Peter Head was born in Cradley in 1931 and lived there for eleven years Some of his clearest memories are of that time and feature prominently in Chain-makers, Chapels and Pubs.
During the early forties, the family moved to Hunnington, near Halesowen. From there, Peter used to travel daily to King Edward VI Grammar School in Stourbridge, passing along Colley Gate, of course, en route. He had gained entrance to the Stourbridge school from Colley Lane Junior Mixed School in Cradley.
Peter did his national service between the ages of eighteen and twenty and worked for some years for an accountant in Old Hill, before going to Leicester University to study economics. After Leicester, Peter went to work for Lancashire County Council in Preston and Denbighshire County Council in Ruthin, before returning to Stafford and the employment of Staffordshire County Council. From there, his duties included dealing with officers and public from Cradley Heath and Old Hill, which of course run into Cradley in the next county. In the sixties, he was seconded to work as deputy director of the West Midlands regional planning team which served all the planning authorities in the West Midlands, including both Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
Early retirement saw Peter and his wife acquiring a small farm near Market Drayton, to breed and raise pigs and calves during the eighties; followed in the nineties by a postcard business and a tourist shop in south-west Ireland. In 2000, they went to live in Cyprus.
Peter began to write fiction and has so far published three novels and two volumes of short stories. Before that, fifty years ago, he had work published about the hosiery and footwear industries of Leicester, before leaving academic life. Now, Peter is writing a history of those industries in the second half of the nineteenth century, based on his thesis of 1960. Before that comes out, Chainmakers, Chapels and Pubs is a less academic book, based as much on personal experience and that of family members and friends, as on the general history of Cradley, as its sub-title — George Head and his family in Cradley – indicates. Above all, he says, it is a labour of love.