Roots and wings: can you help the tree grow?


Can’t seem to find a decent, square-on picture of Craddocks. This on was spotted in Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington’s great book ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by David Evans.

A great request reaches me from Rose Marie Burnell, mother of the gorgeous Edward and wife of Richard Burnell, also late of this parish. Rose has started a great project, which given recent discussions, should provoke conversation and questions for all local history buffs hereabouts. I’ll let Rose explain.

Hi Bob!

Following the articles on your blog about the Craddock family, I have been inspired to make a family tree for Edward. It’s very addictive and I’m using which is a fantastic tool.

My mum and dad met in Brownhills (at the Hussey Arms at a Rotoract local history talk!), and as their families both lived in the area, I’m coming to realise just how much of my family’s history was played out here.

My great great grandmother was Alice Bradbury who ran Bradbury’s department store and Howard Craddock was my great great grandad who ran the grocery distribution business.

On my mum’s side, my grandmother Nancy McCarthy worked as a community midwife here and delivered many, many babies in the area (including me!)


A great one of Bradbury’s for the period image spotters. Great car, and is that a Silver Cross pram? Wonder if the occupant is still local? Image from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Would you mind at all if I used your blog to ask people in the local community to share any memories or photographs they may have of Bradbury’s, AH Craddock, CT Craddock or of Nancy McCarthy with me to help ‘colour in’ the skeleton family tree I have started work on? Ancestry software allows me to add memories to individual profiles; it would be fantastic to add some detail beyond simple birth and death dates.

If this is okay with you, you are welcome to use the above on the blog. You’re welcome to have a look at the tree when I’ve done some more of it.


Thanks to all for contributions so far, and if you have anything to add, please do comment here or mail me at BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

As a side issue, I’m particularly interested in recollections of the Midwife, Nancy McCarthy. We have scant record here of the ladies who helped deliver the next generations of locals and of their essential and caring work. Such important history should be part of the record, I feel.

Any of the ladies here care to comment?

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Bradbury’s seems to be more of an emporium than a mere shop. Image from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

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4 Responses to Roots and wings: can you help the tree grow?

  1. Pedro says:

    FJ Bradbury of High Street Brownhiils was agent for the Prudential, around 1904-7

  2. david oakley says:

    A Miss Bradbury from Brownhills taught at the County Commercial College, Wednesbury in
    1945, Think her first name was Clara. Would have been born about mid-twenties. She was a
    Girl Guide Leader in Brownhills at the time.

  3. Dave Cresswell says:

    This could be purely co-incidence I know. Prior to being put in care, my mom Beryl Matthews (she married again when my dad died) also known as Margeret, used to be visited by a Miss Bradbury who was a social worker based in the offices in Shelfield. When I was put into care she drove me to the home at Staff in a Hillman Imp. Prior to this I was kitted out with clothing and TUF Shoes from Craddocks on the High Street. She told me that Social services had given her an allowance to spend there. I am assuming that this was the case but I will never know.

    Miss Bradbury told me she had relatives in Brownhills so she knew the area well. As a child you don’t always listen to what you are being told and I never questioned her on the subject.

    We are talking around 1967-68 here just to pinpoint the time period

    Dave Cresswell formerly of Church Road Brownhills (Where the car park is these days)

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