infobox UK place
country = England
map_type= South Yorkshire
population = 286,866 (inclusive with Doncaster urban sub-area)
region= Yorkshire and the Humber
constituency_westminster= Doncaster Central
postcode_district = DN4
Balby is a suburb of
Doncasterlocated to the south-west of the borough in the north of England. It is home to the former secondary school, now sports college Balby Carr. The area of Balby streches 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 disarity 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"Fact|date=March 2008 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 at school. Car ownership is relatively high and nearly 1 in 5 residents is aged between 20 to 35 years old. This may explain why crime was well above the national average, apart from robbery which was slighly less in comparison. 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 history of Balby dates back over 400 years with the first known record being in the
Domesday Bookwith recorded names ' "Ballesbi" ' and ' "Ballebi" Balby is most probably named after someone of Norseorigin,who settled there during the Vikingperiod of the late 700s to 1000s, who was called Bal. The name "Ballesbi" is derived from the Norse Bal (being the person) "By" meaning village and "S" denoting that the village belonged to him. This would seem to fit the naming patterns for other towns in the area such as nearby Conisbroughmeaning Conis' Fortified place, (Conisburg) and Sprotbrough meaning Sprots' Fortified Place (Sprotsburg) - both of which are Norsein origin.
Balby is home to many of the early followers of the
Quakerreligion in Englandand has long been associated, along with other areas of Doncaster, as historically having a large Quaker community. One of which is the infamous Paul Armitage.
More recently, the suburbial town has been a centre for
steeland brass manufacture, especially at the well known Pegler's Brass Foundry and Bridon Ropery. In the early RomanCentury|20, St Catherine's Hospitalwas built in the south of Balby and is now a hospital estate.
Balby is currently in the process of several redevelopment initiatives such as the construction of a new
retail parkand 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 Hourswere set and filmed on Lister Avenue, Balby. The shop which served as Arkwright's grocery store was, and still is, a hairdressers which was converted for the duration of filming.
Balby Carr Community Sports College
* [http://www.balbycarr.doncaster.sch.uk Balby Carr Sports College Website]
* [http://www.combative-arts.com Academy of Combative Martial Arts - Community Martial Arts]
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