First the ‘Oss Box and now Paintball by Numbers – Cradley Heath Creative is certainly making a colourful impact in the Black Country.

The arts group held what is believed to be the UK’s first paintball by numbers event this month at Haden Hill.
Fran Wilde, Cradley Heath Creative chairman, called it a fantastic event and is enjoying seeing people from Cradley Heath get involved with the arts.

She said: “We saw a lot of interest in what we were doing and had a steady stream of people all day.
“Everyone did really well and the image really was quite something – it was of a painting of Haden Hill created by an artist at Cradley Heath Creative and done on a 26-foot board.”

COPYRIGHT DAVID HAMILTON EXPRESS AND STAR PIC 11/9/16 WITH VIDEO Helping to paint a canvas with a paintball gun by numbers, is Cradley Heath Creative member David Francis, of Cradley Heath, at Haden Hill House, Cradley Heath.


The event was funded by Creative Black Country, who gave £1,000 for the arts group to put on events in the area to promote arts.

Sajida Carr, programme director, said: “Creative Black Country are delighted to support Cradley Heath Creative with its diverse range of events and it’s a lot fun.
“Do not miss out the opportunity to explore the fantastic ‘Oss Box over the next few months.” Fran started Cradley Heath Creative a few years back when she hadn’t long lived in the Black Country.

Former councillor John Tipper was door-stepping in the area and asked her if anything was missing from Cradley Heath. She voiced her concern at a lack of arts in the area and out of which Cradley Heath Creative was born.

Since then the Black Country arts group has been gathering momentum and interest with their converted travelling horse box arts venue known as the ‘Oss Box. ItThe ‘Oss Box has captured the imagination of the public so far and has been used for shadow puppetry and musical performances and a camera obscurer. Improvements to the arts venue are made by famous metal sculptor Tim Tolkien who created the 50-foot Sentinel sculpture on Spitfire Island near the M6 in Birmingham.

On top of developments to turn the ‘Oss Box into a touring stage, Cradley Heath Creative are planning more collaboration’s with Haden Hill.

On Sunday, October 9, they will host a creative dog day called ‘Arty Barkers’ and they are on the lookout for a line dance caller to do line dancing with the dogs.

Despite their somewhat outlandish ideas, Fran maintains they’re all logical.
“All our ideas have a logical foundation. They’re based on what people like doing already, with a bit of fun thrown in as art should be.”

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Words: Doug Wootton


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