Cradley Women Chainmakers' Festival

The 2015 Women Chainmakers' festival will be on SUNDAY 12th July 2015 organised by Midlands TUC at  Bearmore Mound Playing Fields, Cradley Heath, B64 6DU with a march along Cradley High Street

with help from the Friends of Chainmakers   contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   next meeting is Tuesday 3rd February


official faceBook page


The event costs around £24,000 and the Midlands TUC is currently seeking donations for the 2015 event.

The TUC-organised event backed by Sandwell Council has live music, stalls, speeches.

Further details/trade enquiries   Midlands TUC, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 2PA 0121 262 6383

 The festival celebrates the achievements of 800 women Chainmakers who fought to establish a minimum wage for their labour in 1910, following a 10 week strike. The local employers sought to deny them their rights but were met with forceful opposition. The strike was led by trade unionist Mary Macarthur, who founded the National Federation of Women Workers and later stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate.


How to get to  Cradley Heath from Wolverhampton by train: 
off-peak Day Return  
leave  Wolverhampton Rail Station, taking London Midland train towards Walsall
change at Smethwick Galton Bridge Rail Station 
 take London Midland train towards Kidderminster
arrive at Cradley Heath Rail Station                        see the jouney planner here....




2014 event: Hundreds turn out for Chainmakers' Festival despite downpour on Friday 6th June Friday night at the Chainmakers @ Leftfield Marquee in Bearmore Park

Saturday 7th June 2014  tenth Midlands TUC Cradley Women's Chainmakers' festival  Bearmore Mound Playing Fields, Cradley Heath, B64 6DU


The Midlands TUC maintains this event as the largest celebration of womens' history in Britain.
10 years of chainmakers festival







The Friends of Chainmakers   contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

'The group is being set up to promote the story of the women chainmakers and to encourage more local people to become involved in activities and hopefully therefore to engage with the festival.'   
Statement from their constitution: 
To preserve and provide a focus for the industrial heritage of the Black Country and celebrate the role that women have played in that local history, traditions and culture. Written accounts, oral histories, records and memorabilia will be made visible for the benefit of the general public via festivals, meetings, seminars, workshops, exhibitions by any other means to achieve the objects.
The thinking behind this is that we need the Friends group to be a distinct group themselves separate from the festival / TUs for a number of reasons
-  to encourage community involvement / engagement
- to ensure year round engagement 
- to promote the history of the chainmakers
- to enable access to new funding streams
at the Midlands TUC meeting in October the following motion from Wolverhampton & Bilston TUC was passed:
Chainmakers Festival 2014

We congratulate Midlands TUC employees and those involved with the organisation of the 2013 Chainmakers’ Festival in Cradley Heath.
The increased turnout, particularly of local people , was testament to their good work and confirms the correct decision to bring the festival back to Cradely Heath, the home of chain making. To improve on this year’s efforts we suggest for 2014 for example:
(i) A local organising committee to assist the current work done. To involve local community groups, schools and Sandwell Council as well as trade unions and trade union councils.
(ii) Increased involvement with Sandwell Council in advance to utilise their publicity systems.
(iii) Co-ordination with national TUC to send out publicity along the lines of their Tolpuddle festival publicity for South West TUC, reminding affiliates and members that this is a flagship celebration of women’s magnificent contribution to trade union struggles. Publicity should be along the lines of the only women’s national festival.


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