Tag Archives: Reverend Charles Stephens

The Best of CHS (2)

Last time, I shared with you some of the photographs which I considered to have been the best ones that the Reverend Charles Stephens (CHS) took during his many years at the High School. You saw a number of pictures of various groups of boys. This time, I’m going to be looking at his photographs of individuals. The first one is of a Master called Adam Thomas who was a history teacher. He has one thing in common with me, in that we have both chosen to write a history of the High School.

CHS produced a very nice second photograph of the same person. It seems to capture a moment during Sports Day at the Valley Road playing fields as Adam Thomas appears to be thinking about something really sad, something probably not related to the day’s events:

My favourite sporting photograph is “Burney wins the mile”. I know that you’ve seen this photograph before, but the young man just looks so muscled and so tough, so active and so young. He looks as if he could run for ever:

The other portraits I have enjoyed are of the people I have respected, mostly for their dedication to their duty and their desire to work for the common good. This is the Bursar, Mr Gerry Seedhouse, sitting at his desk. An ex-Royal Navy man, it should come as no surprise that he always kept the School afloat financially, and managed to remain a thorough gentleman at the same time. He was a delightful man :

The second person is Geri Thomas who himself took more photographs of the High School than any other person. Here he is, in 1969:

I have also appreciated an unnamed photograph which I have always called “two boys near the Assembly Hall” because it shows two boys who are actually quite near the Assembly Hall:

The very best photograph in my opinion, though, is called “July 1955 O-level Stoneman CF in foreground”. It captures all the differing moods of candidates for a really important examination. CF Stoneman does look though, really rather scared, but in a very determined kind of way:

I liked it enough to crop it and change it into a portrait format rather than landscape :

These are both photographs to be extremely proud of.

 

 

 

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Filed under History, Nottingham, The High School

Sports Day : they also serve who stand and wait

One of the best things about old photographs is that we don’t necessarily look at them with the same interpretation of what is happening as the person who took the photograph in the first place. And at sports events, the activities might seem a little boring but the spectators never are. The Reverend Stephens has left us here a good few glimpses of the School Sports Days of the past…and the people who watched them. Here are Messrs Madden, Neville and Foster in 1957:

On the same day, he snapped Messrs Chett, Symonds, Grauberg and Lush. But just look at the cars! Left to right, a Ford Prefect, a Hillman Minx, a Morris Minor 1000 and I really don’t have a clue, but it’s definitely old:

By 1960, things haven’t changed very much. The starter signals that he is ready and everybody else waits for the bang:

Mr Powell doesn’t look too happy as he goes off to see somebody at the other end of the track:

Things were very similar inĀ  1961. One thing that I can’t understand in this picture is the leg in the same lane as the athlete finishing second:

But what’s attracting all the attention in 1957? A small crowd seems to have formed:

Why! It’s a baby!! And Mr AJ Walker just can’t resist!

And how could he resist a child who can lick a finger in a world class way?

Of all the photographs we have of Sports Day, these two are the most thrilling. Why did this not happen when I was working at the High School ? Let me point out too, as you gasp at the size of the queue, that ice cream was not rationed at this point. It’s just a wonderful thing to eat, the Food of the Gods:

Here it is again!:

I cannot explain why there is this sudden rush. I would like to say that the ice cream man’s buxom young daughter has had a wardrobe malfunction, but I really don’t know.

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Filed under History, Humour, Nottingham, The High School