Ooh Aah Droitwich Spa

100+ fascinating and fun facts about a town that's the salt of the earth

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Gunpowder, treason and plots at police HQ!

Hindlip Hall, three miles south of Droitwich, is well known as the headquarters of West Mercia Police, but it is also associated with two of history’s greatest crimes. The present stately home, which dates from 1820, replaced an earlier 16th century building which played a role in both the Babington Plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth […]

The motorsport team that’s poles apart

Droitwich-based Matt Neal is a motorsport legend, having won the British Touring Car Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2011. Matt made his debut in 1991 and eight years later he picked up a cheque for £250,000 for being the first independent driver to win a BTCC race. By that time he was on his way […]

Sexy Crossroads star checked in to salon

Actress Claire Faulconbridge worked with Robin Williams on hit US comedy show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In and played alongside Richard Gere in Grease as it made its West End debut. She went on to enthral around 15 million viewers five days a week as flame-haired rich bitch Miranda Pollard during six years with popular […]

The wonder of Woollies

Mammoth and bison roamed Droitwich during the Ice Age (80,000 to 8,000BC). They were attracted to the area by saltish brackish pools which formed along the banks of the River Salwarpe. The history of Droitwich salt goes back 200 million years to when the area was periodically flooded by seawater. The water evaporated in the […]

Church rises again after reaching tipping point

Droitwich Spa Community Hall started life as a Methodist church… and in a different part of town. The church was built in Queen Street in 1860 but within a few short years it had started to crumble because of subsidence caused by the extraction of brine from below ground. So in 1887 the church was […]

Baggies and Villa poacher turned shopkeeper

Before top footballers started earning crazy money they had to find a new career after hanging up their boots. Many chose to open sports shops, and West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa striker Dave Walsh (1923-2016) did just that in Droitwich High Street. Ireland international Dave played 165 times for the Baggies from 1946 to […]

Drowning one’s sorrows

The delightful, half-timbered Salwarpe Court dates back to the 1400s. However, part of the rear of the property was sliced off by the construction of the Droitwich Canal. The 19th century Worcestershire writer John Noakes reported that on particularly dark nights the ghost of a former owner was said to glide down to the embankment […]

Wedding bells for radio stars

The world’s longest-running drama, The Archers, has links with nearby Hanbury. Some say the fictional village of Ambridge in BBC Radio 4’s ”everyday story of country folk” is based on Hanbury as its creator, Godfreyn Baseley, lived down the road in Bromsgrove. What is certain is Hanbury’s Church of St Mary the Virgin doubles as St […]

They’ve taken over the asylum

Droitwich Working Men’s Club, with its unusual circular window next to the entrance door, was originally an asylum for 29 ”lunatics”. Droitwich Lunatic Asylum was established in 1791 on the corner of Friar Street and Ricketts Lane. At one point it was under the control of Dr Charles Hastings, founder of the British Medical Association. […]

Floody hell, that was a Friday to remember

From the 1960s onwards, the High Street was often flooded, with poor drainage causing water to accumulate in the dip. But the mother of all floods happened during the great storm of Friday, July 19, 2007, when about 98mm of rain fell  in just one day – over twice the monthly average. The High Street […]

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Flaming amazing

KAPOW! How’s this for a comic book tale? A Droitwich company played a crucial role in the first big screen reboot of Batman, which starred Michael Keaton. Nu-Way, of Vines Lane, made the rocket boosters for the Batmobile, recreating its famous flames. Chief designer and engineer Peter Wilkinson took one week to complete the unusual project, then delivered and fitted the boosters to the Caped crusader’s car at Pinewood Studios.