THIS week, reporter Tom Banner spoke to a few of the people who know St John’s best, gaining a flavour for the suburb’s unique community spirit.

The area of St John’s was not a part of Worcester until the 19th century, when it was swallowed up by the city’s boundaries.

For most of its history, St John’s has had two major employment centres, the Mining Engineering Company (MECO) and the Kays department store.

READ MORE: Down your way - The Arboretum

In local government, St John’s is represented on Worcester City Council by Labour councillors Matt Lamb, Chris Cawthorne and the self-titled “Voice of St John’s” Richard Udall.

Cllr Udall is a fifth generation resident of St John’s and spoke about the area’s community spirit and sense of pride.

He said: “St John’s has always had a feeling of independence from Worcester.

"It was only in the 1840s that it became part of the city.

“Before then it was an independent township on the west of the river.

“St John’s is a very tight-knit and close community, where people tend to work together.”

In recent times, St John’s has faced several issues, with the closure of Kay’s in 2007, the struggle to save the library and the loss of the last remaining bank branch earlier this year.

Cllr Udall added: “It is a big issue with businesses leaving as well as the removal of long-stay car parks.

“That means people can’t really drive into St John’s for work or to do the shopping as you cannot park more than two hours.”

This lack of parking means business can be difficult in St John’s, but there are still several well-known businesses and pubs including Narraway’s Butchers, the Bell Inn and the Crown.

Jo Martyr lives in St John’s with husband Dan and son Laurie.

She said: “We moved to Bromyard Rd in St John's from the north of the city two years ago. My son was due to start school and we’d outgrown our house. We looked at the city centre map and put a ring around the best primary schools in Worcester.

“St John's has several Ofsted outstanding schools but the open day visit to Pitmaston completely blew us away. The passion and expertise of the teachers and the smiling, courteous students confirmed our desire to move here.

“The ‘village in the city’ feel, the wonderful library and the shops on the doorstep, all ticked the right boxes for us. The library brings so much to people of all ages, for me it’s a key foundation stone in this community.

“The school and the people of St John's have surpassed my expectations. This is a community where people rally to support each other and strangers say hello when you’re out and about - this feels heartwarmingly old fashioned.

“The beautiful historic buildings and magnificent, centuries-old trees in the St John in Bedwardine church yard all make me happy.

“The Bull Baiters Inn also helps to make my husband’s life happier!We refer to it as the ‘man creche’, the place where ‘everybody knows your name’ The good company and the micro brewery ales and ciders are a big draw on a Friday night and a rainy Sunday afternoon."

St John’s is well served by its schools, with Pitmaston Primary School making the headlines for its efforts raising money to help the family of pupil Oscar Saxelby-Lee, who is battling leukaemia.

The school was the site of a stem cell donation drive which saw more than 4,000 people turn up to register as donors.

Mrs Martyr added: “Oscar is in my son’s class and his parents have become close friends.

“I’m so proud to be part of the community which kick started the incredible demonstration of selflessness and love for Oscar and his family.

“This kindness and altruism flowed out from St John's, throughout Worcester and on to became a global headline - what a community.”

So far in Down Your Way, we have been to The Arboretum and Ronkswood. Keep reading the Worcester News to see where our next feature is.