Willenhall History Society

Street Names - R



Radstock Road. Takes its name from the town of Radstock in Somerset.

Raglan Street. Named after Field Marshal Lord Raglan who was the Commander in Chief of the British Army during the Crimean War, until his death from illness at his headquarters before Sevastopol on Thursday June 28th 1855. Raglan Street which has now completely disappeared, lay off Church Street, where Messrs Lowe and Fletcher's car park now stands.

Ragley Close. Named after Ragley Hall, stately home of the Earl and Countess of Yarmouth. The house is situated just outside Birmingham on the Birmingham, Alcester, Evesham Road and is open to the public at certain times of the year.

Railway Lane. A lane leading from the New Road to the Tumbledown Bridge which crosses the railway line just before it enters Bilston Street station. The bridge is believed to have earned its name due to the fact that it did once fall down many years ago.

Ravensbourne Grove. Named after the town of Ravensbourne which is situated about 10 miles south east of London. The street stands on the site of the old factory of Messrs Armstrong Stevens & Co Ltd. famous for its "Lion" brand spanners until closed by the recession.

Ravenscroft Road. Named after Samuel Ravenscroft whose family came from Rowley Regis early in the last century to settle in Short Heath. Mr Ravenscroft was a member of Short Heath Urban District Council for many years and served as chairman of that body from 1912 to 1914 and also 1927 to 1929.

Reapers Close. All the streets on the Manor Farm Estate have a farming theme indicating that they stand on what was once the site of the Manor Farm.

Redpine Crest. The Pine is a valuable evergreen coniferous tree much used as furnishing timber.

Redwood Way. Redwood is the name given to various types of Reddish coloured wood.

Reedly Road. This road stands on the east side of Essington Road and just north of the Milestones Inn. Nothing is known of the origins of the name.

Regent Street. Commemorates Queens Victoria's husband, Prince Albert the Prince Regent.

Reid Avenue. Named in honour of Councillor Mrs Lilian Reid a member of Willenhall Urban District Council from February 1951, and the only lady ever to serve as chairperson, an office she held in 1960-61. In June 1962 Mrs Reid was awarded the MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List. After she retired from public life in 1964 Mrs Reid lived to reach her centenary before she died on July 2nd 1986 at the age of 102. She is buried in the family vault in the old Wood Street cemetery, being the last person to be buried there.

Rhys Thomas Close. Named after councillor J.G. Rhys Thomas, member of the Willenhall Urban District Council from 1955 until 1966, and chairman during the year 1962-63.

Ridge Close. Probably a reference to the ridge of high ground on which the estate stands.

Riding Way. John R Riding came to Willenhall from Liverpool in 1946 to take up his appointment as Clerk to the Council. He replaced Mr W.D. Elston McVitie,M.A. and arrived as Willenhall's post war slum clearance and re-housing programme was about to get under way. He stayed until Willenhall was absorbed into Walsall and Wolverhampton under the Black Country re-organisation in 1966 when he retired.

Riley Street. This street, situated off Lower Lichfield Street first appeared on the population Census of 1881 and once contained rows of neat terraced houses, until they were demolished during the 1960's as part of Willenhall's slum clearance programme. The area is now given over entirely to industry. Nothing is known of the individual after whom the street was named.

Rockland Gardens. Named after a small village of that name in Norfolk.

Roebuck Glade. Named after the Roebuck, a small specimen of European deer of elegant shape and remarkably nimble.

Rollesby Drive. Named after the town of Rollesby in the county of Norfolk.

Rose Hill. The name is derived from the Rose Hill Colliery which once stood on the hill. Prior to this it was known as Mobs Bank. On 13th November 1928 Willenhall Council agreed to pay the sum of œ1128 to have the redundant tram tracks removed, and the Rose Hill and Bilston Roads reconstructed.

Rose Hill Gardens. Rose Hill Gardens stands today on part of what used to be Morfital Lane. See also Rose Hill.

Rosedale Place. Named after the Reverend W.E. Rosedale vicar of St.Giles church from 1894 to 1909. Mr Rosedale was the last vicar to be elected by the ratepayers by means of an election. The election took place on April 26th 1894 when Mr Rosedale came first out of 4 candidates securing 199 votes against 157 from his nearest rival the Rev W.L. Ward vicar of St Annes. Also taking part were the Rev. J.E. Page of Binfield who polled 28 votes and the Rev. F.W. Ford of London who recorded just 1 vote. Mr Rosedale was never happy with this system of selecting a vicar for the parish and after long and arduous negotiations, the church purchased the advowson from the people, as represented by the Urban District Council for an undisclosed sum of money plus the gift of the piece of land at the junction of Doctors Piece and Lower Lichfield Street which had previously been the Willenhall C of E National School. A sum of œ80 was also given to the Short Heath Urban District Council. Today selection of an incumbent is in the hands of a Board of Patrons.

Rosewood Drive. Rosewood is the wood of a tree which is much used in Cabinet making. When freshly cut it gives off a faint smell of Roses.

Rothesay Way. Named after the town of Rothesay on the Island of Bute which is situated near the mouth of the Firth of Clyde.

Roundcroft. On the 1841 Tithe map of Willenhall the area was known as Round Croft Garden and the name is derived from this. A croft being a small enclosed piece of land, usually containing a dwelling house or sometimes the word is used to describe a small farm.

Roundlea Close. The name simply means a round field or meadow.

Rudge Close. Named after Councillor Harry Rudge, a man who spent many years in the service of the community. He was a member of Willenhall Urban District Council from September 15th 1955, when he succeeded Councillor W Stretton, who had recently died, until 1966, when the town became part of Walsall. He then continued to serve the people of Willenhall for a number of years on the Walsall MBC. Mr Rudge was also a County Councillor for a number of years, and was also well known for the work he did in helping to set up the New Invention Victory Working Men's Club. He was one of the founder members, a committee member from the very beginning, and during his long association with the club, which saw it grow to the organisation it is today, Mr Rudge also at varying times acted as President, Chairman and later as a Trustee.

Rugeley Avenue. The roads on this estate are all named after either Collieries or coal mining towns in the Cannock Chase coalfield.

Russell Street. It is believed that this street was named after Lord John Russell, a well known politician of the time. Lord Russell was a member of the Whigs party, forerunner of the Liberal party and was a great reformer of his time. He served under Earl Grey and later Lord Palmerston when the Whigs were in office and became Prime Minister after Palmerston died. In 1867 with his health failing, he became too ill to continue and retired. He had the nickname of "Finality Jack".

Willenhall History Society Website 30/1/00