Nottingham High School on ebay (5)

I bought just a few more photographs on ebay than the ones I showed you last time. They were all taken down at our Valley Road playing fields, and the boys, all of them members of our Preparatory Department, were aged between nine and eleven years old.

The first one is, shock horror!!, a soccer team.

“But I thought it was a rugby school?” I hear you ask.

Well, the main School is a rugby school, but what is now the Junior School, and was then the Preparatory School, has always played football, presumably because there is less chance of serious injury for small boys when they play football. This is the Second XI during the 1965-1966 season:

The players’ names are on the back:

And now, Technicolor ©, the only one of the photographs I bought:

In this photograph you can see the huge tree which used to stand near the Daybrook. It was damaged by the Great Storm of 1987 and eventually had to be taken down. In its time it has sheltered hundreds of cricketers who waited, either to bat or to go out and field. Traditionally, they all seem to have eaten bags of fresh cherries as they sat happily out of the sun. Perhaps this was a particularly freely available local fruit at the time or perhaps it was just fun to spit the stones at each other afterwards.

The team is listed on the back:

I don’t know if Mr Clarke and Mr Willey are still alive but they were both good men, much respected by their colleagues over the years. The boys in these teams may well be retired now. I hope they all made it through to their pensions! The very worst thing about teaching is the number of pupils who leave us for one reason and another as we grow older. I am sure that most teachers think about them from time to time. I know I do.



Filed under Football, History, Nottingham, Personal, The High School

17 responses to “Nottingham High School on ebay (5)

  1. Great nostalgia – some poignant – John

    • Thanks a lot Derrick. I think as you get older you get more nostalgic about the people you knew a long time ago. Mind you, nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

      • 🙂 I remember being shocked at a reunion not that many years after leaving school to learn that one of the two lads who had kept me out of the first XV second row had died

  2. Great additions to your collection, John!!

  3. They might be a soccer team but they seem to be wearing rugby shirts. I like the caps the boys are wearing in the cricket team photo. All cricketers should be obliged to wear this sort of cap.

    • Yes, they should. I presume though, that money is involved here. Young people nowadays want to buy something that they can use as leisure wear and therefore the baseball type cap is king. But the old caps are so classy…especially those baggy green caps worn by the Australians of yesteryear.
      The football team are probably wearing rugby shirts. This is because rugby was compulsory in the Main School (11-18) but in the Junior or Preparatory School (7-11) it was football. As the shirts were being made specifically for this one school (and perhaps half a dozen others whose colours were black and white) it made much better financial sense just to have the one design, the rugby shirt, worn by at least 600, rather than a special football shirt for the much smaller numbers in the Preparatory School.

  4. Jan

    John. I had always understood that we didn’t switch from playing football to rugby, in the main school, until just before WW1. Was the change motivated by some kind of insecurity, or good old fashioned snobbery?

    Either way “posh” public schools would still look down on us as a grammar school with brass knobs!

    • The last time the school played football was the First Term of the academic year of 1914-1915. At the same moment as the soldiers came out into no-man’s-land to play football, the sport came to an end in the High School. The last result was Nottingham High School 2 Leicester Wyggeston School 7 on November 25th 1914.
      The change was made for a very large number of reasons, and one day I may write some posts about it. The parents voted 2-1 for rugby, most local schools were making the change, boys wouldn’t turn out to represent the school at football but preferred other attractions, results were very poor and so on.
      You are right to say though, that the very top public schools such as Eton and Harrow, still have football as their main sport in the winter.

  5. I must admit as a teacher I also wonder about some of those children who have passed through my classrooms. I’ve only been teaching for a mere 20 years, so many of my ‘firsts’ will be approaching 30. The really nice ones stick in your mind as do the not so nice ones sadly. I hope that some little part of wisdom has benefited them at some point and that one or two made it in life.

    • My Dad, who was also a teacher, always said that all of your pupils, every single one, carries a little bit of you around with them for ever. They remember something funny you said, something nice, whatever. But they may also be decent human beings because of the role model that you offered them. They may work hard because they have watched you do your best to be a hard worker. Some you can’t alter, because they have already been ruined by the time you get to them.
      I’m not too sure what it means to say that somebody has “made it in life”. It certainly isn’t being wealthy from what I have seen. The Russian poet, Pushkin, said that real success was when people told tales about you around the camp fire, and I would settle for that.

      • Jeff Tupholme

        “They remember something funny you said”: I can give you an example of just this from the mid-80s. I never had you as a teacher but everyone thought you were a bit of a soft touch and one (presumably) wet lunchtime you were on corridor duty. Several of us were killing time in one of the classrooms (I seem to think it was Jeff Leach’s room, W8 maybe?) when you came in to check on us. All you said was “Whoever’s been striking matches, make sure you don’t get caught”. Respect.

  6. Jan

    [Q] every single one, carries a little bit of you around with them for ever[/Q]

    So true. In my case EK – a man who taught me to think.

  7. Bill Payne 1943-1949

    I joined the NHS Main School in 1943 and played football for the first year and then rugby.

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