AskDefine | Define reddish

Dictionary Definition

reddish adj : having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies [syn: red, ruddy, blood-red, carmine, cerise, cherry, cherry-red, crimson, ruby, ruby-red, scarlet]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Resembling the colour red.
  2. Quite red; red to a certain extent.


resembling the colour red
  • Finnish: punertava
quite red; red to a certain extent
  • Finnish: punertava
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: سوور هه‌ڵگه‌ڕاو

Extensive Definition

Reddish is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, in Greater Manchester, England. It is north of Stockport and southeast of Manchester. The population is 30,055 in an area of 7.08 square kilometres (2.73 mi²).
Historically a part of Lancashire, Reddish grew and developed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution and still retains landmarks from that period, such as Houldsworth Mill, a former textile mill. Today Reddish is a predominantly residential area, seeing a renewed period of growth and development as residents from nearby affluent areas such as Heaton Moor and Bramhall look to Reddish as a way of affording housing.
Reddish Vale is a country park close to the locality and home to local businesses.



Reddish is recorded as Redich (1205, 1212), Redych, Radich (1226), Radish, Rediche (1262), Redditch (1381), Redwyche, Radishe and Reddishe (1500s). The name either means "reedy ditch" (OE hrēod-dīc) or "red ditch" (OE rēad-dīc). Ekwall (1922) allows either form, stating "red" is less probable; Mills (1991) and Arrowsmith (1997) only give the "reed" option. The ditch referred to is possibly the Nico Ditch, Folklore has it that the names Gorton and Reddish arose from a battle between Saxons and Danes. John Higson wrote in 1852

1066 to late 18th century

Reddish does not appear in the Domesday survey; this is in common with most of the then southeast Lancashire area. A corn mill is known to have existed at the junction of Denton Brook and the River Tame from about 1400 onwards. The two main mediaeval houses were Reddish Hall at (demolished 1780,). The Reddish family were major landowners in the area from at least 1212 to 1613 when title passed by marriage to the Coke family. It passed down the family to Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester who sold his land in Reddish at the end of the 18th century, and in 1808 it was bought by Robert Hyde Greg and John Greg. Hartwell dates a small group of farm buildings and cottages at Shores Fold, near the junction of Nelstrop Road and Marbury Road, to the sixteenth and late seventeenth to early eighteenth century. These would have been on the traditional Reddish – Heaton Norris border, but are now firmly inside Heaton Chapel.

Industrial Revolution

The Stockport Branch Canal passed through Reddish and opened in 1797. It seems to have had little effect by 1825, when Corry's description of Reddish, in full, was "The population of Reddish is but thin". Booker states that in 1857 Reddish was almost entirely agricultural, being made of meadow and pasture (1320 acres); arable land (90 acres); wood and water (50 acres); and buildings and streets (44 acres). At that time, Reddish contained "neither post-office, schoolmaster, lawyer, doctor, nor pawnshop". The population increased over tenfold in the next fifty years with the Industrial Revolution.
The water-powered calico printworks in Reddish Vale on the River Tame is known to have been working before 1800. Industrial development followed the line of the canal and was steam-powered throughout. A variety of manufacturers moved into Reddish during this period.
Robert Hyde Greg and John Greg, sons of Samuel Greg of Quarry Bank Mill, who owned about a third of Reddish by 1857, opened Albert Mills for cotton spinning in 1845. Moor Mill, manufacturing knitting machines, was built around the same time. William Houldsworth’s Reddish Mill for cotton spinning was opened in 1864. Hanover Mill was built in 1865 for cotton spinning, but in 1889 was converted to make silk, velvet, woven fur etc.
The Reddish Spinning Company, partly owned by Houldsworth, opened in 1870. Furnival’s steelworks, making printing presses, opened in 1877. Andrew’s Gas Engine works opened in 1878. The Manchester Guardian’s printworks opened in 1899. Craven Bothers’ engineering works, making cranes, opened in 1900. Broadstone Spinning Company opened a large double mill in 1906/7. These major employers were accompanied by numerous smaller concerns, including dyeworks, bleachworks, wire ropeworks, brickworks, screw manufacturers, makers of surveying equipment, and a tobacco factory.
A small number of closures of major industrial employers took place in the first half of the twentieth century, due to the ebb and flow of trade. Andrews Gas Engine Works was taken over in 1905 by Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham, the business was transferred to Grantham and the Reddish works closed some time during the great depression following WWI. The Atlas wire rope works closed in 1927.
Reddish took its share of the decline in Lancashire cotton production and finishing. Broadstone Mills ceased production in 1959; Reddish Mills closed in 1958 with the loss of 350-400 jobs; Spur Mill followed in 1972; and the long-lived Reddish Vale printworks closed by 1975; Albert Mill continued to trade as R. Greg and co under new ownership, but finally closed in 1982. Ashmore wrote in 1975 that "Stockport has ceased to be a cotton town."
The decline of Broadstone Mills was accompanied by high farce. In November 1958 the company sold a number of spinning mules as scrap for just over £3,000. By agreement, the machines remained in the mill over the winter. A small number had been broken and removed by April 1959, when the government announced a compensation package for firms that agreed to scrap spinning capacity. As the title in the mules had passed to the scrapman, it was decided that the company was not entitled to compensation amounting to over £60,000, despite the fact that the machinery was still on its premises. Actions in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in 1965 were fruitless.
Some of the mills vacated by the spinners found other uses. The Reddish Spinning Company's mill was taken over by Friedland who became the world's largest manufacture of doorbells; an extension to the mill won several architectural awards. The mill is now residential. Broadstone Mill was partly demolished, but now houses small commercial units. Regeneration efforts at Houldsworth Mill were instrumental in Stockport Council winning British Urban Regeneration Association's award for best practice in regeneration. £12 million has been spent to convert the mill into mixed use. The area around Houldsworth mill is now designated as a conservation area.

Brewing, pubs and clubs

Reddish borders Heaton Chapel and Brinnington of Stockport, Denton of Tameside, and Gorton and Levenshulme of the City of Manchester.
Reddish is a densely populated area and is close to some of the richest parts of the country (such as Alderley Edge in Cheshire). However, in common with many urban areas of the United Kingdom Reddish suffers from a certain degree of crime-related activity. Despite this, Reddish continues to be an attraction to many people in the Greater Manchester area to work, live and relax.


further Demography of Greater Manchester The most recent data is from the United Kingdom Census 2001. The census data below is based on the North Reddish and South Reddish wards. The modern South Reddish ward contains a small area that was traditionally part of Heaton Chapel and Heaton Norris, and some of Reddish has been transferred to Heaton Chapel.
White British is the predominant ethnicity. For the North Reddish ward, just under 97% of the population of 16120 were identified as white (including Irish and other white), 1.48% as mixed-race, 0.73% as black, 0.6% as Chinese, and 0.43% as Asian. For the South Reddish ward, just under 96% of the population of 13935 were identified as White, 1.28% as mixed race, 1.28% as Asian, 0.86% as Black, and 0.84% as Chinese.
The housing stock remains mainly terraced and semi-detached. For the North Reddish ward, the 6914 housing units were divided into 8% detached house, 46% semi-detached, 36% terraced, and 10% flats. For the South Reddish ward, the 6598 housing units were divided into 5% detached house, 29% semi-detached, 44% terraced, and 22% flats. There are no tower blocks in Reddish, unlike several neighbouring areas.
Some housing built by factory owners for their employees remains. Greg Street, Birkdale Road, and Broadstone Hall Road South have mid-nineteenth century terraces built by the Gregs for the workers at their (demolished) Victoria and Albert Mills. Furnival Street was built in 1886 to house workers at the (demolished) Furnival’s ironworks The largest collection is that built by Houldsworth near to his Reddish Mill, even though only Liverpool Street and Houldsworth Street remain after clearance in about 1974. The houses on Houldsworth Street, directly facing the mill, are grander, and would have been for the higher placed workers.


The shopping area around Houldsworth Square contains about eighty small shops and has been chosen as one of eight areas to benefit from the Agora Project an EU-funded project to reverse the decline in local shopping areas.
Stockport MBC describes Reddish as one of the eight major district centres in the borough that offer "local history, modern convenient facilities and traditional high street retailing". The other seven are Bramhall, Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Edgeley, Hazel Grove, Marple, and Romiley.
Reddish is home to many tertiary services. Houldsworth square (named after local Victorian era mill-owner, William Houldsworth) has many shops and banks, serving the local population. There are also many well-performing schools such as Reddish Vale Technology College in South Reddish, which in 2006 became the only school in Greater Manchester to be announced by the Government as a 'Trust Pathfinder' school. It is served by two railway stations Reddish North and Reddish South, the latter being used mainly for freight services, apart from the once-a-week "Parliamentary train" to Stalybridge.


There are several measures of overall wealth and poverty. The Human Poverty Index calculates a value based on longevity, literacy, unemployment, and income. High values indicate increasing poverty. The parliamentary constituency scores 14.4, close to the UK average of 14.8. This compares well with neighbours Manchester Gorton (20.5) and Stockport (14.2), but poorly with the other Stockport constituencies of Hazel Grove (10.9) and Cheadle, placed third best in the UK with a value of 7.9.
On a narrower level, the estimated household weekly income for the period April 2001 to March 2002 for North & South Reddish wards was £440 and £400 respectively. In comparison with nearby wards, this is higher than Gorton North, Gorton South and Brinnington (at £350, £330, and £340), slightly lower than Denton West (£480), and significantly lower than Heaton Moor and Heaton Mersey (£590). The averages for the North-West region and the UK were £489 and £554 respectively (2001–4).


Reddish is home to several listed buildings and structures. All the Grade I and Grade II* listsings are part of Houldsworth's community.
  • 40 Sandy Lane
  • Shoresfold Farmhouse and numbers 2 & 4 Marbury Road


The B6167 is the main road through Reddish. It allows access to the A57 for Manchester or the M60/M67 junction at the north, and to Stockport and the M60 to the south. It was designated a Quality Bus Corridor in 2004 and a number of modifications made. As of 2006, any improvements have not been quantified. The main bus route runs from Stockport via Reddish and Gorton to Manchester. Less-frequent services run to Ashton via Gorton & Droylsden, Ashton via Denton, Manchester via Didsbury and Rusholme, Hazel Grove, and Wythenshawe. Trains from Reddish North station run to Manchester Piccadilly and New Mills, with some trains continuing to Sheffield. Reddish South station does not provide a significant service. A few dedicated cycle routes cross the area.


The Ashton Canal and the Stockport Branch Canal were built to join Manchester and Stockport to the coal mines in Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne. The branch was dependent on the main for its utility, and hence its planning, passing through parliament, and construction came after that of the main. The main opened in 1796 and the branch in 1796. The branch was just under five miles (8 km) long, and left the Ashton Canal at Clayton, passed through Gorton and Reddish, and terminated just over the boundary in Heaton Norris, adjacent to what was then the main turnpike between Manchester and Stockport. The Beat Bank Branch Canal was planned as a sub-branch and was intended to cross Reddish Vale to a colliery at Denton, but the scheme was abandoned by 1798. By 1827 the canal was bringing coal to Stockport from as far as Norbury and Poynton.
The canal was purchased by the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway in 1848. Commercial traffic ceased in the 1930s


The road currently designated the B6167 (Sandy Lane, Reddish Road, Gorton Road, and Reddish Lane) was turnpiked by the Manchester, Denton and Stockport Trust following an Act of 1818.


The history of the development of rail infrastructure in the UK is complicated, with lines and stations being built by a myriad of railway companies and joint ventures. Routes did not always follow the best path, but were created, altered, or blocked through lobbying of parliament by interested parties intent on protecting their interests and preventing competition. Due to their strategic position between Manchester and London, Stockport and Reddish played their parts. Reddish played host to three railway lines, two railway stations, and a traction depot. To improve readability, the names of the stations and lines are the latest (or last) used.

Reddish South

The West Coast Main Line running between Manchester Piccadilly and London via Crewe was opened in 1840-2 by the Manchester and Birmingham Railway (M&B), crossing the Mersey valley on a large viaduct at Stockport. In 1849 a line was opened from the north side of the viaduct via Reddish South and Denton stations to join the Woodhead Line (Piccadilly to Sheffield) of the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway (SA&MR) at Guide Bridge. A short branch went to Denton Colliery. The station at Reddish South contained a large goods yard, and trade through the station played an important role, alongside the canal, in the industrialisation of the area.
The M&B became part of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) by 1849: the SA&MR became part of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&L) in 1847. At this stage both companies used Piccadilly as their Manchester terminus. The LNWR held a monoply on the important London route. In 1936 the MS&L's successor, the London and North Eastern Railway, planned to electrify the Woodhead Line and the Fallowfield Line, primarily for shipping coal from Yorkshire, but World War II interrupted progress. After the war, the railways were nationalised as British Rail (BR). The electrification plan was put in place as the Manchester-Sheffield-Wath electric railway, opening in 1954 using a 1500 V DC system. A 400 ft (120 m) depot was constructed at Reddish to maintain the Class 76 and 77 locomotives. However, electrification was not continued beyond the depot to Trafford Park. Shortly afterwards, BR adopted the 25 kV AC system for electrification, with the effect that the Woodhead Line "passed very quickly from ultra-modern to obsolescent."
Local passenger services stopped using the Fallowfield Line in 1958 (though through trains continued until 1969).


Reddish's only secondary school is Reddish Vale Technology College. Sited on the edge of the green belt, the school has its own farm and is characterised by OFSTED as " a good school". It teaches about 1400 pupils from the ages of 11 to 16, but does not have a sixth form.
As of 2007 Reddish has ten nursery and primary schools, including some church schools (Roman Catholic and Church of England). It has been proposed to close three of these and build a new school. The site chosen was formerly a clay pit for a brickworks, and later a landfill site. Much of the landfill took place before modern controls, and there is local concern about the suitability of the site.

Community facilities

Of the 1907 facilities provided by Stockport, only the library is still open, though under threat of closure. The baths closed in 2005; there is a campaign to reopen them, but it does not have the backing of the council. The ground floor of the fire station is used as a community centre. The mortuary closed in the 1980s. (Church of England). 1908, brick, some good glass.

Notable people

In 1935 Norman Foster was born in Reddish and went onto study architecture at the University of Manchester. Baron Foster is one of the leading architects in the world and is noted for his works in London which include the Millennium Bridge, City Hall, 30 St Mary Axe and the new Wembley Stadium.



  • Stockport Advertiser Centenary History of Stockport
  • Stockport: a History
  • The Industrial Archaeology of Stockport
  • A history of the ancient chapels of Didsbury and Chorlton
  • Images of England: Reddish
  • Stockport Advertiser Centenary History of Stockport
  • The Victoria history of the county of Lancaster. - Lancashire. Vol.4
  • Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East
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