Monday, 10 March 2014

Women Chainmakers' Festival 2014

Women Chainmakers’ festival to return to Bearmore Park in Cradley Heath

The Festival celebrating an historic strike by Women Chainmakers will return to Cradley Heath in June 2014.
The tenth anniversary Women Chainmakers festival will be held in Bearmore Park in Cradley Heath on 7th June, preceded by our music event – “Friday night at the Chainmakers” on Friday 6th June. 
The venue for both events, Bearmore Mound, is in the heart of the Cradley Heath community where the Chainmakers worked and lived - and fought their successful ten week dispute to secure a minimum wage for their sector.
The festival has been jointly organised by the Midlands Region of the TUC and Sandwell council and will feature the TUC Assistant General Secretary, Kay Carberry, speaking at the festival.
Midlands TUC festival organiser Alan Weaver said, “We are delighted to bring the Chainmakers back to Cradley Heath for our annual trade union celebration of the Women Chainmakers.”
“This places our joint celebration of Mary Macarthur, who led the strike in 1910, back in the heart of the community where the women fought for their rights to a minimum wage.”
“It was a great achievement and we are once again indebted to Sandwell Council for their support in helping us continue to celebrate this important event. We are looking to make this festival an integral part of Cradley Heath for the foreseeable future and look forward to a long and successful partnership with the council to make this happen.”
The festival will also include a commemoration at Mary Macarthur Gardens where the monument dedicated to the Chainmakers is situated. This will start at 11.00 a.m. to be followed by a banner parade along Cradley Heath high Street to Bearmore Park, along part of the very route used by Macarthur and the women Chainmakers.

Further information

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

Friday night at the Chainmakers takes place on Bearmore Mound from 7.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. on Friday 6th June.

The tenth Women Chainmakers festival takes place at Bearmore Mound on Saturday 7th June from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and will feature TUC General Secretary Kay Carberry and local black country performers.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Photo record of the ninth Women Chainmakers' festival

The ninth Women Chainmakers festival took place on Bearmore park, Cradley Heath on Saturday 8th June. The festival is growing year on year, with the help of glorious sunshine both on the day of the festival and during the setup on the Thursday and Friday.
This year we were honoured by the presence of the TUC President, Lesley Mercer who headlined the speakers, together with Gloria Mills, Head of Equalities at UNISON.

Local artist performed in the Leftfield marquee, and we had new attractions with Birmingham University Archery Club, the Jockey Mens Morris Club and Cradley (or is it Dudley?) Heathens Speedway Team.

Our "Mile for Mary" paper chain challenge produced - well, maybe not quite  mile - but a seriously long chain which decorated the Family Tent in a way not seen before.

An expanded Community tent saw many more local organisations and traders on the site which was great to see.

We also organised our first commemoration at the Chainmakers Monument in Mary MAcarthur Memorial Gardens and our second banner procession along Cradley Heath High Street to the festival.





Friday night at the Chainmakers

Our first "Friday night at the Chainmakers"  on the festival site at Bearmore Park in Cradley Heath was an opportunity to showcase some of the best musical talent in the Black Country - including the Sandwell Rock school based at Holly Lodge. The Rock school are made up of local school children, -who in my humble view are superb musicians and singers - plus those that have left school but come back to support current members of the group.

We were delighted that the TUC President, Lesley Mercer from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, was able to present a cheque for £250 to the Rock School to show our appreciation of the work done in giving young people such a fantastic opportunity.

Joining us for this special evening was Stacey Blythe who composed and performed the Chainmakers' song .

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Parking at The Chainmakers

We strongly urge that you do not attempt to park in the streets around Bearmore Park as festival parking has been arranged a ten minute walk from the site. This is at Hickman's Avenue, Cradley Heath, B64 5ND and we are running a shuttle service between Hickmans Avenue nd Plant Strreet from 11.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m.

There are 20 spaces for disabled people with blue badges for their cars at the festival site, access from Clyde Street, B64 6DQ.

For those of you who wish to attend the commemoration at the Chainmakers monument we suggest you use the car park near Cradley Heath railway station, bottom left of map below, £2 per day for parking.


 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The final line up for the Women Chainmakers' festival and Friday night at the Chainmakers' has just been released..................


Women Chainmakers’ festival to return to Bearmore Park in Cradley Heath

The Festival celebrating an historic strike by Women Chainmakers will return to Cradley Heath this weekend.
The ninth Women Chainmakers festival will be held in Bearmore Park in Cradley Heath on 8th June, preceded by a new addition to the festival –“Friday night at the Chainmakers”.
The venue for both events, Bearmore Mound, is in the heart of the Cradley Heath community where the Chainmakers worked and lived - and fought their successful ten week dispute to secure a minimum wage for their sector.
The festival has been jointly organised by the Midlands Region of the TUC and Sandwell council and will feature the TUC President, Lesley Mercer, speaking at the events.
Midlands TUC festival organiser Alan Weaver said, “We are delighted to bring the Chainmakers back to Cradley Heath for the third year running.”
“This places our joint celebration of Mary Macarthur, who led the strike in 1910, back in the heart of the community where the women fought for their rights to a minimum wage.”
“It was a great achievement and we are indebted to Sandwell Council for their support in helping us continue to celebrate this important event. We are looking to make this festival an integral part of Cradley Heath for the foreseeable future and look forward to a long and successful partnership with the council to make this happen.”
The festival will also include a commemoration at Mary Macarthur Gardens here the monument dedicated to the Chainmakers is situated. This will start at 11.00 a.m. to be followed by a banner parade along Cradley Heath high Street to Bearmore Park, along part of the very route used by Macarthur and the women Chainmakers.

Notes to Editors:

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

Friday night at the Chainmakers takes place on Bearmore Mound from 7.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. on Friday 7th June.
Performers on Friday Night include Sandwell Rock School and Stacey Blythe singing the Chainmakers Song.

The ninth Women Chainmakers festival takes place at Bearmore Mound on Saturday 9th June from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and will feature TUC President, Lesley Mercer, Gloria Mills, UNISON Head of Equalities, and local black country performers including The Laners, Phil Parton, Easy Street, Tom Martin Band, Steve Morris, Bill O’Brien, East West Fusion, Brett Huckerfield and Marie Timmins, Folk Law, Carol Widenbar, Tony Scott and Billy and Lozz.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Announcing Friday Night at The Chainmakers

Friday night at The Chainmakers is to be held at the festival site, Bearmore Park, Cradley Heath, from 7.00 p.m. until 11.00 p.m. This is a free event and forms part of the Women Chainmakers festival which takes place on Saturday 8th June. 

The new promotional video can be viewed below or on YouTube here


video