The Chainmakers’ Festival 2024

Sunday 15th September from 11am – 5:30pm

Mary McArthur Gardens, Whitehall Road, Cradley Heath, B64 5BG

Women Chain Makers' Festival
Women Chainmakers Festival

Taking place annually on the first Saturday in July (although 2024 will be on Sunday 15th September), it’s a family friendly event bringing alive memories of the past whilst inspiring visions for the future through street theatre, re-enactments, live metalworking, political stalls and speeches, music, children’s activities and entertainment.

Featuring national entertainers and speakers, including a ‘MaryMacarthur’ in period costume delivering one of Mary’s rousing speeches and a procession of modern unions and ‘strikers’ dressed as Edwardian chainmakers, the festival ensures that this historic episode is celebrated by the local community and trade unionists from all over the country.

There is much to celebrate and commemorate about the women Chainmakers of Cradley Heath and, sadly, their example and circumstances remains relevant to many working in Britain today.

The Chainmakers’ Festival brings the Black Country community together with the Trade Union movement. Through examining our history we can deliver a better future for women and our wider society.


Mary Macarthur Lecture 2024

Date to be confirmed

Venue to be confirmed.

Mary Macarthur

Each year we hear from a number of leading women in the academia and trade unions, as we discuss what lessons we should learn from Mary’s experience organising vulnerable working women and how we build a more progressive future for working women.

For this lecture we are excited to have Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has proudly served as a Member of Parliament for Leeds West since 2010.