The class photo shows a group of 43 boys, aged about 9 to 13, and two masters. I believe I can identify my great-grandfather Charles Vincent Payne (1868-1951), seated in the front row, third from right, and his younger brother Charles Hallam Payne (1870-1960), in the middle row, fourth from left. They look to be aged about thirteen and eleven respectively which, if I am correct, suggests a date of around 1881-1882. I featured another class photograph of Charles Vincent in an earlier Photo-Sleuth article, taken c. 1877 at St Andrew's Middle Class School, Litchurch. The Board School was built in 1879, and the Payne family returned from an American sojourn in late 1880 or early 1881, so the 1881-1882 date fits the family circumstances well.
The reverse of the cabinet card mount bears the mark of Erasmus Bostock of Derby, a photographer who specialised in schools.
Hilary Booth recently got in touch with me after reading the article, "I have two similar photos in my possession and wondered if you would like to see them."
Francis Richard Porter (seated second from the left, in the second row from the front) was the son of Francis and Mary Porter who lived on Dale Road, Derby. Mary Porter ran a shop, converted in the front room of her house, number 66, while Francis was a waggoner at a brewery. This must have been taken just before Francis Richard died aged 6. I can't make out the reading on the board but I know it was St James Road School as my grandmother told me. Francis and Mary's Children were Harriet, Emily, Francis, Herbert and my grandmother Sarah Alice.From my research of census records (Source: Ancestry) and the FreeBMD index of birth and death records, I was able to determine that Francis Richard Porter was born at Derby in late 1887 or early 1888, and died there 1894.
From the back stamp on the card mount, it appears that the class photo was taken by R.K. Peacock (1844-1893) of The Spot Studio, St Peter's Street, Derby. Previous research presented in my profile of this photographer shows him to have occupied these premises from c. 1889 until his death in late 1893.
Unfortunately, the text written on the slate is very indistinct. With digital enhancement I was able to decipher some of it - perhaps, "St. James' Rd. Bd. School," but the last line is illegible. However, I believe that it must have been taken just before Francis Richard Porter's death, probably in early to mid-1893. The windows and brickwork in the photograph appear very similar to those in the previously posted class photo, taken about 5-7 years later.
The second picture is of a young Herbert Porter (second from the right, in the top row), about ten years old. He was also the son of Francis and Mary, born in 1891. This picture clearly says that it was taken in 1901. Herbert died in 1932 aged 41.
My enhanced version of this slate is much clearer, showing the following text: "St James Road Board School, Stand V, July 4th 1901." Herbert Henry Porter (1890-1932) is shown aged ten in the 1901 Census, which was taken on 31 March.
Hilary's family continued to have an association with the school for many years:
My mother Vera also attended St James School, which later went on to become called Hardwick School. My sister Annette and I both attended Hardwick Junior School for girls and Hardwick Secondary School. We lived and grew up in the area and were obviously very familiar with the school and the surrounding area. Just before the school closed for demolition they had an 'open day' where old school members were allowed to go round the building and contribute to memorabilia which was posted around the school. It was a lovely trip down memory lane.Many thanks to Hilary for her contributions of images and memories.