Ploughing, drunks and storms

1823 – Toddler dies from Burns

Eliza Thomas aged just two, was left by her mother for just a couple of minutes, and tragically her clothes were set on fire when she ventured too close to the fireplace.

She was so badly burned that she died the next day.

1838 – Ploughing Match

The ploughing match took place at the Hope End farm of Mr. Downing in Cradley. There was three quarters of an acre allotted for each plough and the time allowed was five hours.

Six ploughs competed, and first prize went to Edward Field, ploughman to Mr. Newman, with the work being performed in three hours and 18 minutes.

Second prize was awarded to Richard Archer, ploughman to Mr. Kay, with the work being completed in three hours and 46 minutes.

Third price went to Henry Harrison, ploughman to Mr. Downing, performed in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Although few people turned up to watch due to the rather inclement weather, there was high hopes that there would be another match the following year, and that it would turn into an annual event.

(ploughing matching in Herefordshire are still going strong, and are hugely popular)

1847 – Gross Assault on a Child

William Harris of Cradley, a thug of a teenager, assaulted an 11 year old girl named Mary Cole by throwing her to the ground and ill treating her.

Fortunately, the poor girl was not far from the cottage of her uncle John Gwillam, who hearing her screams went outside and saw Harris holding her. John Gwillam thumped him so hard he was knocked down, but after regaining his feet he jumped a gate and ran off.

William Harris was convicted and given the highest penalty allowed for the incident, which was £5 – he defaulted and was sent to Hereford gaol for two months hard labour.

1851 – Terrific Storm at Cradley

On Wednesday 30th April 1851, a terrifying storm crossed Cradley and one family had rather a lucky escape.

Mrs. Arden, her mother and four children were gathered around the fire when a lightening bolt came down the chimney and exploded around the room.

It destroyed the fireplace, and three of the children were thrown across the floor, but thankfully apart from a few bruises and shock, nobody was badly hurt.

1852 – Roadside Theft

In July 1852 Paul Bannister was walking home with his wife when he decided to stop for a wee by the side of the road. He gave his walking stick to his wife and told her to keep walking and he would catch up.

Whilst standing by the road, Caroline Edwards, a tramping girl, ran up and took some money from his pocket, which she immediately handed over to her accomplice who then knocked Paul Bannister down and ran away. Paul however was niftier than his walking stick would suggest, and he caught the girl and held her until assistance arrived.

1854 – Serious Accident at Cradley

Daniel Hill, William Oakley and Thomas Jenkins, all labourers, were removing soil from an excavation when a large amount of earth suddenly fell on top of them, burying William and Daniel.

They were dug out, but both had serious injuries and were taken to Worcester Infirmary. Daniel’s hip was dislocated, William had broken both bones of one leg and also his shoulder blade, but Thomas escaped lightly with a contused knee and foot.

1862 – Drunk and Disorderly

In January 1862 William Hodges and Thomas Hogg of Cradley were charged by P.C. Dallow with being drunk and fighting in the turnpike road at Cradley on 24th December 1861 (Christmas Eve good cheer!).

They were given a ticking off and let off by paying 8s each expenses.