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Hello, my name is Jill Guest (nee Corbett). I have worked in Public Libraries for more years than I care to remember; for the old Halesowen Borough Council, and for Dudley MBC.

I now work mainly at Cradley Library, where, one Tuesday afternoon in March 2001, I answered the telephone to a pleasant sounding gentleman who wanted to know if I was “the” Jill Guest. As far as I knew there wasn't another one, so I said yes.

Apparently someone had sent him part of the Cradley Timeline which Dudley Libraries had published, in which I mentioned his great great grandfather Richard Stevens and 'Dick's Hill'. As we were talking I was aware of a slight accent, so asked where he was calling from and was told Melbourne, Australia, and it was 2.30 in the morning. I still get phone calls, and it's still the middle of the night, but thankfully in Australia rather than here.

My mother's family, the Beasleys, have lived in Cradley since the early 18th century. My father's family, the Corbetts, came from just over the brook in Hayseech, coming before that from Bromyard before settling in Halesowen.

Mom and Dad married while Dad was in the Army during the Second World War and moved into a new council house in Stourdell Road Cradley when I was six months old. My sister was born there in 1952, and Dad has been there ever since.

I went to Colley Lane Infants School for a term after my fifth birthday, and then moved to the new Caslon Infants School until I was seven, when I returned to Colley Lane Juniors. I then went to Halesowen Grammar School (1959-64).

On leaving school I worked for six months in a florist. I always wanted my own shop, but the pay was so low that when a job was advertised at Halesowen Library I decided to apply. As there was only one other applicant, who was waiting to go to college, I got the job. In those days we staffed Cradley Library on a rota system from Halesowen. I went to work there full time in 1971. I was married in 1973, and left work to start a family in 1977.

I returned to Libraries in 1989 as a standby and came back to Cradley Library part time in 1993.

In 1997 the Cradley Then and Now Historical Group, of which I am happy to be a member, was started. The group, which continues to grow, originally met in the library but moved to Park Lane Unitarian Church Hall three years ago as there was more room. We also hold our podging afternoons at Park Lane, which are an offshoot of the Then and Now group. We have completed several podged rugs, and have also tried other old crafts including corking, peg dolls, lavender bags and dressing dolls.

I am very proud of Cradley, My Cradley  ancestors and all the Cradley History, which has found a new home on Cradley Links.


Jill Guest

March 2004


JILL GUEST HAS NOW RETIRED FROM THE LIBRARY, BUT IS STILL VERY ACTIVE IN MANY SPHERES OF LOCAL LIFE, INCLUDING; THE CRADLEY THEN & NOW GROUP AND WRITING ARTICLES FOR THIS WEBSITE.

Jill guest

Jill Guest


Jill Guest


Jill Guest