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BWS

Salisbury Museum (SM) has recently received a Bishop Wordsworth School (BWS) image archive.  The Salisbury Museum volunteers have catalogued all the items and are now about to scan them.  Then the next process will be trying to find out as much as possible about each image and including this information in the jpeg metadata.

There are several glass plates, which of course have nothing written on the back.  This image here is from one of these glass plates.  It was one of five glass plates in a box labelled ‘1950’.  Thus it appears to be a BWS class in about 1950, almost 70 years ago.  I suspect that as the boys would now be in their 80’s, I will be unable to identify any of them but you never know.

This classroom still exists in the school’s Chapel block.  I hadn’t realised before, no windows to look out as it might distract from learning?

Also the pupils and master (mistress?) must have had good eyesight to see in dim winter light.  The image only shows one small light bulb.

A friend and former BWS teacher said “I presume this is Room D (Charles Bacon’s room) but I remember it with sloping desks rather than flat desks – and more ceiling hung lights.  In my time ties would be worn and jackets optional.”  Charles Bacon, a maths master, retired long ago.  Flat desks have an advantage over sloping desks in that they can be placed together to form a large flat surface, as illustrated in the image.

I like the mechanical method of opening the windows by operating the large lever, a glorious piece of Victorian engineering.  I wonder how the paintings and notices were placed so high up.  Was a ladder used to put them up?  No compulsory health and safety considerations.   Could they be read, being so high – of course, as already alluded to, eyesight was much better in 1950 than today.

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