Festival celebrates triumph of working women who won strike against all the odds


Singer-songwriter Grace Petrie is the headline act at this year’s Women Chainmakers’ Festival in the Midlands.

Held in Bearmore Park, Cradley Heath on June 9th, the event is hosted jointly by the Midlands TUC and Sandwell Council to commemorate the victory of women workers who in 1910 went on strike to win a minimum wage which doubled their income.

It has been moved forward to June to coincide with the unveiling of a statue of a woman chainmaker at the nearby Mary Macarthur Memorial Gardens.

Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Rob Johnston said: “We are delighted to bring the Chainmakers back to Cradley Heath. This places our joint celebration of Mary Macarthur, who led the strike, 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 event starts at 11am, with music and kids’ activities taking place throughout the day, including the highly-anticipated re-enactment by Lynn Morris of strike leader Mary Macarthur’s speech to the chain makers.

It finishes at 6pm, with Grace Petrie expected to take the stage at 3pm. More acts will be confirmed nearer the time.

* You can see an exclusive UnionNews film of Grace Petrie here




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