the Reverend Charles Stephens (2)

Last time I showed you some of the photographs left to us by the Reverend Charles Stephens, a keen photographer who captured many aspects of the High School, both boys, buildings and activities. Some of the most striking ones were taken in early 1960 when the new block on the northern side of the West Quadrangle was opened . This was the last part of the extensive school building scheme financed by JD Player, the cigarette millionaire and philanthropist extraordinaire. Pretty much the Bill Gates of the era in England, the nation smoked so many of his cigarettes that the taxes paid on them amounted to £1,500,000 every single day. And in 1960, that single pound was worth £21.66, according to this official website. Another way of representing it was that JD Player was thought to be worth 5p in the pound added to income tax.

We have already looked at the bottom floor and its absolutely amazing block parquet flooring, which was not just shiny but even reflective.  Here’s the top corridor:

Here it is again and yes, you’re right to be afraid. The men in white coats have come to take you away:

And here’s a Biology class, complete with shiny floor:

Not far from there was the Library. It’s very different from today:

It’s very different even from 1986:


Filed under History, Nottingham, The High School

14 responses to “the Reverend Charles Stephens (2)

  1. They certainly like their shiny floors! It must have taken an age to get them like that just be walked over and re-polished again! Mind you, those students shoes look like they’re squeaky clean too! How times have changed!

  2. Love the floors, the remodeling was a success. And, by the way, I could use a rest. Would you send those white-coats for me over here?

  3. Chris Waller

    Once again I am highly impressed by his photography, particularly the shot in the corridor with people. He has full depth of field so he must have shot at a small aperture and therefore a long exposure time, i.e. several seconds, yet the people are pin-sharp. He must have asked them to stand absolutely still for the duration of the exposure.

    • And I’m absolutely certain that the boys would have done exactly what he asked. ” Charlie” was a kind man, and I don’t recollect that he was ever accused of ruling by fear. I think that photography was one of his main interests in life and I would presume that he probably had his own dark room at home, as well as the room at school for the Photography Society, which he ran.

  4. It all looks clean and shiny, John

  5. Simon Nicholas

    Those photographs bring back so many wonderful memories, especially those of the biology labs. Early science lessons with WHN, biology with CPD and A-levels with Jim Cooke.
    A life time ago now but still very precious.
    As for Chas Stephens, what a gentleman he was.

  6. Libraries are definitely a lot warmer these days.

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