Saltley is an inner-city area of Birmingham, east of the city centre. The area is part of the Washwood Heath ward, and was previously part of the Nechells ward. It is part of the Ladywood constituency in the city.
Saltley was originally an unverified parish within the estate of the Adderley family and their descendents, who had built their original residence Saltley Hall on the site of what is now Adderley Park. As water became a key resource, the family moved their residence to Hams Hall for better access to the River Tame. When the English Civil War occurred, the Adderleys like most gentry chose the Royalist side, and paid heavy fines afterwards for choosing the wrong side.
As Birmingham developed as an industrial location, Saltley became an over spill area for workers, although still owned by the Adderley family. Lord Norton in 1855 donated land for the development of Adderley Park, as well as churches. It was Norton who oversaw the then modern layout of the square set streets and well spaced houses of the late 19th century, later seen as slum development post World War II.
St Peter's College was both a teacher training college and school, which was developed from 1852. The school closed in 1941 post destruction by a Luftwaffe bomb, while the college closed in 1978 to become part of Aston University. The building today encompasses houses, meeting rooms and council facilities.
Saltley is a largely business area with a high level of outlets in a densely populated area. Saltley begins at the Saltley Viaduct, marked with the Saltley Gate, a local landmark, at the entrance to Alum Rock Road and Washwood Heath Road. There are many older houses from around the turn of the 20th century still in existence around Saltley. During the 1950s and 1960s, many of these houses were bought by immigrants from the Commonwealth of Nations (mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh) who have formed a strong ethnic community over the last half a century.
The neighbourhood is home to mainly terraced properties and some new housing projects, trade and Christian and Muslim places of worship. Situated in the area are a number of primary schools and St. Peter's College. (St Peters College is no longer used as a college but the site is used for sheltered housing, small business offices, such as CSV Environment, and a small playing field). Recreation includes the Wheel's Adventure Park and smaller domestic parks. The area was host to an annual parade, known as the Saltley Festival.
The future of Wheel's Adventure Park is under threat as a result of a proposed major redevelopment to construct a sports village and City of Birmingham Stadium. The proposal for the City of Birmingham Stadium has fallen through.
Places of interest
Saltley Gate Coke Depot was the site of the Battle of Saltley Gate, one of the largest mass pickets during the 1970s. On Thursday 10 February 1972 30,000 Birmingham engineers walked out on strike. They struck to deliver solidarity to striking miners. Up to 15,000 then marched to join 2,000 miners who were picketing Saltley Coke Depot. The blockade forced the police, who had kept the depot open all week, to close the gates. The victory at Saltley was the turning point in the miners' strike. Militant picketing involving tens of thousands of miners had shut down power stations, docks and coke and coal depots. Power cuts forced the Tory government to call a state of emergency. After seven weeks the government was defeated.
Saltley is served by the Adderley Park railway station on the Birmingham New street to Coventry railway line and just half a mile up the road in Duddeston the Duddeston Station on the cross city line. Bus routes into the area include the 8A/8C, 14, 55, 72, 90, and 94.
Saltley was served by Saltley railway station between 1854 and 1968.
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