Waste King, a specialist collections, clearance and recycling company based in Hemel Hempstead, recently received as part of a house clearance contract - a wooden box containing some 45 glass negatives dating from around the time of the First World War. They were labelled and, on inspection appeared to show, among other things, ‘the Pyper boys’ and ‘Mr Reid’.
Waste King’s directors, Glenn Currie and Andy Cattigan, passed the box of negatives to Helen Little, who is a keen genealogist, to see if she could discover more of the history and significance of these photographs. Helen’s research produced a family tree for the Pypers.
Indeed, her discoveries led to three brothers (the Pypers) who had followed their father in being pupils at Haileybury, in Hertford Heath. A number of the photographs were obviously of Haileybury and others could have been taken there.
The next step was to contact Haileybury to pursue the research, via the school’s Archivist, Toby Parker.
The negatives turned out to be of significant interest - not just in terms of the Pyper family (the three boys had been pupils at Haileybury from 1914 to 1919) and their achievements at school (and subsequently). In particular, there was a picture of a biplane coming in to land in ’20 acre field’ in the school’s grounds.
Toby explained that pupils from Haileybury played a key part in the formation of the Royal Flying Corps (later to become the RAF), since the first three RFC squadron commanders were all from Haileybury. Moreover, several of the leading aviators and air aces of those early years of flying visited the school.
This picture may well relate to one of these visits and, if so, could be of great significance to the school’s archives. Toby is continuing the research into these photos.
Waste King’s managing director, Glenn Currie, commented: ”These negatives so nearly thrown into a landfill site are merely the most recent example, for Waste King, of materials with a historical significance that are just thrown away in house and garage clearances.
“The negatives have added some valuable archive information to Haileybury, including opening a human interest window on the school at a distance of nearly 100 years. They’ve also thrown some light on Haileybury’s connection with the early days of powered flight and, in particular, the formation of the RFC/RAF.
“Of course, this story is merely the tip of an archivistic iceberg,” he added. “‘Wombling waste companies’, such as Waste King, are likely to unearth other ‘finds’ with similarly interesting stories.
“So, if you’re throwing away any documents or photos which could have a ‘history’, think twice before you consign them to landfill,” said Glenn. “Not only will you be helping the environment, you could also be contributing an otherwise unknown piece of information to our national historical heritage.”
In 1806 the Honourable East India Company commissioned William E Wilkins (later the designer of the National Gallery, of Downing College, Cambridge, and much of the University of London) to plan the buildings for its new training college for civil servants for India.
On an area of empty heath, not far from the manor of Hailey, Wilkins created his buildings in a neo-classical style round a large grass quadrangle (still said to be the largest academic quadrangle in the land) and here the East India College flourished for 50 years. It was one of the country's most distinguished centres of scholarship and teaching and the training ground for generations of those destined to govern British India.
In September 1862, Haileybury opened its gates once again, this time as a public school, under the headmastership of the Reverend A G Butler. By the middle 1870s, the number of boys was close to 500. In 1874, a Haileybury housemaster was appointed the first headmaster of the United Services College at Westward Ho!, which later moved to Windsor and became the Imperial Service College. In 1942, Haileybury and the Imperial Services College combined to become "Haileybury and Imperial Service College", now known as Haileybury.
Located between London and Cambridge in 500 acres of rural Hertfordshire, Haileybury is an independent co-educational boarding school, housing 770 boarding and day pupils. An International Baccalaureate school, Haileybury offers a dedicated Lower School (Years 7 and 8), a unique Year 9 curriculum, a wide range of GCSE and IGCSEs and the choice of IB Diploma or A Levels in the Sixth Form. The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2013; Haileybury has taught the IB for 15 years and is fourth in The Times’ league table for IB schools as well as being a Top 100 Independent School for A Levels.
About Waste King Ltd
A specialist collections, clearance and recycling company, Waste King (wasteking.co.uk) serves the domestic and commercial markets. It focuses not only on providing a friendly, efficient, cost-effective service but also one which is environmentally friendly. In particular, Waste King’s uniformed, Environment Agency-licensed staff take time to ensure that the maximum amount of waste can be recycled and that all the waste it collects is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Waste King was formed, in 2007, by Glenn Currie and Andy Cattigan, who had experience in sales and IT respectively and were keen to ‘do something to help the environment’.
Glenn Currie, Waste King Ltd, +44(0)77 6157 7001