Balby shown within South Yorkshire
|Population||15,332 (Population of Balby ward at 2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Shire county||South Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Doncaster Central|
Balby is a suburb of Doncaster and civil parish located to the south-west of the borough in the north of England. It is home to Balby Carr Community Academy. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the area of Balby stretches south of the town centre from the Balby Bridge area to Loversall, a small village bordering the new Woodfield Plantation residential development which is still expanding eastwards towards the Lakeside Village retail park. The area has a mixture of housing that has developed in accordance with growth patterns of other similar sized towns, with Victorian terraced housing nearer to the town centre and post-war built suburbs. The range of housing stock available means that there is a wide disparity in the socio-economic profile of the area with pockets of relative affluence of the newer suburbs seemingly juxtaposed with poorer areas, often social housing. Much of this social housing consisted of council houses, some of which has been subsequently sold off to become owner occupied under the Conservative Government's "Right to Buy" policy of the 1980s.
The socio-economic profile of the area is said to be one of "developing working class" which is characterised by two-thirds of people being owner occupier of a two/three bedroom house with children who have left the family home or are still at school. Car ownership is relatively high and nearly 1 in 5 residents is aged between 20 to 35 years old. Council tax for nearly all bands was above the national average. In this regard it can be compared to urban areas such as Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and neighbouring Rotherham.
The earliest written reference to Balby occurs in the Domesday Book (1086), which records the name as Balle(s)bi. This almost certainly derives from a personal name, Bal, together with the Old Norse word býr (meaning a farm) – dating the foundation of Balby to some time in the period of Viking settlement, between the late 8th and early 11th centuries.
Balby (which then included Warmsworth), was home to several of the early followers of the Quaker religion in England, including Thomas Aldham, whose son William was instrumental in opening the first permanent meeting house in the area, in Quaker Lane, Warmsworth. Balby has long been associated, along with other areas of Doncaster, with having a large Quaker community.
More recently, the suburban town was a centre for steel and brass manufacture, especially at the well known Pegler's Brass Foundry and Bridon Ropery. In the early 20th century, St Catherine's Hospital was built in the south of Balby, near to the site of St. Catherines Well, an ancient site of healing and pilgrimage. It is now a hospital estate.
Balby is currently in the process of several redevelopment initiatives such as the construction of a new retail park and the expansion of its residential area in the form of the 'Woodfield Plantation', the latter also prospectively creating a major link road from the east side of Balby to the Doncaster Lakeside and stadium areas although the final link is yet to be completed. A new public house called the Maple Tree has now opened on the site to the west of the new Tesco.
The external scenes for the BBC comedy Open All Hours were set and filmed on Lister Avenue, Balby. The shop (Lister Avenue at junction with Scarth Avenue) which served as Arkwright's grocery store was, and still is, a hairdresser's which was converted for the duration of filming.
- "Potteric Carr Nature Reserve: Introduction". Friends of Potteric Carr. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- History of Doncaster Friends Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Doncast History".
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