October 11, 2012, by H Cotterill

Balls, Boots and Players goes live

Visitors to the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, on University Park have a rare opportunity to see the stunning foundation charter of Nottingham High School, dating from 1512 and signed by Henry VIII.  The charter gave Sir Thomas  Lovell and Dame Agnes Mellers permission to found a school in Nottingham, ‘ever more to endure’, for the ‘education, teaching and instruction of boys in good manners and literature’.

The manuscript is at the heart of the new exhibition ‘Balls, Boots and Players’, which was opened on 27 September to launch a year of celebration as the School marks 500 years of history.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Nottingham High School and staff in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham. The main object of the exhibition is to explore the relationship between Nottingham High School and the city of Nottingham, illustrated through the lives of the people who belong to it. The title makes reference to some of the family names of distinguished old boys.  The cases and boards illustrate the achievements of former pupils in their varied careers – with stories featuring the lace industry, international sport, military service and migration, and highlighting some famous individuals, including WW1 fighter pilot Albert Ball and the author D H Lawrence.

Detail from the Nottingham High School foundation charter

The display draws primarily on the School’s own records and was curated by its librarian Yvette Gunther with support from other colleagues.  Material from the University’s local manuscript collections provides examples of the School’s influence locally, both in the business community and through the careers of individuals.

Whether you attended the High School yourself, have relatives that did or just want to learn more about the school’s role in Nottingham, the exhibition offers something for everyone. From lace to Lawrence, from public service to sporting prowess the history of the school is intertwined with that of the city which founded it.

The exhibition will be open until Sunday 13th January and a series of lunchtime talks are open to the public. If you want to know more about the exhibition or the historic collections that are held by the University, contact staff at Manuscripts and Special Collections at mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk

Posted in Exhibitions