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    Cradley Links

    BBC Doomsday Project (1986)

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    The Story of the Domesday Project

    Across Stour Valley; Cradley. Council Flats dominate the Cradley Landscape. Built on reclaimed open-cast mines, they overlook the industrial communities lining the Stour Valley (1986)

    In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.

    People were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years.

    The whole of the UK – including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man – was divided into 23,000 4x3km areas called Domesday Squares or “D-Blocks”.

    Schools and community groups surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK and submitted more than 147,819 pages of text articles and 23,225 amateur photos, cataloguing what it was like to live, work and play in their community.


    Cradley is a small suburb of Halesowen bounded by a "Green belt" area.It has a number of light industries and is traditionally connected with heavy metal industry.

    Amusing Ourselves

    Across green-belt to Halesowen. Cereal crops and rough grazing border the modern residential areas of Hasbury/Hayley Green. These estates provide homes for B'ham commuters (1986)

    To keep ourselves amused in 1985,these are some of the things we do. We play games on the computer or type things in and invent our own games. Sometimes we just watch the television or video.We like listening to pop music.We like going to disco's.Disco is the shortened word for discotheque. At the disco people dance to the records the disc jockey plays.There are lights flashing round in different colours and sometimes there are pictures.

    Some girls go to guides and boys go to scouts.They learn to cook on open fires and to camp in tents.There are brownies, beavers and cubs for younger children and rangers and ventures for older children.

    Some people go to the swimming baths to swim.There are two baths in the area. One is Halesowen baths and one is Wollescote School Baths.

    Some people go to fairs.This is a place where there are electrical rides for people to go on.Some of our parents go to public houses where alcohol is sold.Sometimes people sing or bands play to entertain you.The person that owns the pub is called the licencee.He has his name above the door.This shows he is licenced to sell alcohol.

    Darts is very often played in pubs.This is a game played on a circular board.There are two players each has three darts.The players throw the darts at the board which has twenty-two segments.Each segment is numbered and the person who hits the highest number wins.The highest score possible is 180.There are different versions to the original game.One is called ROUND THE BOARD and the other is HIGHEST SCORER.

    Opinions about our area

    There are some good points about living in Cradley.There are lots of friendly people and once you have been living there for quite a while it's a very nice place.

    Cradley comes under Dudley Council.In Cradley we are near to large towns like Dudley, Wolverhampton and Birmingham which are useful for shopping.We're also near to beautiful countryside like Kinver, Clent,Walton and the Lickey Hills.

    There are quite a few things to do in Cradley for example there's a park called the Rec. It's got football pitches and tennis courts.It's also got swing's, slides and climbing frames.

    It was always a close knit community where everybody knew each other and everybody worked hard because it was an industrial area. When they built the flats in fields they shipped in people from all over the place, people who had no previous contact with Cradley or its history.

    Cradley has lots of foundries and factories so the smell of chemicals prevail.Some of the flats aren't very nice to look at because they've been neglected for so long.They've also been vandelised like so many other things in Cradley.

    There is a high school called Cradley high and three primary schools called Caslon, Colley Lane and Cradley Church of England.So where ever you live you are near a school.The High School is being rebuilt at the moment and it will have many new facilities and ammenities for the community to use as well as the school children.

    Local History

    Lutley Mill at the bottom of Drews Holloway was one of the first mills to forge metal as well as grind corn.

    Cradley is famous for its chain making and it made the chain and anchor for the Titanic.There were quite a few mines in Cradley because it was part of the Black Country.


    There are three churches in Colley Lane.First there is St.Peter's Church of England. It stands on a hill with a graveyard behind it.It also has a school called Cradley C.of E. Primary School. Many of the children from Colley Lane Primary School go to services or Sunday School at St. Peter's.

    A large Methodist Church, Cradley Trinity, stands about half way down Colley Lane. Boys Brigade is held her on Wednesday evenings. Nearby is the Pentecostal Church.

    Sports Facilities

    There are smaller play areas scattered among the housing estates. The football ground belonging to Cradley Town club took 12 months to be built.It is a full size pitch.On the right-hand side there is Caslon School,on the left-hand side there are allotments and fields.The pitch is about 22 years old.There is a changing room for the team and a club for visitors and supporters.

    Swimming is probably one of the most popular sports and the pool at Halesowen has got very good facilities.


    Each year Cradley holds a carnival for schools and societies in the Cradley area.Everybody involved in the carnival makes a float based on a theme. This year Huntingtree school chose V.E.day and dressed in war time costumes.In the competition they came 3rd. After the judging was over the children looked around the stalls and the rest of the carnival.The stalls sold all kinds of things.There were several sideshows and games which had prizes to be won.After the carnival there was a big disco, everybody went with their parents,they were allowed to stay up late.

    Life Styles

    Cradley is a very busy place,there is a lot of traffic on the roads and many people around the streets.It is a very untidy place.There are crisp wrappers,chocolate wrappers,cans,broken glass from bottles all over the place.Churches,schools and factories have their windows broken by vandals.

    Thare are a few tramps like Jeff hanging around in the streets and asleep on benches.

    There are hundreds of council houses -something like a third of the population of Cradley live in them.There is also a lot of waste ground,where the council has knocked down old houses. There are lots of garages and petrol stations, because 50% of the families in Cradley own a car.

    Spare Time Activities

    There are quite a few places where you can enjoy yourself.In Cradley there are a lot of discos that usually run every week.There are about three parks around here.You don't have to go far to cinemas.There are different places for adults too like liberal clubs, community centres etc.Unfortunately it doesn't have a sports centre.

    Churches have different organisations like Brownies,Guides,Scouts,Boys Brigade,Choirs and Bible study classes.

    Some clubs and pubs have outings,Fishing groups,Snooker and Dart groups and Gardening clubs. At Lutley community centre the activities include Keep Fit classes,Toddlers group,Yoga sessions and a Darby and Joan club.


    About three quarters of the people living in the area are white collar workers and the other quarter do manual jobs.In half of the families both parents work and in the other just men.

    Most people work near their homes or in the surrounding area but some people travel round.Full-time workers work 8 to 10 hours a day and part-time workers work 3 to 4 hours a day.Most people travel by car.The rest either travel by trains which they catch at Cradley Heath or Lye stations or by bus.In the Cradley area quite a few people are employed in metal-based industries manufacturing nuts,bolts, piping etc.

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