Pictures conjure up image of school life in the ’50s

Clare Gillett, with the Oxford High School photo album

Clare Gillett, with the Oxford High School photo album

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Bicester and Banbury. Call me on (01865) 425426

DO you recognise anyone in these photographs of Oxford High School pupils from the 1950s?

Digging through boxes of photo albums in Camden Market, London, an orange photo album caught Clare Gillett’s eye.

Peeping out from the pages of black and white photos are a group of girls captured in their school uniforms in 1950, entitled ‘The Gang’.

Oxford Mail:

Pages from the photograph album bought in London’s Camden Market

A sign for Oxford High School is visible in the background and others are of school trips, holidays, postcards from seaside towns and hand drawn pictures.

Mrs Gillett, 34, is now trying to return the album to its rightful owner and said: “I bought it for £3 because I like to collect old photographs.

“I just thought it would be nice to hand it back to someone in the pictures.”

Pictures include smiling girls in woolly jumpers standing on a windy hillside at Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire.

Oxford Mail:

“On Cleeve Hill at half term (Heather, myself, Willy, Ruth and Jo)”

Another is a shot of the grinning classmates of the “lower sixth in 1952” in school uniforms.

One shows five people in a rowing boat at Stratford-upon-Avon, and gives hints at who is in the photos, captioned: “Myself, Verena, Mike, Willy and Margaret.”

Mrs Gillett said: “There must be a reason why it ended up in the market and slipped out of the owner’s possession.

“But maybe someone else in the pictures would like it. I assume they are from Oxford as the pupils are outside the high school.

“Maybe the people in the photos might like to see themselves or organise some sort of reunion.

“If it was me, I would like to see them again.”

Oxford Mail:

A photograph titled “The Gang, 1950”

Mrs Gillett, from Dartford, Kent, a personal assistant and volunteer archaeologist, said she had never looked into the history of people who might still be alive.

She said: “I have researched people from history for references, lots of digging around in history, but never living people before.

Oxford Mail:

 “On the river at Stratford, myself, Verena, Mike, Willy and Margaret”

“It is quite an interesting experience. I am almost sure the owner is a woman, because she is in most of the pictures.”

If you can help, contact Mrs Gillett on 07811 312 333.

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