My latest book

snip-of-coverThose of you who follow my blog will be familiar with the many stories I have told about Nottingham High School; its Founders, its coat of arms, its war heroes, its caretakers and its one or two villains. I have recently finished compiling these stories, and many more, into a new book called Nottingham High School: The Anecdotal History of a British Public School, published with

My history is an entertaining one about the people behind the institution – what they thought, said, and did from the reign of Henry VIII up to the modern era. I want to tell the stories of the ordinary people whose actions changed the history of Nottingham forever, and those whose lives had much wider influence on the history of our country and on the lives of people across the world. I tell the tales of all people connected with the High School – teachers, support staff, boys, alumni… from caretakers to kings!

image_update_72e24141db868b82_1348683417_9j-4aaqskThe book is written in diary form and runs from Thursday, June 30th 1289 to Thursday, July 12th 2012. It’s an easy read that you can dip in and out of as you wish. Find out about the antics of the boys, the excesses of the staff, the sacrifices of the alumni, and the castle-like school building in all its majesty.

My book contains new and previously unpublished research into the lives of some of the most famous ex-pupils of the school. Read about the childhood of scurrilous author D.H.Lawrence, whose controversial books were still banned 50 years after he wrote them. Read about the disruptive antics of Albert Ball V.C., the daring air ace who always fought alone. Read about American Old Boy, Major General Mahin of the U.S. Army, a man whose power and authority in the Second World War rivalled that of General Patton, until he was killed (or was it murder?).

The tone of my work is interesting and light, but at the same time, as you know from my blogposts, I can show my more serious side when occasion demands. A very large number of former pupils from the High School died in the two World Wars and their sacrifices are reflected in my book.

I have really enjoyed writing this new history book, and I hope that you will find it an entertaining and intriguing read. If you would like to give it a go, then it is now available from my page on




Filed under Aviation, Criminology, History, Literature, Nottingham, Personal, The High School, Writing

31 responses to “My latest book

  1. That’s great. Looking forward to reading it.

  2. That is quite an achievement John! I will look forward to getting a copy and reading it. Great post!

    • Thanks very much. I don’t think that I could have done it without my daughter’s help. She changed my Word Document into the correct format to be uploaded, a process which I would have found probably beyond my limited skills. I hope you enjoy it!

    • Thank you for your kind words. I have done my utmost to make the book interesting. It is easy to forget that history is full of ordinary people,just like us, with all our strengths and weaknesses. It is fascinating to see what they got up to.

  3. If it’s is like your posts it’ll be full of humour and wonderful little stories. Sounds great!

    • Thank you. I have tried to make the book as interesting as possible. I have included a lot of my own teaching experiences, which, over the course of nearly forty years, have been, shall we say, “many and varied”. I also asked my (about to retire) colleagues if they had anything to contribute, and there are quite a few of their anecdotes in the book as well. That is why one particular chapter is entitled “The Golden Age of Teaching” although it is more of a monument to the Golden Age before Health and Safety than anything else. What fun we had!

  4. atcDave

    Hey you’re looking a lot shaggier than your old photo!

    • Absolutely! As a teacher I often asked the Sikh boys who wore a turban how long their hair would grow and, of course, I then wondered about my own beard and hair. After retirement, I was able to let my beard grow as it wished, and it has been an interesting process, as it became more and more bushy, rather than the straggly ZZ Top I had expected.

  5. Well done John, I will get a copy for my son who lives in The Park, Nottingham and loves everything about the city!

  6. Reblogged this on The Lady in Waiting and commented:

    Big news! After many months of hard work, I am pleased to officially announce that I have published my Dad’s latest history book. It was a real pleasure to bring my Dad’s work into reality, a physical book to have and to keep. It’s now available from I’m very pleased with how the book has turned out, and I hope that as many people as possible enjoy reading it 🙂

    • I would have to admit that there would be no book at all if my daughter had not been able to navigate accurately through all the many processes required to turn a Word Document into the finished article.

  7. Congratulations, John!!! You need to be very proud of yourself! What a true milestone you have accomplished!!!! ❤

  8. Chris Waller

    Congratulations! Having once tried to write a book on monochrome darkroom practice, I can appreciate the magnitude of the task. I ran out of steam by chapter 3. Re. the salubrious facial efflorescence – are you going for the later Hemingway look? Or Tolstoy?

    • Thanks very much for your kind words. I just wanted to see how long my beard would grow when I didn’t have to keep it nice and neat or work. And then you think about cutting it, only to realise that it’s taken you six months to grow it, so getting rid of it is a very big step. This is where my thoughts are stuck for the moment!

  9. This is a wonderful piece of news, John. Best of luck with your newly published book! I tell people who are on WordPress, I will copy down the title and author and fill out library requisition forms. I live a simple life in a one bedroom apartment. No room for more books! 🙂

    • You are very kind. it had always been an ambition of mine to produce a book, and with the advent of “publish on demand” it’s now so much easier. And I know what you mean about books. They seem to breed secretly in dark rooms once you leave four or five to their own devices!

  10. Congratulations and best of luck with your book. I am sure people will enjoy reading it.

  11. Congratulations!!! That is quite an achievement 🙂

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