Birmingham & Black Country

Statue honours women chainmakers of Cradley Heath

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Media captionArtist Luke Perry said the statue was the pinnacle of his career

A monument to the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath in the Black Country has been unveiled.

The conditions endured by chainmakers and their demands for a minimum wage caused a national scandal and in 1910 they held a strike.

It lasted for ten weeks and is credited with changing the lives of thousands of workers earning poor wages.

Artist Luke Perry, from a family of chainmakers, has created the statue after more than two years.

Minimum wage rights

Mr Perry's statue was unveiled on Friday morning in Mary Macarthur park, named after the trade unionist who led the women chainmakers 102 years ago.

He said: "It's something which is a wonderful piece of our history, but still, I don't think enough people know about it."

The statue stands at 10 ft (3 metres) and weighs nearly three-and-a-half tonnes.

The area's links with chain making are kept alive every month at a rare surviving chain shop at Mushroom Green in the heart of the Black Country.

In 2010, a plaque honouring Mary Macarthur was put up in the park as part of the 100th anniversary events.

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