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24 September 2014
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Uncovered


As it was - Cradley Heath Workers' Institute
As it was - Workers' Institute

The 'Stute' to be rebuilt

A £1.5m grant to the Black Country Living Museum will be used to reconstruct a historic Cradley Heath building.


The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a £1.535m grant to the Black Country Living Museum, towards the reconstruction of the Cradley Heath Workers' Institute.

BCL Museum, Summer 2005
BCL Museum, Summer 2005

Known to locals as 'the stute', the Workers' Institute was originally built following the 1910 women chain maker's strike, which is credited with helping to establish the UK minimum wage movement.

Strike leader Mary Macarthur, saw the institute as a 'centre of social activity, education and entertainment' for working people and their families.

The building was to be demolished in 2004 to make way for a new bypass, so the Black Country Living Museum stepped in. They dismantled it brick by brick, with the aim of preserving what they consider to be a significant piece of industrial heritage.

When rebuilt at the museum in Dudley, the  Workers' Institute will be the second largest building in the centre and will overlook the canal-side village. It is to be the first of a number of buildings in a new High Street.

A page from the rebuild plans
A page from the rebuild plans

The institute will be fitted out as it would have been in the 1930's, with original period displays and, what is a new departure for the museum, a multi-media time-capsule room.

It will tell the story of the women chain maker's strike and of Mary Macarthur, who became one of Britain's leading female trade unionists. The building's 450-seater auditorium is set to become a learning and activity space, in the spirit of Macarthur's original vision.

The project's patron is Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP Sylvia Heal. She said that the rebuilt institute will show,

“...the important part that Mary Macarthur and the women chain makers in Cradley Heath played in tackling the issue of low pay.

"I am delighted that at last the sacrifice and determination of these women is being recognised, because they have an important place in the history of the Trade Union and Labour Movement”.

Reconstruction work will start in spring and take about a year to complete. It is due to open on 10th June 2007 - on the anniversary of the Workers' Institute's original opening.

last updated: 19/01/06
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stan haynes
Iwas born in Graingers lane went to school at lomey town, I remember going to the stute as a child my brothers took me, I saw Buck Jones and Tom Tyler in the silent movies, the floor used to be covered with monkey nut shells they were purchased from Polly Priests on the other corner, and sweets from Bert Jones opposite, Polly Priest had eggs priced 13 for a shilling,its great that the stute is being presereved for prosperity

Graham Keith Dingley
As a young boy of about 10 years old i used to go to theSTUTE as you call it as part of the downstaires was a snooker room with i think with a total of 7 tables, the stage was where we had to pay for our game.Have some very good memerys of cradley heath although i lived in reddal hill road Old Hill

haroldjohnson
I was born in Quarrybank in 1020 As a child I rememberbeing on my fathtrs shoulders in a queue of unempoyed at the stute. how can I get information

Sarah
i went to Blackheath primary school, and it is such a shame it could not be preserved. Whenever i walk past there now i think of all the memories i had as a child.

connie
is the black country museum protected?

harry johnson
i was born in quarry bank. i remember sitting on my dads shoulders in a long queue of unemployrd in the 20s and going to the pictures there around the same time. I joined thecommunist party there in 1938.

George Baker
i have found out that my great grandmother families worked as chainmakers in the 1881 her name was sarah sidaway and her husband was john finch of rowley regis does anyone know about them ?

polly m
Thank god for the museum, its so important to preserve our heritage, i lived in brickiln street brierley hill, were almost everyone was related what a pity that street was not preserved

tony
went to the bclm in aug 07 and int has still to be finished

les partridge
born and bred in old hill and still here the prevervation of theold building iright and correct but what about the olduns that still live and work in cradley what about all the industry dieing where are the jobs go,in i would look well on a super market checkout tot er les

Cradley Heath
Check out WWW.MYSPACE.COM/CRADLEY_HEATH

edwin turner w. yorks
looking forward to comming back to the museum- i visit every year when i holiday in shropshire oh and i want some fish and finirks missed them last year!!

j aldridge'blount
IT I GREAT NEWS, BLACK COUNTRY FOLK CARE,ABOUT THEIR HERITAGE & WILL FIGHT TO KEEP IT. HO PROUD ARE WE !!!! VERY

R Bloomer
I lived in lower High Street in the 1940's and remember the institute very well. I also played on the park and also on the area before it became a park. it had old air raid shelters in a network of tunnels. I also played snooker in the snooker hall in the institute building. I am glad that it has been saved and look forward to seeing it rebuilt in the Black Country Museum.

Jan Sykes Australia
A thank you to the people fighting for the preservation of these historic buildings. The memories of these strong people are definitely worthy of your modern day fight.

WAYNE ROUND
my mom made chain at samual woodhouse in cradley heath, her maiden name is morris, daugher of sarah.

Keith Slater
I've just seen some great news ! Hobs Fish and Chip shop in Hall St Dudley. The building has been empty for quite a while and the windows boarded up so it is great news that the Black Country Museum is buying the building to re-erect on there site. I rememember going there from school for my dinner in the 60s.

carl jones
as a kid i lived nearly opposite the stute at no.12 lower high st(now cutting and weldings car park). i used to play on the park at the rear and in the stutes garden which was like a jungle.i have fond memories of living in lomey town..

Russ Brookes
My Family where Chainmakers in Cradley Heath in the 1900's

Keith Slater
Yes Joanna, it's a crying shame that the councils can't see that these buildings are part of our heritage and need to be kept.I suppose it's all part of progress and pound notes. I can't see why the developers can't utilise these magnificant old buildings built with a lot of thought and structure, not like today were there is no true architecture or thought put into them, just boring square boxes.Well done to the folks at the Black Country Museum. Keep up the good work.

CHRISTOPHER JOYNSON
CWD Joynson was my Great-Grandfather. He had three children of which two served in S Staffs in WW1 one of which d-o-w. He died in 1941 and is buried in King's Hill Cemetary.

JOANNA
FANTASTIC NEWS ABOUT THE REBUILDING OF SUCH AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL BUILDING FROM CRALLEY HEATH. PITY THE BLACKHEATH/POWKE LANE SCHOOL COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PRESERVED...WHAT A WASTE OF A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING...NOW ALL WE'VE GOT IS BARRATT HOUSES AND SANDWELL COUNCIL A LOT RICHER FOR IT. WHAT I ASK IS GOING TO BE THE FATE OF BLACKHEATH LIBRARY IN CARNEGIE ROAD?

Philip Corbett
Well l remember this building, on my way to my aunt who lived in Maypo;e Hill... l lived in Norton Crescent , near Old Hill and left the Black Country in 1970.. l gather most of Old Hill has been pulled down.... Such a shame that part of my history has gone with it....Sydney Australia

Martin Cruddas
Pleased to see history kept for future generations after a supermarket has been built in Cradley the Black Country Museum will be able to buy the rest of the town for about £2.50 unless they buy empty shops first so they dont get any compition

Linda Devereux MBE
It is great that there is to be a lasting memorial to the Cradley Heath Chain makers who stood up for their rights of home/outworkers in the UK. National Group on Homeworking (NGH) based in Leeds is a national membership organisation which today continues to fight for the rights and justice of UK homeworkers. See our website at www.ngh.org.uk We would love to be present at the opening of this new 'stute' built in recognition of the strength and determination of women homeworkers.

tlogan
Its good to see the Black Country Museum growing, the area was a play ground for my friends and myself as kids from the priory.Visted the Beamish Museum a couple of weeks ago I hope Our museun will one day grow to the same size.

Clive Brooks
I remember the Stute being a Snooker Hall in the late 1940 early 1950

S Wright
It's good to hear that something is being saved from the regeneration of Cradley Heath, but what will happen to the Church at five ways or the old theater on Bank Street?

JOHN MATTHEWS
long may the black country museum prosper and keep tradition alive good luck to all who work ther

Mr R.J. SIDAWAY (Quarry Bank)
Workers institue Good thatitis being saved,Iused to play snooker there between 1945 to1950

Joan Cooksey Brush
Delighted that the Black Country Museum is growing again. I always try to visit when I cross the "pond". Reminds me of my childhood in Smethwick & West Bromwich

A.A.Merchant
Bostin'!!

darren nightingale
thank god some item from cradley heath is hiting the news at last my grand parents called it the forgotn city

shaun_henefer@hotmail.com
i live in a old victorian school house.. and love going to the museum its nice to see it saving another building and adding to the expierence you get when visiting the museum.. like home from home.. BTW can anybody help me with some research on a man named.. Charles William Davis (CWD) Joynson? was mayor of wednesbury and an archutect?? thx. shaun_henefer@hotmail.com

Helen, Stourbridge
It's a shame that more of our historical buidlings aren't preserved and regenerated instead of being bulldozed for the paper houses that Claire mentions.

Frank J Bartling
Good evening all, Delighted that a building with such a social past is to be preserved.Here in Hilversum,Holland such a building would have been destroyed ages ago, Frank Bartling,former inhabitant of Dudley. Three cheers for the Black Country!

Claire Carron
Motorways and paper houses - thats what is built today in favour of renovation. Its good to see old buildings being preserved somewhere instead of being left as ghosts in photographs.

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