Bill's Lecture - Cradley Heath, Cradley & Dudley






Bill's Lecture

Early Days
(Lagos, Oldbury,Langley)

Lye & Stambermill

Oldswinford & Stourbridge

Brierley Hill

Cradley Heath, Cradley & Dudley

Wollescote & Kinver


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Other Works

Bill at Work




Walk up High Street Cradley Heath to the Four Ways and see St Luke’s church where in 1934 Tom Stokes and myself made the ‘Teacher Ellen’ window and two smaller ones. Teacher Ellen was a woman chainmaker who had taught in the Sunday School for sixty years. I remember well the then Bishop of Worcester (Dr Perowne) unveiled the window and made me sit with him in the Lady Chapel to hold the cords while he cut them; he had been had like that before, pulling strings and nothing happening, and it can interrupt the service if men have to come in with ladders to get the curtains down. On this occasion, all went well.


St Luke’s Church, Cradley Heath
Window made by Bill Pardoe

(The main window has been removed and repaired after being damaged by vandalism but has not yet been replaced.  The two smaller windows will at some time need the same care.)


Another item of interest occurred at that ceremony, for a young Old Hill man had painted a portrait of Ellen Hardiman in oils, which showed her with her hardworking hands, and a picture postcard of this painting was given to every member of the congregation. The young man was none other than our Mr Ewart Chapman, who is now devoting much of his time to painting pictures of bygone Black Country scenes.


The windows at St Peter’s Church, Cradley were designed and made by me after the death of Tom Stokes in 1934, also all of the leaded windows at the considerable restoration work of 1934. This church is unusual in that the main chancel window faces West instead of the usual East position.


St Peter’s Church, Cradley
Window made by Bill Pardoe



Windows to the left and right of the main St Peter's Church window
Windows made by Bill Pardoe


The church of St Thomas at Dudley, better known as Dudley Top Church, has a large window in the chancel which is enamel painted upon thin and fragile sheets of glass and shows two angels. Before the war it was very beautiful but it suffered some damage when a bomb fell near to the church one night during the war. It then suffered from being ‘restored’ . There used to be a distant scene of Jerusalem in the bottom right-hand corner but this seems to have been blotted out by daubing it with brown paint. One of the angels had an upraised right hand pointing to the figure of the risen Christ at the top of the picture, but the ham hand which the restorer has given it looks more like a mailed fist. This church, when first built, must have had a fine interior appearance which became completely spoiled when the ugly galleries were added some time after. Also of interest to me is the font by James Forsyth, the Earl of Dudley’s sculptor, but it has been much disfigured by being covered with something which looks like whitewash.

About twelve years ago a new church was built at Cradley for the Providence Methodists and I was asked to submit an idea for a large window there. They told me that they wanted something like the large baptistery window at Coventry Cathedral and this was my finished effort for them. A representation of the Christian life by colours.



New Provident Methodists Church, Cradley
Window made by Bill Pardoe


  Afterwards I was asked to do something along the same lines for the chapel at Wordsley Hospital which is used by all denominations and this is a similar idea but split up into fourteen separate panels and the hospital committee placed it there in memory of a long serving male nurse.