Billinghams of Cradley Heath RUTH BILLINGHAM



New Page with all available Censuses.

The Billinghams National Index of Burials 1538 to Present

Billingham Marriages 1580 to Present Check this section lots of information Over 300 marriages listed.

Baptism and Births of Billinghams from 1585 to Present.

Earl of Dudleys Rent Books for Billinghams.

Baptism dates1785-1808 from St Peters Cradley and Burials 1785-1805

Billinghams who lost their lives serving their country WW1 and WW2

Wesley Perrins MBE.

Frederick Allen .

The Conditions the Cradley Chainmakers

The Famous and Infamous Billinghams. Featuring Benny Fiddler, His Grandson Blind Arthur, and more!!

Billingham Family Lines very good section for research you may find a link here.

Benjamin Billingham Son of John and Pheobe Billingham Born 1811-1895.

Joseph Billingham Son of Emmanuel Billingham born 1813.

Benjamin Billingham Son of Emmanuel Billingham

Emmanuel Billingham born 1751

Soloman Billingham Emmanuels Son

Reuben Billingham Solomans Son

Alfred Billingham Reubens Son

Whats New.

New Census Material from Anthony Billinghams Family Line


The Billinghams of Cradley


Updated April 2008

Ruth Billingham


The village of Eardiston lies in the valley of the river Teme between Great Witley and Tenbury Wells

Its main activity was, and probably still is, hops and for many years it provided working holidays for dozens of families from the Cradley Heath area of the Black Country

During the War years, when normal holidays were badly disrupted but for many it was the only “holiday” they could afford

Pickers were recruited by a Ruth Billingham from Cradley Heath, well before the outbreak of the First World War and many family groups returned year after year so that a closely-knit community was formed.


Sir Kinglsey Wood Minister for Health chatting to 84 year old Ruth Billingham at Dumbleton Hopfields in the 1930s

After Ruth Billinghams death in 1938 her daughter, Ruth Hayes, and Daughter-in-Law,

Leah Billingham, maintained the family tradition until mechanisation of hop picking was

introduced in 1955

The Eardiston Estate was one of the largest in the area and because its very long association with hop picking was more widely known as "The Dumbleton" But apart from its hops it had a number of farms with sheep, cattle, root crops, wheat fruit orchards and soft fruit—including black currants, gooseberries and logan berries

The Estate was owned by the “Eardiston Farming Co. 1919 Ltd” The sole Directors were

P.I Wallace and L.L Wallace, spinster sisters, known locally as the “Wallaces”

They lived in Eardiston House opposite the Whitehouse Farm and close to the bottom of

Dumbleton Lane

The farm was part of their estate--as was most of the village of Eardiston.

A George Ballard managed the Estate; it seemed well organised and efficiently managed and ran extremely well. He lived in an Estate owned house on the outskirts of the village.


George Ballard corresponded with the Billingham family to agree a programme for the upcoming picking season which included a list of the family names of the Hop Pickers.

A letter from George Ballard, to Mrs Billingham, dated 20 August 1943                     

                     It Reads;

                     “Thank you for your letter. We are pleased to hear that you have the names

                     of the number of Hop Pickers we required. We will give you as long a notice

                     as we can when we want the Pickers, at the moment it seems clear that we

                     shall not want them till after the week ending September the 3rd

Photograph Below Dumbleton in the 1920s

Seated on the right is Ruth Billingham on her left with hat is Daughter in Law Leanora next is Daughter Ruth who married a local Ernest Hayes from Menith Woods  

Photograph Below 1933

Ruths Son Henry seated with cap and Great Grandson Reg Homer.

Photograph below Jean Ruths Great Grandaughter looking after the picnic

Photograph below Twin Sisters Rita & Ruby Billingham with Shiela ? in the hat



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