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    Cradley Links

    This is an archived page.

    A few snippets of "What people are saying" about Cradley Links

    The Express & Star Our first recognition came from the web edition of the daily Express & Star newspaper, at www.westmidlands.com on 9 November 2001. The Express & Star is a regional evening paper with a very wide circulation throughout the Black Country and beyond, and on 9 November its front page recommended Cradley Links as its "Site of the Day".

    Thank you, Express & Star!

    GENUKI Family History News On 9 November 2001 the GENUKI Family History News No 78 reviewed Cradley Links.

    Family History News is an e-mail newsletter associated with GENUKI, the foremost web-based information service about UK and Irish genealogy and is to be found at www.genuki.org.uk It is probably the best starting point for UK and Irish genealogical research on the internet.

    GENUKI were kind enough to say of us:

    This is a fabulous website devoted to Cradley in Worcestershire, within the area of the UK known as the Black Country.

    There is plenty of information on this site, from directories and census information, to general information about the area. There is a wealth of information on the local area, history, social and economic, development of the area, links to other sites as well as much, more information on the area.

    Well designed, although the site uses frames it uses them sensibly and effectively, the site is pleasant to look at and does not take too long to download, although there are images on it.

    A nice site.

    The aim of GENUKI is to serve as a "virtual reference library" of genealogical information that is of particular relevance to the United Kingdom & Ireland. It is a non-commercial service, provided by an ever-growing group of volunteers in cooperation with the Federation of Family History Societies and a number of its member societies. GENUKI carries a massive amount of information about archives (for example the text of Public Records Office leaflets) and about particular counties and parishes and their records.

    In the main, the information that is provided in GENUKI relates to primary historical material, rather than material resulting from genealogists' ongoing research, such as GEDCOM files. (Its role is thus very different from Internet-based services such as GenServ, Roots Surname List, and the soc.genealogy.surnames.britain / soc.genealogy.surnames.ireland newsgroups with associated FAQ, that help genealogists find others researching the same family, and to exchange their research results with them.)

    Thank you, GENUKI!

    Halesowen News In its January 3 2002 edition the Halesowen News (incorporating the County Express), the local newspaper for the area that includes Cradley, carried a main feature on the Cradley Links web site.

    Describing the Cradley Links webmasters as "two Cradley exiles" the feature article had this to say:

    Two Cradley exiles who still have their roots firmly in the town have produced a comprehensive Internet guide to its history, people and landmarks.

    Cradley Links.com is thought to be one of the most detailed sites available for local reference purposes and is the brainchild of Nigel Brown and Mike Hamilton.

    Nigel was born and bred in Cradley before moving to Wolverhampton, but Mike has spent all his life in Australia after his parents emigrated there before he was born.

    Together they have produced a site which contains hundreds of pages of information on famous Cradley industries, artwork, pictures, maps, a parish register and guest book.

    Nigel is a member of The Black Country Society and is also interested in tracing his family tree, which includes Cradley relatives from many generations.

    He started a website on his own but just before it went live read a message from Mike, a computer programmer, asking if anyone could help him trace Cradley history.

    Mike started work on the design and programming whilst Nigel spent many hours researching books, files and newspapers chronicling history of the town.

    He was assisted by members of Cradley Then and Now, including Cradley head librarian Jill Guest who let him have access to historical material.

    Author, historian and former Halesowen College lecturer Peter Barnsley allowed Nigel to reproduce his work, with a section on the site dedicated to his essays.

    Mike worked on the development side and can trace his ancestors back to Richard Stevens, who kept the former Windmill pub in Cradley.


    Nigel said his original idea for a website had blossomed since working with Mike and he had enjoyed putting all the information together.

    He said: "Cradley is a great place, and has become an overriding passion for me, I can trace my ancestry back hundreds of years and have many relatives still in the area.

    "The website aims to cater for everyone, from the person who has never heard of Cradley to those who have lived there for years and want to know more about it.

    "It is not just history and gives up-to-date information, as well as allowing people from around the world with links to the town to communicate with each other."

    Thank you, Halesowen News!

    Family History Magazine Rob Thompson's "Webwise" column in Family History Monthly magazine column honoured Cradley Links with Web site of the month for February 2002.

    Rob Thompson's generous review said:

    Web site of the month

    This is a fabulous web site devoted to Cradley in the south of the Black Country. There is plenty here about the history of the area and its unique history of chain-making. It includes copies of local directories and census indexes, extracts from newspapers and columns from the Blackcountryman magazine, as well as more general information about the district. The site is also extremely well designed.

    Thank you, Rob Thompson and Family History Magazine!

    The Black Country Society Mick Pearson, webmaster of The Black Country Society website reviewed Cradley Links on 27th September, 2002:

    My thoughts on the site: This is a well-established site and from the frontpage it is clear a lot of effort has gone into its presentation. The site and content are colourful, but not garish, there is plenty of content with census data, book material, schools, information about the people of Cradley, Cradley at war and work, essays by Peter Barnsley (regular Blackcountryman contributor), and much more besides.

    One of the important features is the ease of navigation around the site, with a frame that expands to give access to sub-headings. This means that with the minimum of mouse clicks you can find exactly what you want.

    The site is heavy on content, and lacking in flash animation, just how I believe a site of this type should be designed. The design itself is also important, and should not detract from the content, after all, if you are visiting this site, chances are you are looking for information, not flash animation. Once again the site scores highly on the design front.

    A quick glance at the "whats new" page shows how regular updates are. Three major updates in September 2002, 7 updates in August 2002, it is clear that you will need to keep on returning to the site to read the new material. Photographs abound through-out, and include larger versions accessed by clicking on the web page version, another nice touch.

    I have mentioned content, and it is probably the strong-point of the site, Nigel and Mike have researched their subject thoroughly and present articles from many sources. I have mentioned Peter Barnsley, also present are features from the Cradley Parish Church magazine in the 1950s, as well as local directorys and a medieval map dating back to 1307.

    This review contains many links to the sections I have described. Once you get into the site I am sure you will agree it is well worth an hour (or more) of anyone's time delving around.

    Mick Pearson

    Thank you, Mick Pearson!

    Family History Magazine Family History Magazine has again named Cradley Links as their “Web Site of the Month” (Dec 2004, edition 111):

    Web Site of the Month Cradley Cracker www.cradleylinks.com

    Did your ancestor come from Cradley in the Black Country? If so this site is an absolute must, absolutely packed full of interesting stuff including articles on local people from The Blackcountryman magazine, enclosure surveys from the 18th century, directories, and a lot about the area's history. You can find newspaper clippings, items on Cradley at war, churches, schools, and local people. The site is nicely laid out and easy to move around. A truly excellent site and well worth a visit for anyone with links to the Black Country.

    Thank you, Family History Magazine!

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