table manners

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michael scuffil
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table manners

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:04 pm

Did anyone else see this extraordinary picture in eBay?

http://www.ebay.de/itm/1902-Christs-Hos ... 35d361ea4f

It says Newgate St., but it's dated 1902.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: table manners

Post by eucsgmrc » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:10 pm

The caption explains: "This picture shows one of the last scenes at Christ's Hospital in Newgate Street, for when the school reopens it will be at Horsham, and then the boys will no longer appear in their picturesque costume. Mr Spence's illustration shows how the boys used to spread the tablecloth by walking backwards along the table and pulling the cloth with them."

As things turned out, the uniform didn't disappear, but the tablecloths did. We never had them in my time.
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Re: table manners

Post by DavidRawlins » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:03 am

eucsgmrc wrote:
As things turned out, the uniform didn't disappear, but the tablecloths did. We never had them in my time.
Nor mine. Maybe they were discontinued in 1939, or 1914. Does anyone know?
They may have been only for high days or the public dinners.
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Re: table manners

Post by seajayuu » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:35 am

We certainly had starched tablecloths at Hertford in my time (58-66). But we wouldn't have dreamed of walking on the tables to lay the cloths! Each house had "table cloth girls", usually among the youngest in the house. It was their task to take the cloths between House and Dining Hall at the beginning and end of meals. We ate Breakfast and Lunch in Hall, but had Tea in House. We had big blue ?denim table cloth bags for the cloths. I seem to remember that the table cloth girl also had to get the cloths dry when glasses of water were spilled.
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Re: table manners

Post by Fjgrogan » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:40 am

Definitely not denim; it was the same blue material used to make 'brush and comb' bags which hung on our numbered pegs in ward cloakrooms, marked in cross-stitch with ward and locker number.
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Re: table manners

Post by Katharine » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:36 am

Yes three cloths in use at any time. One long table in hall*, but three separate ones in hall. I think I would have loved to lay them by walking on the table, but such a thought was just inconceivable! I don't have any memory of trying to dry the cloths - perhaps that was just 3s and we were slovenly!

*I seem to remember an experiment that lasted a short time when we had a different arrangement of tables in the Dining Hall. I have a very vague memory of sitting in about 4s position, for less than half a term. Presumably it would have been after some event in the Hall where the tables had to be moved out of the way.
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seajayuu
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Re: table manners

Post by seajayuu » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:58 am

Our brush and comb bags were definitely calico in 3's. I never realised, at the time, that there were so many small differences between houses.

Angela Pratt
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Re: table manners

Post by Angela Pratt » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:24 pm

Yes, remember all the jobs but never any blue brush and comb bags 8's in my time, tho we had to cross-stitch our names and ward numbers in blue.

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J.R.
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Re: table manners

Post by J.R. » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:35 pm

Look closely at the benches beside the table.

They look remarkably the same as were in use in the dining-hall in 1958 when I joined the school !
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Re: table manners

Post by Katharine » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:37 pm

Angela Pratt wrote:Yes, remember all the jobs but never any blue brush and comb bags 8's in my time, tho we had to cross-stitch our names and ward numbers in blue.
I don't know why Frances said they were blue, as far as I can remember they were white with the numbers cross-stitched in Sixes blue, they didn't have our names on. I think I assumed every house used their own colour for the cross-stitching, though 4s wouldn't have shown up very well!
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Re: table manners

Post by sejintenej » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:01 pm

J.R. wrote:Look closely at the benches beside the table.

They look remarkably the same as were in use in the dining-hall in 1958 when I joined the school !
Agreed and the table doesn't look too dissimilar either
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michael scuffil
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Re: table manners

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:08 pm

I remember A.L. Johnstone (long-time hall warden) once commenting on the absence of tablecloths: "You should have seen them after just one meal when we did have them!"

ALJ joined the staff in the late 1940s, I presume. His remark suggests that the tablecloths survived till then.

Were the dining-tables and benches brought from London to Horsham, like the beds and settles?
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: table manners

Post by postwarblue » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:04 pm

No tablecloths in 1946. And ALJ took over from 'Man' Sargent, post 1954.
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michael scuffil
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Re: table manners

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:08 pm

The tablecloths certainly existed. They were definitely used for Christmas dinner and tea, and I seem to remember (though I may be wrong) that they were also used for non-school lunch on OB Day and Speech Day. Perhaps they were the same cloths that we see being laid in this picture. If they were almost never used, they would have lasted.
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Re: table manners

Post by Fjgrogan » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:35 pm

Sorry Katharine, you are quite right - just another example of the galloping senility - I seem to have had it for years!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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