Lot 52
  • 52

John Lennon

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
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  • John Lennon
  • Quarry Bank High School Detention Sheet, 1955-1956
  • ink on paper
lined sheet torn from a Quarry Bank High School detention book, 224 x 171mm., inscribed at the top with the pupil’s surname "Lennon" and with twenty-nine handwritten entries on either side, in blue and red ink and pencil in various hands, recording 29 occasions between 9 September 1955 and 11 July 1956 when Lennon received reprimands from a number of different teachers; [with:] a letter concerning the provenance from Lennon’s school friend Pete Shotton, sheet slightly browned, left-hand edge of sheet with rough edge where torn from book (2)

Catalogue Note

The frequent entries on this sheet from six different teachers over several months is evidence that John Lennon’s rebellious nature and irreverence for authority were well established traits of his character even at the age of fifteen. On 12 September 1955, Lennon received five separate detentions from two different teachers beginning with: "No Hwk" [homework] and continuing with ..."Impertinence"..."Talk after 2 warnings" and "Further talk". John’s lack of homework is reported on three further occasions, other misdemeanours include: "Groaning at me...", "Nuisance in class" (mentioned four times), "silly conduct", "Foolish remarks", "Disturbance", "Inattention", "Not wearing school cap", "Very late" and "Failing to report for class detention..."

According to the vendor this page came from a book that was rescued from a bonfire at Quarry Bank High School in the late 1970s. During one summer holidays a member of staff had been instructed to clear out a storage room and to burn all the redundant old books. He spotted the name "Lennon" at the top of some of the pages in one and tore out the pages he found. Apparently a number of the pages he saved were lost or destroyed in an accident at a later date, and this is one of a few to survive.

Pete Shotton in his accompanying letter describes Lennon as his "closest childhood friend". From an early age they were "almost inseparable, to the extent that John referred to us as Shennon and Lotton". Both started at Quarry Bank High School in September 1952. Shotton describes how as classmates for five years, they spent most of their time fooling around and receiving frequent detentions.