Nottingham High School on ebay (4)

Just a couple of years ago, I saw some photographs of High School sport for sale on ebay. They showed various sports teams from what was then the Preparatory School, all of them photographed down at our Valley Road sports grounds. Here are the sports grounds, indicated by the orange arrow:

On the other side of the road is the City Hospital and the large space in the bottom right hand corner north of Perry Road is HM Prison Nottingham.

The school bought the 18 acres of land for the new playing fields on Valley Road in 1929, largely with money from JD Player, the Old Boy and cigarette millionaire. The total cost was £5,600, with £13,000 more needed to level the site, returf the surface, and build a new pavilion.  The Headmaster and JA Dixon, the Notts County and England footballer and Nottinghamshire cricketer, had looked at more than twenty sites before the decision was made.
Until this time, the school had played its representative matches at Mapperley Park on Mansfield Road, with house and form competitions played on the Forest Recreation Ground. The old Mapperley Park ground was sold to the City Corporation for £6,750 and the rest of the money for developing the site, some £6,000-£7,000, was raised by the Old Boys.
Interestingly enough, Johnny Dixon for many years believed strongly that more land should have been purchased, and that the whole school should then have been relocated to a new campus, surrounded by its own playing fields.  On the other hand, the Valley Road site did have a marsh at the western end, and the possible problems and expenses caused enough uncertainty to back away from buying any more land at this site:

In December 1931 the School Magazine included a three page list of subscribers who had given money to support the appeal to develop the School’s new playing fields at Valley Road. Overall, a total of some £434 2s 6d had been raised. The most generous benefactors were Messrs E Bignall and W Bignall, HR Gillespie, JC Joynes, F Limpenny, FW Pare, L Pilsworth, TS Ratcliffe, GT Rigley and AS Rigley, HB Rose and EB Stocker, all of whom contributed ten guineas. In the least generous category, however, were the three who could only be persuaded to hand over 2s 6d. Arguably though, the finest human being of all was the bank, whose interest payments amounted to £12 2s 6d.

Anyway, here is the first photo I bought, the Under 10 XI in 1965:

The players are written on the back:

The next one, of the First XI in 1966, is perhaps of slightly better quality:

Again, the names are written on the back:

Next time, Technicolor © is invented.



Filed under History, Nottingham, Personal, The High School

16 responses to “Nottingham High School on ebay (4)

  1. It’s amazing what turns up on eBay. Things you often think either don’t exist or were binned many years ago with the attic clear out, often just appear at the right moment. Looking forward to more of your treasures John.

    • You are absolutely right. It was a really amazing find, especially as a good many of the little boys on the photographs still have a good deal to do with the school. My latest purchase was a programme form the prize giving in 1942. I’m quite looking forward to writing some posts about that when the time comes!

  2. I suppose it is possible that one of those boys went on to become a great sportsman but I would be willing to wager that N W Reid became a successful statistician!

    • It always amazed me that there was very seldom any shortage of boys who wanted to be scorers. It was a very responsible job, with some games, just occasionally, going right down to the last ball. I can well remember with the Fourth Form team I used to take many years ago, a game where our No 11 ran on the last ball to win the match. He failed and the opposition won the game. The surprising thing is that everybody always believed the scorers implicitly. Nobody ever suggested that the boy who came 19th in the ‘D’ set Maths exam might, just possibly, not be the person to record the scores in a 20 over game.
      I bet even first class cricket has had its cock-ups with the scoring over the years. It would be really great if any of them were ever to emerge. “BBC News were today made aware that in 1904 the Ashes were won not by Australia but by…….”

    • Mike

      Andrew – these fellows were my contemporaries and several became close friends. Nigel Reid was extremely bright, but he didn’t devote himself to statistics. At school he was a talented classicist, then went to Oxford to study law. Sadly, I lost touch with him after that.

  3. History for sale – maybe I should get on E-bay more often!

    • I think the secret is never to pay too much. I was once talking to a little boy about “ebay” and he was telling me about how his Dad had paid around £500 for just a couple of Hitler’s teaspoons. “How did he know they were Hitler’s ?” I asked. “Easy” said the boy. “They both had a letter “H” on the handle.”
      So be careful out there, as they used to say!!

  4. I hope some of these lads are reading this

  5. Amazing what you can find for sale on E-bay.

    • Yes, it is. I’ve just entered “Nottingham School” and it has come up with any number of beautiful Victorian prints, not of our school, but of the 101 other schools in the city. And there are lots of medals for good attendance. They must have taken some earning in the days when so many children actually died in their infancy from diseases which nowadays are easily cured.

  6. Jeff Tupholme

    Where was the old Mapperley Park ground, exactly? Can we have another orange arrow, please?

    • If you go to and search for Esher Grove, you will find it easily to the south, bordered by Carisbrooke Drive and Tavistock Drive. It is outlined nicely in black if you click on the next to bottom box of “Zoom Control”.
      (I tried to insert the map in the reply box but computer say no. )

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