Bill's Lecture - Cradley Heath






Bill's Lecture

Brierley Hill


Dudley Wood

Cradley Heath










Additional Material



Bethesda, Cradley


Great Witley



Moving from Dudley to St Luke's Church. St Luke's. Tom Stokes and myself made a Christ Blessing the Little Children in the memory of a woman chainmaker, and she taught in the Sunday School at St Luke's for 60 years, and when she died they decided they would put a window in the little Lady Chapel in her memory, and two little smaller ones at the side of it and that was one that Tom Stokes features again, Suffer the Little Children very nicely done. And the church was filled when they dedicated this window because everyone in Cradley Heath knew Teacher Ellen the chainmaker and there were 2 windows, there was St John and St Luke underneath.

  St Luke St John

Now I had arranged it was unveiling this and I had arranged the curtains so that the Bishop of Worcester, Dr Perowne there, and I knew him very well because I was mixed up with the League of Nations Union and he was a very, very big mover in it. And he knew me instantly when I was there. And I was explaining to him how he had to cut these three tapes together so that all the three curtains would fall simultaneously. He wasnít having any of that. Heíd had some before, he had been in an unveiling, I had to be in the little Lady Chapel there with him there so that at the right moment I could come up and hold the tape and he could cut them you see. And oh, it was such a palaver, stand up sit down move round all the time throughout the service.


Anyhow, it reminds me of something else told and just after the First World War. In the town hall somewhere there's been a memorial window put and it was to be unveiled by the mayor. And it was very high up in the town hall. I don't know which room it was now but anyhow he said, just at the moment came the unveiling the Bishop was told, you just have to pull this cord and down would come the curtains. Well, the moment came and the Bishop went up to the cord and he pulled it and nothing happened. He gave it another pull and nothing happened. So he gave it one almighty tug and he pulled the cord down. And they couldn't unveil the window then, they had to send for the firemen out and they had to get their ladders to unhang the curtains. No doubt that old Dr Perowne had had trouble like that and I am standing there, on the spot, to unveil it.

Now, that was Teacher Ellen and every one of the congregation had a photograph, a postcard of this painting. A lovely painting, it was about 3 foot high and 2 foot wide and Teacher Ellen with her bible and her great bony hands, a chainmaker you know, and that was painted by the well known Black Country Painter Mr Ewart Chapman. And he told me himself when I got this photograph and made this slide, and he came to one of the lectures, well he said, itís marvellous I haven't seen that since I made it, and that must have been 45 years before. Teacher Ellen.

Now we are going a bit further down to some more work of the Camms here. And not only they did a lot of domestic work we call it, this was in the Majestic Cinema at Cradley. A Bingo Hall now (In 2016 it is derelict).



And this was on the landing window. And of course Majestic had some association with royalty and all these beautiful leaded panels were Royal coats of arms. Really lovely I think this. And itís still there, it hasn't been vandalised in any way. Beautiful. Prince of Wales feathers.