Does anyone have information about this school photograph from Essex?
Ernest Jago was headteacher of the Beehive church school in Beehive Lane, near Gants Hill, Ilford, Essex. He sits looking rather ‘cheesed off’ at the centre of this photo taken outside the school, possibly next to his wife. The men look to be dressed for cricket or perhaps tennis and it’s possible that the woman sitting front row, first left, became Mrs Lockwood. Does anyone recognise the other figures or the occasion? Any help would be appreciated. Jef Page, Chairman, Ilford Historical Society, by email
AThis is an unusual photo whose mystery I have not entirely been able to solve. I’d suggest, particularly from the women’s fashions, that it dates from the middle of the first decade of the 20th century. As the Beehive School became a council school in 1907, I wonder if it might be related to this? I’ve looked through local newspapers for the period but can see no specific events mentioned that would fit. However, the snake belt, which several of the men in the back row wear along with matching trousers, was promoted in the Army and Navy Stores catalogue for 1907 as ‘Ordinary cricket and lawn tennis belts’. However, there are not enough men for a cricket team, or enough matching club belts. The cummerbund and the Norfolk jacket, both worn here, were also connected to the pastime of cycling.
As there is an element of dressing up with the flower corsages, maybe it was for a celebratory pageant, an amateur dramatics show or a concert, perhaps connected with the new school. This was something the Edwardians tended to carry out with great aplomb.