Some history of the Blue Ball Inn at Cradley in the county of Worcestershire.


The Blue Ball Inn was one of the legendary pubs of the area and when it was closed in January 1964 it was a terrible loss, though this was not truly recognised until it was too late. There is a lovely article on the Cradley Links website, a reproduction of a piece written by Peter Barnsley a few years before the pub closed its doors for the final time. With Peter's description you can almost taste and smell the old boozer. However, it is was not just the fabric of the old tavern that was being mourned but the fact that it represented a part of old Cradley that was disappearing before the eyes of the local people. Moreover, the patrons of the Blue Ball Inn were a tangible link to the old days, some of them being born in Victorian and Edwardian times. For those who yearned for echoes of the past they simply had to venture into the bar of the Blue Ball Inn, order a beer, sit in the corner and soak it all up.

More information to follow ....

Licensees of the Blue Ball Inn

1835 - John Beasley
1860 - Josiah Beasley
1870 - William Bennett
1870 - William Adams
1874 - Mary Ann Beach
1880 - Joseph Cox
1881 - John Cox
1884 - Henrietta Cox
1891 - Joseph Tandy
1893 - Phoebe Tandy
1901 - John William Woodall
1916 - John Tandy
1937 - Kate Lilian Tandy
1938 - Gilbert Willetts
1956 - Charles Willetts
1959 - John Ellis Hughes
1960 - Margaret Elizabeth Clarke
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub. The dates of early licensees are sourced from trade directories, census data, electoral rolls, rate books and newspaper articles. Names taken from trade directories may be slightly inaccurate as there is some slippage from publication dates and the actual movement of people.

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Related Newspaper Articles

"Joseph Beesley [I suspect this should read Beasley] and James Cooper were charged with assaulting Mr. J. Bloomer, the newly-appointed Constable of Cradley. From Mr. Bloomer's statement, it appeared he went to the Blue Ball, Cradley, in discharge of his duty, and as he left the house Beesley struck him, and Cooper [whose real name, it seems, is Carpenter] kicked him as he was going down the steps, and knocked him into the gutter. Beesley denied striking him, but said that another person of the same name did; he also called a witness who spoke to the same fact. The Court, considering there was some doubt about his identity, discharged Beesley and fined Carpenter 5s., which, with the costs, amounted to 15s. 6d., a pretty considerable sum, and which will probably operate to prevent him applying his toe to a Constable for the future."
"Another Case"
Worcestershire Chronicle : November 30th 1842 Page 3

"Yesterday, at the Police Court, William Adams, landlord of the Blue Ball Inn, Cradley, was charged with permitting drunkenness in his house on the 30th ult. Police-Constable Roe proved the case. The defendant was fined £5 and costs, and his licence was endorsed. Three persons found on Adam's premises were fined 5s. and costs."
"Permitting Drunkenness"
County Advertiser : April 5th 1873 Page 8

"Thomas Wood, High Street, Wollaston, was charged with obstructing Blue Ball Lane, Cradley. Mr. Waldron defended. Defendant was delivering 400 gallons of oil from a tank to Mr. Paul Homer, and Mr. Waldron contended that half an hour [the time the tank stood on the road] was not an unreasonable time. There was, therefore, no case. Mr. Paul Homer said that forty minutes was a reasonable time to get the oil in. The case was dismissed."
"Police Business"
County Advertiser : December 24th 1898 Page 5

"In a case at Stourbridge Police Court, on Friday, Arthur Raybould, Blue Ball Lane, Cradley, having been convicted of shooting a valuable homing pigeon [the owner of which was unknown], bearing the silver ring of one of the homing societies, the Bench said they were determined to put a stop to the shooting of homing pigeons, which was nothing short of theft. They therefore inflicted a fine of £5 and costs, including solicitor's fee, or one month's imprisonment, with hard labour."
"Heavy Fine"
Worcestershire Chronicle : July 28th 1900 Page 2

"Joseph Raybould [31], an ironworker, of 1, Blue Ball Lane, Cradley, was fatally injured whilst picking coal at Cradley Heath at 4.40 on Wednesday morning. He was working in a hole 12 feet deep at the mound of the disused Napple Chain Colliery, when a quantity of slack fell on him and completely buried him. Fifteen minutes elapsed before he was extricated. Artificial respiration proved unsuccessful on account of the serious nature of the injuries. Dr. Petrie was sent for, and discovered the neck was broken. The body was removed to the mortuary at Old Hill."
"Buried Alive"
Dudley Chronicle : July 9th 1921 Page 7

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