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Matlock Council School, about 1904
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Past Matlock & Matlock Bath photographers

County Infant School Band, about 1935/6/7

Council School, 1936 - Junior School (1)

Council School, 1938 - Group B

William Nathan Statham, the Dale Road photographer, continued to take pictures of groups of schoolchildren throughout his long career. After all, if he sold even half of the pictures to any one class he would have done well and there are 39 boys and girls here.

He continually managed to capture the mood and vitality of the children he photographed. Unlike the previous image, the children here had been told to put their hands behind their back and most of them had done so. They are all concentrating hard on the photographer, some smiling whilst others look slightly apprehensive. Many of the girls, their hair tied with ribbons, wore pinafores over their dresses. Quite a few had ringlets, which had almost certainly meant they had spent many hours with their hair tied up tightly in rags to achieve the effect.

The date has been arrived at for several reasons, including the photographer's logo (see the bottom image) and the clothing and hairstyles of the children. The owner believes that one of the girls in this photo is Edith (Edie) Smith, his great-grandparents' Isaac and Hannah's oldest child, who was born in 1896 and died of tuberculosis in 1910. Although no individual photos of Edith survive, if the date of the photo was 1904, that would make her 8 years old and be contemporary with the other junior-age children. There would be no other reason for his family to have treasured it for almost 120 years if one of their family wasn't on it.

Enlargement of left hand side.

Enlargement of right hand side.
Some of the children were undoubtedly in their smartest clothes, which tells us that their mothers had gone to considerable trouble to ensure they looked their best for the photographer's visit.
No muddy boots either, at least not in the front row.
It is possible that the mother of the girl wearing the very beautiful frock in the front row was a dressmaker.

William Nathan Statham's logo
is printed across the bottom left corner of the card mount.

Image supplied by and Copyright © Maureen Smith collection.
Web page designed, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
If you have any further information about the identity of anyone in the photograph we would really appreciate knowing ourselves.
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You may like to view more onsite information
Matlock's Schools in Earlier Times
About Chesterfield Road School
The War Memorials