The County Express reports on the memorial service held at High Town Ragged School for Cradley industrialist and benefactor Noah Hingley
SERVICE IN MEMORY OF THE LATE
MR NOAH HINGLEY, J.P.
A service in memory of the above named deceased gentleman was held on Sunday evening in the High Town Ragged School, Cradley, when a large congregation assembled, the body of the school being filled chiefly with aged poor and working people. There were also present Mr S. Hingley, Mrs Hingley, Mr Thomas Attwood, Mrs Attwood, Mrs Edwards, Miss Edwards, Mr Crowther, Mrs Crowther, Mr W. Attwood, the Superintendent of the school, the choir, teachers, &c. An appropriate discourse was delivered by Mr S. Edwards, of Darby End, who took his text from 1st Corinthians, 15th chapter, and part of the 31st verse, "I die daily". Mr Edwards explained that the deceased was one of the founders of the school in which they were assembled and remained connected with it until his death. He also spoke of his frank and genial bearing, the common sense which marked his conduct and made him popular and respected, and referred to his willingness to help the working classes. At the close of this sermon an account of his labours in connection with the schools, furnished by Mr Crowther, was read, also an affecting account of the last few weeks of his life by his daughter. From the account given by Mr Crowther it appears Mr Hingley was born at the close of the last century at Cradley Heath, and enjoyed the privilege of having a pious mother, and this often referred to in speeches at various places of worship with tears of gratitude. Mr Hingley was identified with the High Town Ragged School from its commencement, which originated in a house at High Town. This, however, soon became too small for the scholars. Upon hearing from Mr Crowther of the success of the undertaking, and that a better room was to let in Butcher's Lane, Mr Hingley obtained permission from Mr Lewis to use that room, but the number so increased that it soon became altogether inadequate to accommodate the persons who attended. Mr Hingley, who was in the habit of visiting the school every Sunday, seeing how it was crowded with persons anxious to reform their lives, and desirous of reading the Word of God, proposed that a new school should be built, and suggested the plan for its erection, which with the assistance of other gentlemen, was soon carried out by erecting the present building. Before the completion of the building he gathered together the poor and aged people and gave them a dinner, and 1s. each; which he repeated annually upon New Year's Day up to the time of his death. From the commencement of his connection with the school until his affliction a short time before his death, he was regular in his attendance unless prevented by unavoidable circumstance and was frequently heard to say that the moments spent in the school were the happiest of his life, especially on the first Sunday in each month when a band meeting was held. He was earnest in his work at the schools, and often sought to encourage the teachers by exhorting them to go on in their, "work of faith and labour of love." reminding them that they would be rewarded for their labours if faithful unto death. He frequently urged upon both teachers and scholars the necessity of walking circumspectly before the world. The loss sustained by the school was great, as he was always ready with his influence, his counsel, and his purse, to forward its interests, and he was also willing at any time to help any movement which had for its object the general good.
Cradley Links thanks Jill Guest for kindly providing a copy of "Historical Sketch of High Town Ragged School, Cradley".
For more information on Noah Hingley see The History of Cradley Churches by Margaret Bradley and Barry Blunt, which has extensive details, including this summary (p. 10):
Noah Hingley (1796-1877) was a Churchwarden and a wealthy industrialist, who had established his chain and anchor factory in Cradley in 1839. He lived firstly at Park House and then Hatherton Lodge. Park House was situated in Park Road, almost opposite its junction with Park Lane. Hatherton Lodge still stands at the top of Drews Holloway.
He was involved in most social issues affecting Cradley in the middle years of the century, and was often occupied with public meetings concerning the sale of liquor and Sunday observance. He worked across the denominational divide, an enthusiastic founder and supported of the Ragged Schools, and was chairman of the Wesleyan Missionary Committee. When the Cradley Heath and District Sunday School Union was formed in 1869, he was its first chairman. One of his pet concerns was the Cradley Poor Relief Fund. This involved persuading the great and the good and local businesses to part with their money and give to the poor.