Nottingham High School on ebay (2)

As well as not buying a rather expensive medallion on ebay, I have actually bought a postcard or two over the years. The first one was sent on October 27th 1926. It is stamped with an 8.00 pm postmark, so I presume that it was written earlier that day and then posted perhaps before dinner, or, more likely perhaps, on the sender’s way home from work. It was a Wednesday, which in those days would have been half day closing, so he probably left work at 1.00 pm and put it into the post box on his way home:

Notice how the Post Office slogan is “British Goods are best”. Only a few months after the General Strike, the economy was in real need of a boost if further discontent and upheaval was to be avoided. Notice too, the beautiful, classic stamp. King George V was a fanatical stamp collector, and loved nothing better of an evening than sticking his stamps in his thousand albums. When you’re an emperor, this is the album for you:

The postcard is addressed to NG Peet of 2 Gorsey Close in Mapperley Park. I couldn’t trace a Gorsey Close but I did find a Gorsey Road. Here is a close up view of the area. Gorsey Road is between the B684 Woodborough Road and Mapperley Road, in Mapperley Park, one of Nottingham’s leafier suburbs. Look as always for the orange arrow.  No 2 is on the corner with the B684, Woodborough Road. :

If you look at this larger map, you can see that Gorsey Road is not too far away from the High School which is in the bottom left corner in the area between Arboretum Street, Forest Road East and Waverley Street. The School is on the corner either side of the pale green patch. Gorsey Road, I should have said, is again indicated by the orange arrow.

This is No 2 Gorsey Road now, a little overgrown perhaps, and in a street which looks to have gone a little downhill, but obviously, it was a very beautiful house in its time:

The Peet family had only recently moved to Gorsey Close when that postcard arrived in the late evening of October 27th 1926. In the Kelly’s Directory published in 1925, their future abode was owned by Edward Westwick Kirk of Kirk & Macdonald. The Head of the Family, WG Peet, was living at that time at 249 Woodborough Road, presumably with everyone else in the family. Here it is:

Three years or so later, when all of the information had been collected for the 1928 edition of the Kelly’s Directory, the house in Gorsey Road was now recorded as being occupied by Mrs Ann Elizabeth Peet. She was presumably NG Peet’s mother, rather than his wife. At this time her son was still in his early twenties and it is by no means surprising that he was still living in the parental home. There is certainly no NG Peet listed as living elsewhere in Nottingham, nor indeed in the rest of the county.

In 1929, the High School prepared its own list of the Old Boys’ addresses. In that, NG Peet is listed as still living at 2 Gorsey Close although it could just be that they carried an old address forward.

NG Peet, incidentally, I should have introduced him earlier. He is Noel Gordon Peet, who was born on December 26th 1901, hence the name. His father was William George Peet who was a “General Agent”. Six years later, in 1925, the relevant Kelly’s Directory listed William George Peet as working for “WG Peet, Son & Company”. By 1928, he is listed as a “yarn merchant” operating from Kaye’s Walk. His telephone number was listed as “TN 42769” and his telegraphic address as “Knitiarns”.

Noel entered the High School on April 26th 1917, at the age of 15. He was Boy No 3662 and he stayed there until July 1919. At this time, 1917 at least, the family was living at 413 Mansfield Road. Here’s 413 Mansfield Road, in spirit a very similar house to 2 Gorsey Road. I’m a huge lover of trees, but these need a tree surgeon and his assistant for a day and the whole place would look so much better:

Noel packed a lot into his two and a bit years at the High School. He won the Fifth Form B Prize in 1918 and the Fifth Form Writing Prize in the same year. In 1919, he won the Sixth Form B Prize. In the Officer Training Corps, he became a Corporal in 1918 and a Sergeant in 1919. In cricket, he won the School Prize for Batting in the same year.  He had 13 innings and scored a total of 144 runs at an average of 11.07. His top score was 36. Not a classic season for the School apparently !

Also listed in the High School’s list of Old Boys in 1929 was William Ronald Peet, Noel’s younger brother. He too is recorded as living at No 2 Gorsey Close. He was born on October 9th 1910 and entered the High School as Boy No 4036 on May 1st 1919. He left in December 1926 at the end of the First Term. By the time William entered the School, the family had moved from Mansfield Road and were living at Sutherland Lodge in Lucknow Drive in Mapperley Park. The boys’ father is listed as a “manager”. Lucknow Drive, or rather the word “Lucknow”, is visible in the top right corner of the second map above.

Did anything significant happen on the day the postcard was posted, namely October  27th 1926, anywhere in the world ? Well, nothing really earth shattering, but there was one episode which I found quite amusing. Here’s a clue, with a picture of a Shipstone’s Brewery beer crate and some of their products:

Shipstone’s Brewery lasted from 1852-1991. I always felt that it was, at best, an acquired taste. Anyway, here’s the funny story to finish with. It comes from ‘Hansard’ which records everything said by everybody in debates in the Houses of Parliament. The story came out because Labour Party MP, Alfred Salter, was censured in the House of Commons for refusing to retract remarks of his that had appeared in the Daily Express:

 “I am not prepared to withdraw, modify or apologise for anything I have said on this matter, and I propose to repeat the words I made use of and about which complaint has been made.

I said, and I repeat it here to-day, that I have seen members of all parties in this House, my own party I regret to say included, drunk in this House not on one occasion but on many.”

A motion was passed calling the statement “a gross libel on the Members of this House and a grave breach of its privileges.”






Filed under History, Nottingham, Personal, The High School

20 responses to “Nottingham High School on ebay (2)

  1. Jan

    John, Gorseyclose Gardens was part of the allotments on the other side of Woodborough Road.

    • Thanks very much for that. It’s always very difficult to take best guesses about place names. Gorsey Close might have changed into Gorsey Road or equally, it might have been next to, or indeed, part of Gorseyclose Gardens. Thanks too for the link. When the class of 1984 (?) came to the High School, there was a young gentleman there who was in charge of one of those historical allotments, possibly St Anns ?

      • Jan

        Gorsey Road was built on a detached part of the Gorseyclose allotments. I guess the estate agents decided that a Mapperley Park address would sell better.

  2. When that postcard was posted who could have dreamed what you have done with it today?

    • At last, I have found my forte in life, Derrick. “History Detective”. Give him a piece of mummified orange peel and he will tell you who threw the original orange at which performer and possibly why. Archbishop of Canterbury–Nell Gwynne—to prevent a constitutional crisis.
      Seriously though, Derrick, as always you are very kind and absolutely correct. Trivial actions may be all that the future ever knows about us.

  3. haha, loved the way this posted ended. Derrick’s right, love his comment. We never know who we might have influenced in our lives – the person with the postcard sure didn’t!!

    • I just hope that Mr Peet was a nice person and had a pleasant life. He certainly survived the Second World War. Back in the 1980s we had a School Matron called Mrs Peet and I have always wondered if she was related to this particular Peet family.

  4. Great research as usual. “British Goods Are Best” would probably be considered racist in our modern PC crazy world!

    • To be honest, I would not be at all surprised. There is no topic which provokes quite as much hot air, stupidity or confusion as “Race”. Jeremy Clarkson said that he expected, in the aftermath of a car crash, for a gang of “Pikeys” to come out of the bushes and start retarmaccing the burnt surface of the road. But it’s NOT racist because “The Travelling Community” are not a race.
      Recently a man was described as a person “of Pakistani heritage” although given what he’d done to have a sentence of 35 years in prison that seemed a strange thing to say about him.
      Continual entertainment on all levels. And remember, “British may be best” but that doesn’t mean that you will get away with “xxxxxxx is always crap”.

  5. If only old letters and artefacts could talk. The tales they would tell would be amazing. I wonder what this particular one had been through since it was posted.

    • My best guess would be that it was kept, perhaps unknowingly, in the back of a drawer by Mr Peet until his death and then house clearance sold it to an ebay postcard dealer. He has had it for years in his “Nottingham” section and then I just chance on it and buy it. But I agree with you. Objects must all have wonderful tales to tell if we could but read them. The one I want to read is an old bomb release cable, the only remaining bit of Lancaster “M-Mother-of-them-all” aka ED888.

      • That would certainly be one to read indeed! Being an Elsham Woods Lancaster too would mean a good deal to yourself I guess. Wasn’t that where your father was based?

        REPLY: Yes, it was, although even his records don’t reveal exactly when. I suspect it was during the second half of 1943-the first bit of 1944.

  6. Jeff Tupholme

    What’s not clear to me is how the connection to the High School was first made, and who made it? Is there something written on the postcard that references the school, or had someone matched the name Peet to the Old Boys list?

  7. Chris Mann

    There was a Mary Peet who worked (I think her title was “matron”) at the school when I taught there (1979-1991) and her son was also a pupil there.

  8. Your post reminded me of my grandfather’s postcards and inland letters. I got up to see his last letter. He had the habit of writing the next day’s date. His letter is dated 31-1-80. He passed away the previous night. He had very good physical and mental health till the end.

    • When my father died he was in hospital and when I visited him on the Saturday he began filling in his menu requests for the weekend’s meals. This simple act exhausted him, and he soon fell asleep. I looked at what he had done, and he had failed to make any entries for Monday breakfast. You can probably guess why it turned out not to matter.
      Your grandfather was very lucky. Some degree of good mental and physical health is a good thing to keep in those circumstances.

  9. Charles Broughton

    I have been doing some family digging and stumbled across this article. Noel Peet was my Great Grandfather and William my Great Great Grandfather. However there is also a very interesting link to this family which you may be interested in. William’s Wife Ann’s Grandfather was John Smith who moved to Moscow before the Russian Revolution and was forced to leave because of this. There is a book all about the Smith family, The Smiths of Moscow by Harvey Pitcher.

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