Manuscripts and Special Collections

Balls, Boots and Players - Celebrating 500 Years of Nottingham High School in its Community

The exhibition was curated by staff from Nottingham High School working in collaboration with Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.

Balls, Boots and Players

Four years after a young and enlightened Henry VIII came to the throne, a wealthy Nottingham widow championed a cause which resonates in classrooms, sports fields, boardrooms and corridors of power even to this day. With royal permission, her own donations of land and property, and the promise of support from the good people of Nottingham, Dame Agnes Mellers founded a school 'evermore to endure' for the teaching and instruction of boys in good manners and literature.

This exhibition explored the relationship between Nottingham High School and its community, illustrated through the lives of the people who belong to it. Drawing on material from the school's own archives and from collections at The University of Nottingham, the display showed how the early efforts to organise education in a small market town helped to lay the foundations for a great city driven by learning.

The story touches on the lace industry, international sport, military service, public service and migration. It demonstrates the intelligence and commitment of the men and women who dedicated their lives to the education of local boys, and whose influence spanned lifetimes. It encompasses the climate of change that blew a Nottingham miner's sone through education to become the most controversial British writer of the twentieth century and a watch-maker's son to become Chancellor of the Exchequer

Exhibition poster

Photograph shows school boys on bikes and motorbikes

Click on the poster above to open a larger version.

Exhibition themes

The exhibition boards which were displayed in the Weston Gallery are available to download.

They present images and text on the following themes:

Visitor comments

Really enjoyed it and such friendly staff.

A well thought-out and presented exhibition. Well done!

Brilliant! Best exhibition around at the moment. Job well done!


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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
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