Nottingham Secondary School for Art

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I started at this school in 1958 after passing the then 13+ examination at Trent Bridge Senior Boys. This school closed the year I left, 1960 and the remaining pupils were transferred to Fernwood Secondary or Comprehensive? which was then, I think, a new school.

The Art school It had an old house just off the top of Waverley street and we also used part of the Nottingham College of Art (next to the Arboretum)for some of the arty subjects. Did anybody out there used to go that school?

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What years were you at Trent Bridge?

Me: Juniors/ seniors 63-68

Hi Mick, A bit earlier than that,

Collygate Infants 1949 to about 1952/3

Trent Bridge Juniors 1952/53 to about 1953/56

Trent Bridge Senior Boys 1956 to about 1958

Then finally Art school 1958 to 1960.

I loved TB Juniors, Ive heard that it has now been knocked down, what happened to the senior school ?

Cheers Tim

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  • 2 years later...

Hi there,

There will be a 170 years celebration of the School of Art this year at NTU (it's still there - now part of the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University). If you have any photos from your time there you'd like to share, there will soon be a Flickr/Pinterest page to upload them to - or have a look through other people's uploads to see if you spot anyone or anything you recognise! I can let you know when it goes live. Or check the NTU school of Art & Design Facebook page for updates.

In the meantime - if you - or anyone you know has photographs from their time studying at there, you can email them to us to have them included in any publications and exhibitions during the celebrations. Please give your name, course studied and your graduate year and email to

Thanks for sharing!



Nottingham Trent University School of Art & Design

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I may have, hidden somewhere in my files, a copy of a valedictory letter written by the then head of department for my grandfather when granddad was working as a lecturer in lace design at the College of Art back in the 1920s/30s.

I'll have a hunt for it when I can.

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:biggrin: Interesting, I didn't know about: 'Nottingham Secondary School for Art'.

I do know that the 'Nottingham College of Art' (next to the Arboretum) was fortunate enough to have the talented painter Dame Laura Knight and her painter husband, Harold Knight passing through its doors. :biggrin:

PS: Not many people know of Harold Knight, Painter; if you get the chance take a look at some of his paintings - was just as good as Laura but not so prolific!

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  • 2 years later...

Jackson # Nottingham Secondary Art School, `N.S.A.S.` black and gold uniform. We shared parts of the Art College premises but were not `Art College Students.`

We used the buildings at top left of Clarendon St. (from Waverley) which was the original site of Clarendon College. The school day was split into two, the academic lessons at `Clarro` and the various art related ones within the Art College site.

Pupils of mixed sexes would be there for two years from age thirteen to fifteen, having won scholarships (Ha!) from various secondary schools around Notts. The entrance exam was maths and english only, at a similar level to the eleven plus. The art element was based on previous term work, selecting two or three suitable pupils by art teachers around the county. The intake for year one would be thirty of each sex, so the pupil total was one hundred and twenty for the school.

The Headmaster was Cyril Seaton, (sidge.) The long term resident raven in the aviaries of the adjacent Arboretum would repeat `bogger sidge` on demand. Anyone recall

hearing that? We had running battles with the lads from the Tech. College on the `Arbo.` We gained access, with difficulty, to some caves in the Rock Cemetery with many dark, winding passages. Good fun in there, oh the joys of a mixed school.... Don`t go looking, there all secured now.

Other members of staff were: Mrs Witham, Miss Hope, Miss Watson, Mr Hampson (noggin.)

I`ll post a group photo of my first year in 1953.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My Mum has just read your post with interest.

She started at the Art School age 13 in 1952, the year before you and recognises what you say above.

There was one slight difference in admissions, in that she has to sit an art exam (at the school) rather than " The art element was based on previous term work, selecting two or three suitable pupils by art teachers around the county."

They are always changing admission procedures aren't they, even then!

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I had 2 friends who attended there 1958-61 ------ Elizabeth Copeland and Jennifer Wagg from Hucknall Notts.............

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mitch 1 at #9

Unfortunately, I can only recall two names from the year above me: Wood, male, possibly Tony? A big lad.

Brigitte O`Connor, female, blonde, not tall, played Badminton.

My Mum remembers both of the Tony Woods'.The other one was small & scrawny, came from St Albans Road and married a girl off of Oxford Street.

Bridgett O'Connor was in my Mums circle of friends and we have a picture of the group on the Arboretum. Bridgett came from up Commercial Road way and my Mum last saw her in 1962......

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Blondie #11 A little after my time they were. I believe NSAS closed down around 1960.

mitch #12 I was careful as to how I described those two - I half expected you to say that

yours Mum`s name is Bridgett and your Dad`s is Tony!

The photo you mention would be of interest to post on here if you are able and willing to

do that. I have one of my year but haven`t posted it yet.

I`ll PM. you with some names from my year. If you are not familiar yet, see

top right where you sign in, there`ll be a red icon.

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  • 7 months later...

I attended NSAS for 2 years from 1957 having passed the 13+ exam at Beeston Fields Secondary School. The exam was in 2 parts - normal academic subjects which I sat at Beeston Fields, followed by Art and interview which took place at the College of Arts & Crafts in the beautiful old building next to the Arboretum.

The School badge in black and gold was of a head, a hand and a heart. The reason being that a labourer works with hands - a skilled worker works with head and hands - but an artist works with head , hands and heart.

Been trying to remember names from my year - surnames that pop up are Dale, Church, Munns, Fitch, Fearn, Gambol (2 brothers - the younger, Peter, joined the year after me).

I didn't like Albert Hampson of the teaching staff as I felt him to be a bully. Seaton (Sidge - yes I do recall the Arboretum raven and it's deep voice saying "bogger sidge" when prompted by us) was also a JP as well as head teacher. One art teacher we had great fun with was Mr Graham (6 foot of misery). Mr Ferber was the science teacher.

As has been stated above normal academic subjects were taught up the road from the College of Art during the mornings with the afternoons being thrown over to art based subjects at the college building during the afternoons.

First year classes were single sex in the main, but second year classes were streamed into mixed sessions. One interesting person who attended the school but left just before I arrived was Pete Farries (I think that's how to spell his surname) who designed and built from scratch the John Pertwee Dr Who rocket car.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 years later...

I attended JAD from 1949 until 1951. On occasion I've seen Keith Armstrong and email Donald Mann. Both were prolific cartoonists and continued to produce work for newspapers, so I have been told. My pet hate was the dancing class once a week at the YMCA as I always seemed to gain the largest girl as a partner. Strange how life turns out without any conscious planning. My first job was in engineering at Players, followed by the Dental Branch for 3 years in the RAF, Cycle Design then Packaging Technology at Raleigh and finally Senior Packaging Technologist at Boots until retirement. All my experiences and various skills came together when I joined Boots - the most rewarding and happy job I had. Like other posts I have a school photograph of my classmates taken in front of the College where we all look angelic and very young. I recall many of their names but sadly one good friend I lost touch with - was Gerald Reed last living in Etwell  Derbyshire. He served in the RAF Regiment as a gunner/ driver. If anyone has any clue where he might be now I would be interested to hear. We were both good mates and had similar interests neither of us particularly interested in an artistic career, though quite naturally creative and skilled engineering wise. I expect that my brief time at JAD opened my eyes to what I was lacking and where I could apply my future talents to best effect. 

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Welcome Peter

As a former toolmaker/quality/manufacturing engineer I know it is tragic but I enjoy watching any hi-speed packaging machine.

It does not matter if it is a bottle filling line in a brewery, jar filling or automatic weighing and packaging in a food factory. Pick and place carton folding, filling and glueing etc. I enjoy the complexity and speed of which all the elements work together to end up with the finished packaged product. Having  spent countless hours overseas commissioning tooling for automotive assembly I still find some of the clips on YouTube amazing.

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  • 9 months later...

I attended the art school 1952 until 1954 My name was Ellen Lowe and I remember may of the names mentioned 

Bridgett O’Conner Tony Wood Gillian Cumberland Anne Turner Madeleine Stevens and quite a few more 

Loved it there and really enjoyed the atmosphere 


I was a prefect in the second year and I played on the hockey team and I also remember going to the YMCA for dancing and 

gymnastics We used to go to the tennis courts at University Boulevard and I loved all the sporting activities

I went on to play squash for Northumbria County Skied every year and then golf 

Wonderful experience loved Nottingham but haven’t been back for a few years I doubt I would recognise it now

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Nice to hear your memories, Ellen.  Where in Nottingham did you used to live?  

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