Are they spelling out Help?

Are they spelling out Help?
Exercise
Image by National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Physical Culture Class from our Poole Collection.

One of our Waterford experts, ofarrl thinks "this might have been taken at the Church of Ireland Model School in Water Street, Waterford. The wall and trees in the background look very similar to that location. The school is now Saint Declan’s primary school run by the De La Salle brothers."

Date: Tuesday, 27 April 1909

NLI Ref.: P_WP_1904

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7 Responses to Are they spelling out Help?

  1. RETRO STU says:

    Physical Culture was definitely a big thing across Europe during the 1920’s and 1930’s. So many clubs and societies sprang up here in Ireland (mainly affiliated to those of Britain) that promoted general fitness and ‘the body beautiful’ image. This was endorsed by governments especially after WW1 when they were shocked to discover how many people called up could not be accepted due to poor physical health. More well known though, is how the Nazis usurped the whole ethos elevating it to a form of national creed.

    I’ve quite a number of club badges associated with Physical Culture from this era, mainly from Britain. Here’s one and probably the best known example [http://www.flickr.com/photos/23885771@N03/3929303669/in/set-72157615937292713/]

    There were also Irish branches of the WHLB but unfortunately I don’t have any of their badges as they are much rarer, harder to find and so expensive.

    Physical Culture gained a boost in popularity after WW2 and through the 1950’s, but it’s general appeal waned after that.

    Stuart.

  2. doblecachanilla says:

    Great image!

  3. oaktree_brian_1976 says:

    Are they trying to spell something? Perhaps in Gaelic, it makes no sense in English, duyb?

  4. vip223 says:

    no spelling i think, just symmetry

  5. ofarrl says:

    The excercise pad on the right was manufactured by Spencer Heath & George Ltd. of Ponders End, they were manufacturers of gymnastic equipment.
    This is one of their machines which was put up for auction in recent years, the Titanic had one of these in its gymnasium.
    http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2011/03/28/video-unusual-exercise-...

  6. ofarrl says:

    I think this might have been taken at the Church of Ireland model school in Water Street, Waterford, the wall and trees in the background look very similar to that location. The school is now Saint Declans primary school run by the De La salle brothers, this is it on Google streetview maps.google.com/maps?q=waterford+ireland&hl=en&ll…

  7. National Library of Ireland on The Commons says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/33577523@N08] I think you could be right, Paul. Problem is however that the plates before this one are Convent of Mercy, Carrick-on-Suir; and the ones after it are from Fethard. Sadly, we’ve very few photos of the Model School in Waterford to confirm one way or the other.

    But I’m going to add as a location, and put your information in description under the photo. Thanks very much!

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