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 The Story of the Domesday Project

In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.

People were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years.

The whole of the UK – including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man – was divided into 23,000 4x3km areas called Domesday Squares or “D-Blocks”.

Schools and community groups surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK and submitted more than 147,819 pages of text articles and 23,225 amateur photos, cataloguing what it was like to live, work and play in their community.


 Cradley is a small suburb of Halesowen

 bounded by a "Green belt" area.It has

 a number of light industries and is   

 traditionally connected with heavy    

 metal industry.   

Amusing Ourselves

 To keep ourselves amused in 1985,these

 are some of the things we do.         

 We play games on the computer or type

 things in and invent our own games.   

 Sometimes we just watch the television

 or video.We like listening to pop     

 music.We like going to disco's.Disco  

 is the shortened word for discotheque.

 At the disco people dance to the      

 records the disc jockey plays.There   

 are lights flashing round in different

 colours and sometimes there are       

 pictures.Some girls go to guides and  

 boys go to scouts.They learn to cook  

 on open fires and to camp in          

 tents.There are brownies, beavers     

 and cubs for younger children and     

 rangers and ventures for older        

 children.Some people go to the        

 swimming baths to swim.There are two  

 baths in the area.   

 One is Halesowen baths and one is     

 Wollescote School Baths.Some people go

 to fairs.This is  place where there   

 are electrical rides for people to go

 on.Some of our parents go to public   

 houses where alcohol is sold.Sometimes

 people sing or bands play to entertain

 you.The person that owns the pub is   

 called the licencee.He has his name   

 above the door.This shows he is       

 licenced to sell alcohol.Darts is very

 often played in pubs.This is a game   

 played on a circular board.There are  

 two players each has three darts.The  

 players throw the darts at the board  

 which has twenty-two segments.Each    

 segment is numbered and the person who

 hits the highest number wins.The      

 highest score possible is 180.There   

 are different versions to the         

 original game.One is called ROUND THE

 BOARD and the other is HIGHEST SCORER.

Opinions about our area

 There are some good points about      

 living in Cradley.There are lots of   

 friendly people and once you have been

 living there for quite a while it's a

 very nice place.Cradley comes under   

 Dudley Council.In Cradley we are near

 to large towns like Dudley,           

 Wolverhampton and Birmingham which are

 useful for shopping.We're also near to

 beautiful countryside like Kinver,    

 Clent,Walton and the Lickey Hills.    

    There are quite a few things to do

 in Cradley for example there's a park

 called the Rec. It's got football     

 pitches and tennis courts.It's also   

 got swing's, slides and climbing      


   It was always a close knit community

 where everybody knew each other and   

 everybody worked hard because it was  

 an industrial area.   

   When they built the flats in fields   

 they shipped in people from all over  

 the place, people who had no previous

 contact with Cradley or its history.  

 Cradley has lots of foundries and     

 factories so the smell of chemicals   

 prevail.Some of the  flats  aren't    

 very nice to look at because they've  

 been neglected for so long.They've    

 also been vandelised like so many     

 other things in Cradley.              

     There is a high school called     

 Cradley high and three primary schools

 called Caslon, Colley Lane and Cradley

 Church of England.So where ever you   

 live you are near a school.The High   

 School is being rebuilt at the moment

 and it will have many new facilities  

 and ammenities for the community to   

 use as well as the school children.   


Local History

 Lutley Mill at the bottom of Drews    

 Holloway was one of the first mills to

 forge metal as well as grind corn.    

 Cradley is famous for its chain making

 and it made the chain and anchor for  

 the Titanic.There were quite a few    

 mines in Cradley because it was part  

 of the Black Country.                 



 There are three  churches in Colley   

 Lane.First there is  St.Peter's Church

 of England. It stands on a hill with a

 graveyard behind it.It also has a     

 school called Cradley C.of E. Primary

 School. Many of the children from     

 Colley Lane Primary School go to      

 services or Sunday School at St.      


   A large  Methodist Church, Cradley  

 Trinity, stands about half way down   

 Colley Lane. Boys Brigade is held here

 on Wednesday evenings. Nearby is the  

 Pentecostal Church.     

Sports Facilities

   There are smaller play areas        

 scattered among the housing estates.  

 The football ground belonging to      

 Cradley Town club took 12 months to be

 built.It is a full size pitch.On the  

 right-hand side there is Caslon       

 School,on the left-hand side there are

 allotments and fields.The pitch is    

 about 22 years old.There is a changing

 room for the team and a club for      

 visitors and supporters.              

   Swimming is probably one of the most

 popular sports and the pool at        

 Halesowen has got very good           




  Each year Cradley  holds a carnival  

 for schools and societies in the      

 Cradley area.Everybody involved in the

 carnival makes a float based on a     

 theme. This year Huntingtree school   

 chose V.E.day and dressed in war time

 costumes.In the competition they came

 3rd. After the judging was over the   

 children looked around the stalls and

 the rest of the carnival.The stalls   

 sold all kinds of things.There were   

 several sideshows and games which had

 prizes to be won.After the carnival   

 there was a big disco, everybody went

 with their parents,they were allowed  

 to stay up late.                      


Life Styles

 Cradley is a very busy place,there is

 a lot of traffic on the roads and many

 people around the streets.It is a very

 untidy place.There are crisp          


 wrappers,cans,broken glass from       

 bottles all over the                  

 place.Churches,schools and factories  

 have their windows broken by vandals.

 Thare are a few tramps like Jeff      

 hanging around in the streets and     

 asleep on benches.                    

   There are hundreds of council houses

  -something like a third of the       

 population of Cradley live in         

 them.There is also a lot of waste     

 ground,where the council has knocked  

 down old houses.                      

   There are lots of garages and petrol

 stations, because 50% of the families

 in Cradley own a car.                 

Spare Time Activities

 There are quite a few places where you

 can enjoy yourself.In Cradley there   

 are a lot of discos that usually run  

 every week.There are about three parks

 around here.You don't have to go far  

 to cinemas.There are different places

 for adults too like liberal clubs     

 ,community centres etc.Unfortunately  

 it doesn't have a sports centre.      

   Churches have different             

 organisations like                    


 Brigade,Choirs and Bible study        

 classes.Some clubs and pubs have      

 outings,Fishing groups,Snooker and    

 Dart groups and Gardening clubs.      

   At Lutley community centre the      

 activities include Keep Fit           

 classes,Toddlers group,Yoga sessions  

 and a Darby and Joan club.            



 About three quarters of the people    

 living in the area are white collar   

 workers and the other quarter do      

 manual jobs.In half of the families   

 both parents work and in the other    

 just men.                             

  Most people work near their homes or

 in the surrounding area but some      

 people travel round.Full-time workers

 work 8 to 10 hours a day and part-time

 workers work 3 to 4 hours a day.Most  

 people travel by car.The rest either  

 travel by trains which they catch at  

 Cradley Heath or Lye stations or by   

 bus.In the Cradley area quite a few   

 people are employed in metal-based    

 industries manufacturing nuts,bolts,  

 piping etc.      



Bbc doomsday project 1986

 Across Stour Valley; Cradley.

Council flats dominate the Cradley  landscape. Built on reclaimed open- cast mines, they overlook industrial communities lining the Stour Valley.

 Across green-belt to Halesowen

Cereal crops and rough grazing border the modern residential areas of Hasbury/Hayley Green.These estates provide homes for B'ham commuters.