Trips, Treats & Outings
It became a tradition to have a yearly feast for the poor of Cradley at the expense of the neighbourhood. One of the highlights was: “to go by the hundred to the fields in Lutley, a cup on a string round the neck, children on waggons and everybody singing their hearts out”. There was a feast for the children in the form of a bag of cakes, something that they never had at any other time. Bulls eyes, liquorice straps and lucky bags were sold and a large bag of sweets would be scattered for the children to dive after.
It was this kind of social event that also helped to draw in and keep the support of local people for Ragged Schools. The concerts, outings, debates etc were appreciated, something that other chapels and the more middle class churches could not match.
The Cradley Heath and District Sunday School Union was formed in 1869, with Noah Hingley as its chairman. It arranged a Scripture Examination every March, with a tea held for participants a few weeks later. Schools competed to see who could achieve the highest marks.
All churches held their schools on a Sunday morning and afternoon, where children and adults were taught to read and write and receive religious instruction from voluntary teachers. Prizes were awarded for attendance. At the Summer Treat everyone shared in games and tea in a nearby field. The annual anniversary services raised large collections to finance this work.
Photos from trips to London by Two Gates Ragged School
For many years annual outings took place from Two Gates Ragged School. Usually children that attended regular Sunday school classes and at the anniversary went free. Adults would pay for the cost of the trip.
TRIPS & OUTINGS:
Barry Willetts (Superintendent) has written some of his memories starting from the age of 7 years about the trips and outings organised by Two Gates Ragged School. You can download these memories here.