A MESSAGE FROM PHILIP TURTON (ON 1973 - 83), PRESIDENT 2016-19
Welcome to the ONs' Society website!
My father left Nottingham High School in 1953. Technically a distant uncle was a pupil at the School, starting in 1909, but he was asked to leave after three years, so Dad was the first to complete the run. I followed in 1973 and my son, George, began at the age of 4 in Lovell House, the School’s new infant wing, in 2012. That’s us in the photograph above – three generations of Old Nottinghamians, although, in real terms, that status lies in George’s future.
The photograph was taken to mark an occasion. The practice at Lovell House is to invite grandparents every year to attend the School to read a story, play a game or deliver a short talk about a topic of their choice. Everybody else saw the trap. Dad chose the talk – the only grandparent to do so - with the consequence that the entire school was assembled in the Hall to hear him talk about travelling to school by trolleybus through thick fogs in the 1940s. The occasion was worthy of a photograph, so we walked up to have this picture taken in front of the School gates, in sight of the same War Memorial which is iconic to every Nottingham High School pupil.
The War Memorial is symbolic of what the Old Nottinghamians' Society is about. We walked past it every day at School and often scarcely noticed it. But in 1925, members of the then Nottingham High School Old Boys' Society thought their fallen schoolmates deserved tribute and paid for it to be built. They understood the virtue of fellowship, you see. We may not notice it when we are school pupils, but the fellowship it symbolises is forged in us at that time and that same fellowship is embodied in the Constitution of the Old Nottinghamians' Society.
Our Society has just two aims – 'the promotion of good fellowship among its Members, and the promotion generally of interest in Nottingham High School.' Simplicity breeds strength, and it is doubtless a reason why the Society has lasted for over 100 years. There must be something which accounts for its success in that time. The same principles led the Society to establish the War Memorial Trust, originally to help the sons of men killed or injured in the war, and which now provides assistance to bursary pupils; to develop Adbolton, the Old Nottinghamians sports ground by the River Trent, where Nottinghamians RFC and our Phoenix Cricket XI play; and to establish the Quincentenary Fund, the first fund specifically created to benefit Old Nottinghamians in further education. These are the hallmarks of a lasting and strong fellowship.
Yet a further strength lies in the fact that every member of the Old Nottinghamians' Society chooses what role they play in it. “Old Nottinghamian” means different things to different people. Some people devote their lives to the social opportunities it affords them – many of those people can be found, for instance, at our regular Beeston Fields lunches. Others dip in and out. Some, on leaving School, want little more to do with it, although often their later years restore the friendships of their youth. Those are all choices for people to make. What matters is that the Society is here and continues to facilitate the gathering together of Old Nottinghamians on equal terms, independent of any control save that of its members and for no better purpose than the enjoyment of each other’s company.
ONs' Society Website
This, then, brings the Society forward to a more modern age. Through this, the ONs' Society website and our strong social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we are able to interact with Old Nottinghamians as never before, promoting our events and causes, but most of all promoting friendship. Please register your details on the website to enable us to keep in touch with you and to keep yourself informed of the opportunities which may arise to gather together in the Society’s name. It is, in the end, fun to be a part of.