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Stourport-on-Severn shown within Worcestershire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Wyre Forest|
Stourport-on-Severn, often shortened to Stourport, is a town and civil parish in the Wyre Forest District of North Worcestershire, England, a few miles to the south of Kidderminster and down stream on the River Severn from Bewdley. Stourport lies on the River Severn, and at the time of the 2001 census had a population of 19,713.
History and early growth
The name Stourport-on-Severn is derived from the port by the River Stour, on the River Severn, the confluence of the Stour and the Severn is next to the basins area behind what was the Bond Worth carpet factory.
Before the completion of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, in 1772, it consisted of two small communities, Upper and Lower Mitton at the junction of the River Severn and the River Stour. The town of Stourport grew up around the canal basins and the locks between the canal and the river, and for 150 years was the principal location for the trans-shipment of goods from the canal boats into the river-going craft called Severn trows. The central district of the town supported boat and barge building, foundries and carpet manufacturers.
Local trade suffered badly with the construction of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, completed in 1815. The new railways also further reduced the canal trade. Stourport suffered an economic decline. The new town that expanded so rapidly after 1770 was already virtually defunct in the early 19th century.
The canal locally was used by a declining number of companies and by the 1940s only two companies used it to any extent, Royal Worcester Porcelain for coal and Cadbury of Bournville for chocolate crumb.
The church of St Michael and All Angels was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1875, shortly before his death. Building work started in 1881 under his son, John Oldrid Scott, but was never finished. Scott's building has been partly demolished to be replaced by a new church. The George Gilbert Scott church replaced an earlier brick church of 1782 by James Rose.
Stourport is part of the Wyre Forest District, but has its own town council.
Redefinition and redevelopment
During the late 19th century, Stourport became a popular summer destination for the industrial workers of the West Midlands conurbation, who came for its riverside pleasure parks, boat trips, and caravan parks. Since the end of the Second World War, and the nationalisation of the canal system Stourport has been in steady decline. However the growth in leisure boating and canal barge ownership and holidays has seen the revitalisation of the central canal basins.
Extensive housebuilding away from the town centre has taken place since the 1920s, around the main roads which link the town with Kidderminster, Worcester and Bewdley. Several primary schools have also been built, as well as the town's secondary school - The Stourport High School & VIth Form Centre.
- Alfred Baldwin, the father of Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister was born on 4 June 1841 in Lombard Street. He later became MP for Bewdley, he was owner of the foundry at the end Lombard Street which is now the site of the County Buildings containing the Library, Health Centre, Police Station and Coroners Court. He also became Chairman of the Great Western Railway.
- Stanley Baldwin himself lived at Astley Hall near the town at the time of his death in 1947.
- Tom Breakwell, professional footballer.
- Philip Elsmore, Thames Television continuity announcer, was born in Stourport.
- Ashley Hames, presenter and director.
- Eliot Howard, ornithological author.
- George Nicholson, settled in Stourport in 1808, until his death in 1825. He was a nationally known printer of the time. His printing press was at 15 Bridge Street, on the corner of Raven Street, and his premises are a listed building.
- Neil Richardson, composer.
- Ray Thomas, singer, composer and flautist for the Moody Blues.
- Clifford T. Ward, singer-songwriter, was born 1944 in Stourport.
- Francis Rainsford, British Honorary Consul in Arequipa, Peru (2010- ), was born in Stourport in 1953.
Stourport Boat Club was founded in 1876, when Boating was the main pastime, which is the primary reason why it is still known as a Boat Club, and not a Rowing Club.
The club caters for a wide range of ages from 11+. The club has a very strong Junior section (Under 18), a very competitive Senior section (18+) and a healthy Veteran section (30+). The 2 day Regatta held every year in August attracts over 600 crews from all over the country to compete. The event attracts many spectators and supporters and 3,000 visitors are catered for over the weekend.
Stourport Hockey Club have been playing National League Hockey since the inception of the National League, and run 7 men's teams, 5 ladies teams, and have a huge Junior membership involved in boys and girls hockey at U11, U13, U15, U18 and Badgers Leagues. Offering great hockey and an active social calendar for members of any age or ability.
The local rugby team is called Stourport RFC
Early May sees the Arley to Stourport Raft Race run by the Lions Club in aid of local charities. Rafts fall into various classes, some competing just for fun, and others such as the Super Rafts intent of the fastest possible time. It runs along 8 miles of the River Severn through some beautiful countryside and passing through Bewdley at about half way.
First weekend of September is Stourport Carnival which as well as a land parade has a river parade during the day and after dark another river parade with the boats decked out in lights. It has its own website and Facebook page available at www.stourportcarnival.co.uk
- Hartlebury Common
- Hartlebury Castle
- Stourport Ring
- Kidderminster and Stourport Electric Tramway Company
- Census 2001
- The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 Penguin. p271
- The official Stourport-on-Severn website
- River Stour
- The Shuttle Local weekly newspaper serving Stourport
- The River Severn
- photos of Stourport-on-Severn and surrounding area on geograph
- Photos of Stourport-on-Severn on Flickr's Stourport Group
- Stourport-on-Severn's Fairground - Treasure Island