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    Cradley Links

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    On Saturday 19 May 2007, Cradley Branch Library hosted a triple launch event.

    Fragments Cover - Essay's by Norman Bird

    The occasion marked the publication of three new books and the belated arrival of a web site - this one - all about Cradley.

    The new Cradley Links went online at 0800 hours on Thursday 17 May 2007, some 2 years and 3 months after the demise of its predecessor. This gathering of about 40 people in Colley Lane marked its "official" launch.


    The first of the new books was 'Fragments from the History of Cradley, 22 essays by the late Norman Bird (1897-1958)', one of Cradleys foremost historians.

    Nigel Brown transcribed the essays, which were written over 50 years ago, and Jill Guest of the Cradley Then & Now group provides the book with a fitting introduction. Norman's daughter Norma was present at the launch and was presented with the first copy of the book as a momento of her father's work.

    Tithe Map

    The second book is the latest in the History of Cradley series, researched and compiled by the prolific Margaret Bradley and Barry Blunt. The title is 'Tithe Map & Schedules, A study and transcription of Cradley Tithe Map & Apportionment 1843' and it records and explains the transition from a tax based on payment in kind, although this had already been modified more than half a century earlier, to payments in money.

    Baptist Trust

    Whilst not announced at the launch event, yet another new History of Cradley book by the same writers appeared on the bookstall - 'Cradley Baptist Trust Deeds 1778-1863, A study and transcript of property deeds relating to Cradley Baptist Church'.

    Both books contain a wealth of information about the people of the day, those who owned and occupied the land and property, and those who invested their time and money in the establishment of the Baptist Church.

    The well attended event is continued evidence that interest in Cradley history is alive and well today.

    The following day Jill Guest and Nigel Brown appeared on Carl Chinn's "People, places & local history of Birmingham & Black Country" programme, on BBC Radio WM (West Midlands), to talk about the books and the web site.

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