Bolton School Senior Boys

Centenary Celebration of Bolton School Photography

Bolton School was delighted to welcome Old Boy Ian Jones back to school to judge a photography competition being held to celebrate 100 years of photography at the school.  

Ian left Bolton School in the early 1980s and, having spent 15 years with the Daily Telegraph, has become one of the world's most respected photographers.  He has photographed the Royal Family and major global events for 18 years in over 100 countries, winning numerous awards including News Photographer of the Year and Royal Photographer of the Decade.  Earlier in the week he had been busy taking the official photograph for the announcement of the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. 

Bolton School pupils from all age groups (Year 1 to Year 13) took part in the competition and there were categories in Portraits and People, Sport, Still Life, Landscape and Wildlife.  There was also a staff competition and a competition for children from other schools.  

Ian addressed the audience of competitors, telling them it had been "an interesting week".  He quipped that Prince William had called earlier in the week to tell him of the impending announcement and joked that he told the Prince to do it on Tuesday as he was busy at Bolton School later in the week and then Bolton Wanderers were at home on Saturday.  Reflecting on the competition he said the quality of photographs was "incredibly high" and that judging was difficult given the breadth and variety of the pictures. 

The overall winner was Robert Edmond, aged 15, whose stunning still life was highly praised by Ian.   He said the image would be ideal for a book cover or a movie poster - it would have worked well for the Bourne series of films.  Mr Rick Chant won the staff prize for his clever black and white picture of the slopes of Mont Blanc and the other schools' competition was won by Sydney Whalley of St Peter's. 

All the winners will receive a canvas of their photograph and the three winners in the Sports category received tickets for the Bolton Wanderers home game on Saturday, where they will accompany Ian and take their camera along to get photos of the match. 

Ian brought along his own stunning display, which included many instantly recognisable photographs, including those of Princess Diana walking through mine fields, the Chinese man and the "Bird's Nest" stadium used in the Beijing Olympics, a kiss outside a French café and the Queen.  He also had on display the photograph he had taken earlier in the week of Prince William and Kate Middleton.   

The exhibition also included a display from the Bolton Digital Photographic Society, which had been organised by their President, Mark Power, another Old Boy of the School. 

Prior to the event, Ian enjoyed a lunch in the Headmaster's study with a number of Old Boys, including Dr Colin Chambers, who had been in charge of the Photographic Society when Ian had been at School.  Ian said: "Dr Chambers was a great inspirational teacher and it was at Bolton School that I really got into photography.  I used to enjoy taking pictures of the teachers!" 

The competition was run in conjunction with Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Bolton Digital Photographic Society, The Bolton News, Bolton Camera Club and Thornleigh Salesian School Sport Partnership.

The exhibition was open to the public from 3.00pm-7.00pm, after which Ian gave a short presentation about his life in photography.


You can view a selection of photographs here taken on the day by Mr Mark Power.


Ian Jones and winners

Ian Jones with the Bolton School winners

Winning entry

The overall winner was Robert Edmond's still life

Ian Jones, Head, Dr Chambers

Ian Jones meets up with Dr Chambers, his old mentor in the Photographic Society and Headmaster Mr Philip Britton