Uniform. School uniform was:
4. Deeply, deeply, uncool
For those of us, probably in the majority, whose parents didn't have deep pockets, school uniform was a huge expense and was bought as cheaply as possible, two sizes too big; 'He'll grow into it', so that at the start of the autumn term it hung off us and by the end of the summer term was too small. we had to have various bits of kit, but usually wore the same stuff more or less constantly. In the first and second year we wore grey flannel shorts with a cotton lining, and thereafter log trousers ditto. I wore the same blazer for months, and when it got damp I smelt like a pub carpet.
|Trev Teasdel c 1966 in School Suit|
We wore grey cotton shirts during the week and saturdays and a white shirt on Sundays. I think we had a Sunday best uniform. Once outside the school gates we always wore our caps and not to do so was a flogging offence (well it was for me on several occasions). The Slasher Jack haircut exactly complemented the cap : 'If it's under yer cap you can keep it' Hair below the cap line that could be tweaked was too long. Ties were also de rigeur.
We tried to personalise uniforms as we got older by wearing our trousers as tight as possible and purchasing winkle pickers, Cuban heels and Chelsea Boots or something that looked a bit like them in an attempt to emulate faux-cool. Dean Revell was the only one who was able to pull this off with anything like success. I think in the fifth year we were allowed to wear suits.
Charles Joyce Ralph, yes I remember the strict dress code which had to be obeyed, I prefered a white bri-nylon shirt, they washed easily and dried in a flash. my 5th form suit, made to measure from the Coop.The trousers never a good fit, waist band to high, more victorian styed, some lads hammered nails in the heals of their shoes, this produced aray of sparks across the playground, some had army boots , which had much better result . Fashion conscious lads bought clothes from shop in Cov, such as American Styles, if you had spare money. The school scarf introduced a certain ambience, and raised the school image , as well as the thermal advantages in those winter months , a clever way of making a type of tube hat, worn on those cold days, a type of balaclava , the Siberian connection in the winter of 63' . The teachers wore sheepskin jackets , always remember Jim Lovatt's hat to match , some bought sheepskin flying jackets , possibly as a challenge to their authority, a rebel without a cause , Mods and Rockers . The Windsor knot tied on the school tie , too early for kipper ties . Sunday best clothes, inspected on a weekly bais, that Sunday walk along the muddy tracks, played havic when presented for inspection, don't get caught out , with dirty kit, or face the consequence.
Ralph Aldhous Ah yes. Bri-nylon, Cold in winter, sweaty in summer.
You could buy the metal nails and bits in a cobblers in Cleobury near the bridge. Never could tie a decent Windsor knot that stayed in place. I think we did things with our belts as well...studs or something.
Sarah Williams The cobblers - the smell of glue and leather. The wheels for polishing and trimming. Apart from mechanics in garages, cobblers were some of the last craft/tradesmen (never saw a female cobbler) you could see at work on a village street. Or have I forgotten others?
Ralph Aldhous Apparently there's a female blacksmith in Ditton Priors.
Sarah Williams One thing I remember (and can almost feel) about my school uniform was that the skirt was woollen and rough and in the cold/wet/wind it rubbed my legs very uncomfortably.
During the 70's, we had this fad of sticking these things on the shoe heel so that they made a click when we walked. I think they were called "segs" - The more that you had, the cooler you were. They made the shoe heel last longer so it was sort of a good thing to do. Since flairs had long gone out of fashion (and bell bottoms)we had Patch Pocket trousers with high waist bands, the wider the legs, the cooler you were. They got to be so ridiculously wide, unless you were tall, it was difficult to wear them really. Collars that buttoned-down were also cool. I
I think the rules on school uniform embraced the fashions really, by our time. I had a nice pair of brogues at on stage (complete with segs). 5th form were allowed to wear a grey suit but I do not recall anybody in my year ever doing so, we stuck with the obligatory Ben Sherman blazer (more comfortable than those wool/fleecey things)and patch pocket trousers. I really have to say hats off to you Mum. Every stitch of clothing had to have a name tape in, every single sock. These were purchased to order from Cash's in Coventry. (I bought some for my daughter last year). School caps were a thing of the past although I do remember one guy brought one with him as a "fuzzer" (1st year) 'Gross' Mike! We had this insane thing that we would do when we got one over on someone. We would push our bottom lip out with our tongue and rub our stretched lip between forefinger and thumb and make a sound something like "be-e-h" and it was called 'grossing'-weird stuff.....origins please????