Cradley Stories, Songs and Poems

This page is published with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund. It comprises 51 stories, songs and poems about Cradley, written and narrated by Cradley people as part of the Cradley Heritage Project. Some of the stories have been on Cradley Links for some time; others are new, commissioned for the Heritage Project. All have been adapted for listening, rather than reading.

The audio player below has a "playlist" of all 51 items. The buttons across the top allow you to rewind and fastforward the soundtrack; to start, pause and stop the stories; and adjust the volume. To start any story, just click on the title.

The first track is the commentary that accompanied an exhibition held by the Cradley Then & Now Group in 2009 at the Black Country Living Museum. It includes our dialect, the Black Country, Mary Macarthur, the Ragged Schools, hop picking, chain making and many other topics, all to the background noises of chain makers at work and the songs of Cradley minstrel Bev Pegg.

The next two tracks are more songs by Bev Pegg, recorded in 2009 at Hagley and written especially for the Cradley Heritage Project.

For more information about Bev take a look at our Cradley Castings page and Bev's own web site Vocalist / Guitarist / Comedian. Don't miss the picture gallery for a display of Bev's musical, family and industrial history.

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Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

The HLF gives grants to a wide range of projects involving the local, regional and national heritage of the United Kingdom. HLF distributes a share of the money raised by the National Lottery for Good Causes. It enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage.

From museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots, or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up the nation's heritage for everyone to enjoy.

HLF invests £208 million a year in new projects in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Since 1994 HLF has supported over 30,000 projects allocating over £4.5 billion across the UK.