6 - Doxey in 2005 - Doxey Parish
Following the expansion seen in the previous 70 years, Doxey has continued to grow in the last 35, although most of the major changes have happened in the last 17 or so years.
In 1981 field between the Institute and the Universal Car park became Baxter Green with 24 houses. Later in 1998 the Institute itself was sold off and 12 house erected as Mayfields.
In 1989 the main council estate was redeveloped, in line with contemporary thinking, responsibility for most of the properties was passed to Housing Associations. The general aim was to provide more houses on the same area with a more friendly road system. All the post war prefabricated council houses were demolished and replaced by a mix of houses and apartments. Greensome Lane remained as the main feeder road looping back to Bradbury Rise. The eastern end of Conway Road was removed and access to the school was via the 'new' Marsland Road. The bulk of the houses then were accessed via small feeder roads. The majority of existing tenants were rehoused first and stayed on the estate.
At the same time the mostnote-1 of the houses in The Drive were completely refurbished and refaced in brick.
A major area for private development within Doxey was 'Durber's Yard and the remainder of the old sand and gravel pits. In 1997 82 houses were built on the Manor Park estate and was accessed by an extension of The Crescent (aka Doxey Crescent). Pedestrian access was via the lane beside the Doxey Stores and Happys Take-away (previously The Co-op Grocery and butchers)
In 1997 about 75 houses were built in Meadow Rise (The Ridgeway /Brooklime Gardens) estate between 'New Doxey Fields' and Greensome Lane.
Not strictly Doxey was the Venables Timber Yard which closed and became the site of Virginia Park in 2000 – a estate of 130 town houses, detached and semi-detached house.
There have been a number of attempts to develop the area between Doxey and the Castle. The Castlefields estate has already been built on the land behind Universal between the old Newport railway and the Newport Road. One of the main problems in developing this area is the poor road access. The volume of traffic through Doxey into Stafford has already forced the Borough Council to implement controversial traffic calming measures so any major increase in volume is likely to be strongly opposed.
The Marshes have continued to be protected as an Area of Special Scientific Interest. A number of pools (or flashes) have been established and paths organised to enable the public to visit without harming the environment. Access is via the old Uttoxeter railway line.
The Newport line has been designated a 'The Greenway' and forms part of the 'Way for the Millennium '.
As with many rural or semi-rural area shopping has changed. Palmer's shop lost its petrol pumps, become a greengrocers and more recently a hairdressers. The Sub-Post Office function was transferred from 82 Doxey to Bradbury Rise stores and eventually closed in 2004 after much local protest. The newsagency at 82 Doxey changed hands a number of times before eventually being restored as a private house. The only remaining shops are The Doxey Stores(ex Co-op) and Bradbury Rise Stores. The two public houses were closed in 2009.
In the 1970s Universal Grinding Wheel had over 1,500 employees, many of who lived in Doxey. Now as Saint Gobain Abrasives (plus a number of smaller units) it employs fewer than 300. Together with the closure of Henry Venables means that Doxey residents must travel further to work.
In 2005 Doxey became officially established as an independent entity - after much lobbying of the local and national authorities it won the right to have its own parish council - one of the first 'Urban Parishes'.
The last 170 years have seen an enormous changes in this small area of Staffordshire. There will undoubtedly be many changes in the next 170. I leave speculation to others!
Sources – Ordinance Survey Maps
1. Some had already been sold off to tenants who had some choice on what work should be done.
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