Relevant to this story was the bric-a-brac stall, the place where you hope to sell items of a miscellaneous nature, and perhaps pick up treats for a grandchild or two. Standing on the ground was one of those very ordinary bags you might use to carry a small amount of shopping home from the supermarket or greengrocer. One visitor carefully investigated its contents and pulled out – a photograph!
A large school photograph, mounted, but without any information of any kind either on the front or back. Our visitor knew exactly where this picture belonged and walked over to the Fleetville Diaries stand with it. Apologies to anyone else also at the stand who, at that moment, felt rather left out, but the arrival of the image was rather exciting, as you may gather from the version shown below.
It had been taken at Camp Elementary School around 1930, as evidenced by the back rows who were clearly senior pupils; in fact the whole class of 42 pupils are probably eleven years or over. The school lost its seniors to Priory Park and Hatfield Road schools to enable Camp to become a JMI school. Mr E Richmond, who lived in Windermere Avenue, was its teacher; he is seen in Camp School football team photos of the time. As to where the class was arranged, it certainly wouldn't be possible today. The space was part of the playground between the headmaster's house (right) and the main school building; Royston Road is behind. Today waste bins, parked cars and a modern building occupy the space where the house once stood.
|A senior class at Camp Elementary School c1930.|
Questions therefore remain: who were these children of Camp district, who would today be between 100 and 105 years old. How did the photo in a bag reach Fleetville Rec in June 2019? Was it the result of a house clearance, or younger family members having a sort out? The story of this class photograph remains largely hidden from us throughout the past ninety years.
But if you have information to add please get in touch: the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you would like similar photographs to reach a safe and permanent home – even if it is only a copy of the original – then do use the same email address. Far too many historically important images of life in our city are being lost because their guardians just don't know what to do with them.