Kings Oak Village Kings   Oak   is   a   large   village,   almost   town   size,   on   the   outskirts   of   Birmingham.   Although   the   village   continues   to   have   very   much   a   countryside   feel   with open spaces between the small hamlets that created Kings Oak. The   'Kings   Oak   Village   Guidebook'   reveals   that   originally   the   Village   was   called   'Slohtran   Ford',   which   means   "marshy   ford."   The   hamlet   was   originally inhabited   by   foresters   who   built   their   huts   at   the   easiest   crossing   point   for   the   River   Slotter,   which   runs   through   the   centre   of   Kings   Oak.   The   name   Kings Oak comes from the Civil War, when King Charles hid there for a night in a giant oak tree hence "the Kings in the oak tree." In   1969   the   village   of   Kings   Oak   had   750   inhabitants   and   was   administered   by   its   own   Rural   Council.   The   village   has   two   churches,   St   Mary's   and   the Methodist Church. On the outskirts of Kings Oak there is St Lawrence's church. The   three   mainstay   pubs   were   -   The   Crown   -   The   Kings   Oak   and   The   Stag   (Not   to   be   confused   with   the   nearby   Running   Stag   located   just   outside   of   the small hamlet of Peachy). Kings Oak, according to a 1964 TV World article on the village, is exactly ten miles south from Birmingham City Centre. The   village   has   many   "meeting   places";   the   Kings   Oak   General   Store   was   for   many   years   a   small   corner   shop,   however   it   expanded   to   become   a   small supermarket   in   the   1960s.   The   Newsagents   was   a   gossip   point   for   many   of   the   ladies   and   The   Village   Post   Office   was   also   a   popular   place   for   people   to catch up on the latest events. A park surrounds the River Slotter, and cricket, golf and bowling clubs also reside in the West of the village. The   Kings   Oak   Country   Hotel,   Crossroads   Leisure   Centre,   Crossroads   Cafe   and   Fairlawn's   Hotel   provide   many   of   the   residents   of   the   area   with   work.   The village   also   has   its   own   railway   station   and   various   shops.   In   1985   the   Police   house   was   decommissioned   and   the   building   remained   empty   for   many   years. In   1988   the   Rivoli   Cinema   closed,   it   could   no   longer   compete   with   the   new   more   trendy   multi-screen   complexes.   Like   the   Police   house,   it   too   remains disused. But as well as closures, new businesses opened. In   the   1980s   an   Indian   takeaway   was   just   one   of   the   first   new   eateries   to   become   popular   in   the   area.   The   village   also   boasts   a   butchers,   bakers   and   green grocer. The Summers Road Timber Yard and Robin's Warehouse are both well-known employers in the village. The   early   1970s   saw   Kings   Oak's   inhabitants   rise   as   a   brand   new   housing   estate   was   created   to   the   south   of   the   village,   Kings   Hill.   This   development   also saw   a   fire   station   built.   A   small   airfield   had   been   constructed   during   the   Second   World   War,   this   was   located   in   the   grounds   of   what   was   to   become   the former Crossroads Motel; however it was in latter years only used for private flights, and was finally demolished in 1982. On   the   outskirts   of   Kings   Oak   there   are   a   number   of   farms,   although   over   the   years   many   have   ceased   trading.   The   most   well   known   ones   are   Stone   Bank and Haywood.
Kings Oak Fictional Locations
Heathbury Town There are a couple of nearby towns and villages to Kings Oak, the biggest is Heathbury - an industrial town which is six miles North of the village centre. Before   the   motorway   was   built   to   the   West   of   Heathbury   the   road   through   Kings   Oak   to   the   town   was   the   main   link   to   Birmingham.   Heathbury   is   well known for its mushroom farm. It also has a general hospital, Heathbury General, and an Accident and Emergency facility at the Albert Memorial Hospital. The   canal   which   runs   near   the   River   Slotter   towards   and   through   Heathbury   has   a   basin   in   the   town.   The   basin   was   home   to   the   Harvey's   canalside   house, as   well   as   Sam   Carne's   cottage.   The   canal   itself   was   home   to   a   longboat   first   owned   by   Stan   and   Jill   Harvey,   and   later   rented   to   a   succession   of   villagers including Diane Parker, Jane Smith and Vera Downend. Other Local Villages Five   miles   South   East   from   the   Kings   Oak   cross   road   junction   is   the   village   of   Merryfields,   which   has   very   limited   public   amenities;   a   general   store,   post office and pub in the village centre. Fifteen   miles   from   Kings   Oak   southward   is   the   hamlet   of   Paxton.   Made   up   of   small   cottages   and   Paxton   Hall.   This   village   is   where   Meg   Mortimer   had   her 'get-a-way' home from the motel. A few miles North of Paxton, towards Kings Oak, is The Running Stag public house and B&B. Four   miles   West   from   Kings   Oak   village   centre   stands   the   village   of   Castlewich.   This   location   is   around   the   same   size   as   Kings   Oak   -   although   this   is   mainly due to mass expansion in the 1960s. Since   the   redevelopment,   Castlewich   now   has   more   affordable   residential   locations   than   Kings   Oak.   These   include   flats,   maisonettes   and   a   council   housing estate   -   making   it   a   much   more   appealing   location   to   live   for   many.   It   is   also   home   to   the   local   newspaper   for   the   area,   the   Castlewich   Clarion,   which   also covers the surrounding villages. Other residential areas include the upper-class Droitwich, Woodford, Willow End and Woodville - where Jill Chance's home of Chimneys was located. Transport Links To   travel   to   Birmingham   by   train   Kings   Oak   is   the   only   station   locally.   Woodville,   Merryfields   and   Castlewich   are   not   near   the   track,   so   to   use   this   service passengers of rail would have to bus or drive by car to the limited service at Kings Oak or Heathbury. All trains link to Birmingham New Street. There   are   a   number   of   bus   services   that   link   the   local   villages   and   towns   to   Birmingham. The   main   one   is   the   Kings   Oak   to   Birmingham   bus   service,   number 43,   which   runs   every   30   minutes   during   the   day   and   early   evening.   This   bus   is   the   main   link   to   the   town   of   Heathbury   and   Birmingham   city   centre.   The   42 runs twice an hour and links the surrounding villages.
 © Crossroads Fan Club 2018: Information researched by Doug Lambert and Mike Garrett. Information from various Crossroads episodes, The Crossroads Years by Jane Rossington, various TV Times magazine features and My Life At Crossroads by Noele Gordon. Photographs on this page were taken by CAS in 1988 by John Jameson Davis.