Hundreds turn out for Chainmakers' Festival despite downpour

12:23pm Wednesday 11th June 2014

TORRENTIAL rain marred the Chainmakers' Festival in Cradley Heath but hundreds of people still turned out to honour the striking women of 1910.

The event, organised by the Midlands Trade Union Congress, on Saturday included a march from Mary Macarthur Gardens to Bearmore Park on Saturday morning.

The event kicked off with a concert on Friday night at the park and there were events and political speeches throughout Saturday.

Halesowen and Rowley Regis parliamentary candidate for Labour Stephanie Peacock was amongst the speakers as well as Kay Carberry, assistant general secretary of the TUC andRuth Smeeth, deputy director of Hope not Hate.

Creative Cradley Heath also held arts and crafts demonstrations during the festival and the masses of bunting which volunteers made at workshops was on show at the park.

the Friends of the Women Chainmakers organised bus trips to a chain shop at Temple Meadow Primary School, Wrights Lane.

Pauline Riley, from the friends, said: "It was a shame about the weather as the rain effected the numbers of people who attended but I still think the festival was a success.

"The bus trips to the chain shop were popular and we are already working on our next project after the popular feedback from the day."

Cradley Heath and Old Hill Councillor John Tipper added: "No-one can legislate for the weather but the event was still well attended and it was great to see the banner procession through Cradley Heath.

"It is important we keep the spirit of Mary Macarthur and her striking chainmakers alive in Cradley Heath and the festival is a great way of preserving her legacy."

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