SESQUICENTENARY (150 yrs)
Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £10,000 to Midland Film and Art to work with Two Gates Ragged School in order to research, record and share the chapel's unique history. Through the project the community rediscovered the ancient history of the Two Gates, Fatherless Barn and Oldnall areas of Cradley dating back to Mesolithic times and documented stories about Two Gates Ragged School, which was part of The Ragged Schools Movement.
The Deacons mapped out a 12 month programme leading up to the sesquicentenary celebrations in 2017 that involved all generations and abilities in actively exploring the history of the chapel. Barry Willetts (Superintendent) recorded the school's photo albums and documents to create a portfolio of digitally stored electronic information that is able to be reproduced through accessible archives and shared world-wide via the internet. Photographs, films, artwork and documents, in fact everything about the chapel has been recorded, stored and uploaded to the website to create a virtual tour archive experience.
The Deacons and MFAA encouraged people to participate in sharing their memories of Two Gates Ragged School by writing stories and capturing its history through audio and film recordings. The Deacons used yearly events planned as part of normal chapel activities as opportunities for everyone to get involved in sharing the ragged school's heritage.