How many Cradley Heath references can you spot in this cartoon?

By Megan Archer | Cradley Heath | Sandwell entertainment | Published:

Only true Cradley Heathens can spot all the local references to their town in this cartoon – can you?

The Cradley cartoon which was drawn by artist Ben Poultney, and is now hanging in the Art Yard

Artist Ben Poultney won a competition with this colourful drawing, which is now hanging in Cradley Heath's Art Yard for people to enjoy a closer look.

The 33-year-old from Colley Gate has been cartooning all his life but only recently started to make money from it, mostly drawing scenes of Balham, London, where he lives and works half the time.

But he spent an entire week carefully crafting his latest creation, which he admitted might only make sense to people who count themselves as proper Cradley Heath locals.

Ben, also a part-time clinic manager, said: “I’ve been meaning to do a Black Country cartoon for a while now. Then when I saw this competition at the Art Yard, it was the perfect opportunity.

“I’ll always love the Black Country, it just means a lot to me – both Cradley and Cradley Heath. I’m in London a lot but I come back as often as I can to Cradley, where all my family are from.

"It’s just the people I’ll never get tired of. And every person I’ve drawn in the cartoon is based on someone I know or have seen around before.”

Creative Ben also took a lot of inspiration from his 89-year-old nan Kathleen Beasley, who helped him out with a few aspects of the cartoon that only slightly more mature residents will recognise.

He added: “She’s got such a sharp memory, my nan. She was telling me about the old cinema, and shops before I was born.


“She told me about Jones & Lloyd as well, where the men are making chains or nails – apparently lots of my family members used to work there.

"She was also really stressing about the difference between Cradley and Cradley Heath, to make sure we got that right!”

Also hidden in Ben’s cartoon is a half moon floating in water, to represent the well-known local Wetherspoon’s pub Moon Under Water, a man reading the Black Country Bugle which Ben’s poet grandfather used to often feature in, and the 213 bus which the artist used to hop on when he worked at Merry Hill.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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