developers from constructing on the site.


Stechford Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.