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Doxey is a small community on the western side of Stafford with a population of about 2,500. Although not much more than a mile from the centre of Stafford, its identity has been maintained by being physically separated from the rest of Stafford. On the north there is the river Sow and the renowned Doxey Marshes on the south is an area of low lying agricultural lands leading towards Stafford Castle. Modern transport links have accentuated this isolation, railways were built to the north (Euston-Glasgow main line) and south (Stafford-Shrewsbury line - long closed, now the 'Greenway') and the M6 motorway now provides a natural western boundary. There has only ever been a single road running through the village and use of that was restricted by two (now only one) awkward railway bridges - even now a sharp snow fall leaves Stafford isolated !
There is some uncertainty about the origin of the the name Doxey but it seems that it was originally Dokesei (This may be "Ducks Island" - a reference to the fact that the centre of Doxey would have been surrounded by marsh). In the Doomsday Book it is spelt Dochesig.
Housing development in Doxey
Until the end of the 19th century Doxey comprised a few agricultural dwellings but then there was a spate of development of well-built terraced and semi-detached houses which were aimed at the better-off working class who were working on the railways or at the expanding engineering companies in the area. Most of these houses can be seen between 'Universal' and the 'The Three Tuns' and are always much sought after. Development continued until WW2 with expansion along the road towards the town boundary (Greensome Lane).
After the war there were major developments of council houses on the Drive and the main Doxey (now Broad Meadows) estate. The houses were pre-fabricated semis with large gardens - these were mixed blessings - for every enthusiastic gardener there was at least one who found the area difficult to maintain.
At the end of the eighties the main estate was re-developed as the 'Broad Meadows' estate with twice the previous building density and much of it is now managed by Housing Associations. The houses in the Drive are still there having been extensively modernised at the same time.
During the sixties and seventies new houses were built in Doxey Fields (then in Seighford parish) and on the area overlooking the marshes to the north of Greensome Lane. Further developments have taken place with building on the sites of "Durber's Yard" (Manor Park), the Doxey Institute in Doxey Crescent (Mayfields) and Venables Timber Yard (Virginia Park) as well as 'green field' sites (Baxter Green and Meadow Rise).
Over the years there have been a number of proposals to develop the land between Doxey and the old railway line so far these have been rejected but the attempts still continue.
Industry and employment
Until the first World War employment in Doxey itself was mainly agricultural. Doxey residents would be working on the railway or in the various engineering and manufacturing companies in Stafford
- Siemens (English Electric from 1918), GEC from 1968, GEC-Alstom (1989), Alstom(1998) now Areva(2003) - Heavy Electrical products
- Bagnalls - (Castle Works) - locomotives
- Dorman Diesels -
- Shoe manufacturing (Lotus etc)
- BRC - Concrete products
The two companies that provided closer employment were Universal and Venables
Universal Grinding Wheel (Universal Abrasives, Unicorn, now Saint Gobain ) has been the largest employer in Doxey since WW1 and manufactured grinding wheels and associated products. Although the company is now much smaller it still employs many Doxey residents.
Henry Venables sawmills was founded in about 1865 and the Timber Yard occupied the site between the main railway line and the Uttoxeter branch line (now footpath to Doxey Marshes and Eccleshall Road) and provide a wide range of timber products (including replacement timber for York Minster). They moved to the Tollgate Industrial Estate in 2001 and the site has been developed for housing as Virginia Park. (the road names all have timber connections - Timberland, Mahogany, Ebony, Spruce).
When the re-development took place the old street names were kept although they were in different places.
Older residents still object to the road through Doxey being referred to as 'Doxey Road'. As far as they (we!) are concerned Doxey Road is from the Mill to the railway bridge. The road through Doxey is just 'Doxey'. The councillor for Doxey for many years - Mavis Kellaghan (Mayor of Stafford in 1981) was very definite on this point.
Providing additional part-time employment and a service to many car mechanics (amateur and professional) was Durber's scrapyard which operated for many years after the war. Spare parts for many obsolete vehicles could be obtained, often 'pick-your-own'. The area has now been built on and we have to make-do with Halfords!
For Further Information
see Sources (link to section)
|Amended : 12-03-12||TOP|