Francis Edward Watson was headmaster of Palmerston North Public School from 1879 to 1918. He was appointed when the school was sited on the corner of Main and Princess Streets. The school was transferred to Campbell Street (becoming Campbell Street School) in 1890, and later to Featherston Street (becoming Central School). Watson was also one of early Palmerston North's prominent sports figures. On his large property in Church Street, just beyond the Princess Street corner he built the first tennis courts in the district. For many years, it was the home ground of the Palmerston North Tennis Club. Watson is probably the tennis player second from the right (cf portrait Pg 83). The date is almost certainly from the end of the 1880s when the bustle was again out of fashion - the women in the background wear flat-brimmed, expensive hats, high necks, small shoulders, tight arms, severely tailored jackets and bustleless skirts. This style was fashionable in about 1889. Annotated on the back of the original is "Father's tennis courts in Church Street, PN, in the 1880s", written by F E Watson's daughter Winifred. Also on the back is a detailed sketch of the Square, Main Street East, Victoria Street and Church Street area.