Dr Martens 1461

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Adrian
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Dr Martens 1461

Post by Adrian » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:46 pm

Just noticed this article:

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/you ... -1-6108234
For over 80 years, Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham has required students to wear Dr. Martens’ 1461 classic 3-eye shoe as part of their school uniform.
I'm a bit puzzled. During my time we were all supplied with shoes as part of our uniform, and they certainly weren't Dr Martens. I remember them well, and how they were thrown at us in some random sort of trial and error method. It's probably why I've got wonky feet now.

I'm guessing that parents have to supply shoes for their kids now.
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by postwarblue » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:13 pm

In the 40s/50s we had perfectly conventional black lace-up Oxfords. Two pairs, inspected by Matron weekly so as to be rotated for repair via the Wardrobe if necessary.

The real qn is, when did these replace the buckled shoes shown in old pictures?
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:23 pm

postwarblue wrote:In the 40s/50s we had perfectly conventional black lace-up Oxfords. Two pairs, inspected by Matron weekly so as to be rotated for repair via the Wardrobe if necessary.

The real qn is, when did these replace the buckled shoes shown in old pictures?
The buckled shoes are almost certainly a myth; see the research by David Miller, reported on this forum somewhere.

The notion of wearing Doc Marten's is curious....
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by Fitzsadou » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:15 am

The newspaper article contradicts the Wikepdia entry on Dr Martens shoes. Wikepedia states that, “The first Dr. Martens boots in the United Kingdom came out on 1 April 1960”, [my emphasis] which is hardly surprising since they were invented immediately after World War 2, by a German in Germany. This is confirmed by the official history of the Dr Martens brand (at http://www.drmartens.com/uk/history ). The 80 year old error stems from the fact that the UK licensee of Dr Martens was founded in 1901. So the newspaper writer was sloppy. Also like postwarblue I have no recollection of them at CH in the 1950s, hence the 80 year has to be incorrect, for postwarblue is surely much more reliable than (any?) newspaper writer.

Housey shoes in the 1950s had no brand name, were heavy, black, strong, laced, somewhat inflexible and with a simple toecap. One peculiarity they had was that the soles were permanently curved (along the direction running from heel to toe), as a result of their sole’s inflexibility I presume. They lasted well and in my case were usually outgrown rather than outworn. Occasionally one was issued with a second hand pair (by Mr Henderson of “The Wardrobe”), if they were in good condition. Leavers could sometimes keep their Housey shoes, but only if their shoes were unusual (eg size 13 or larger and/or unusually wide).

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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by LongGone » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:32 am

the inflexibility was pretty extreme as I remember, and lead to some fairly spectacular blisters from new shoes.
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by Adrian » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:00 pm

Fitzsadou wrote:The newspaper article contradicts the Wikepdia entry on Dr Martens shoes. Wikepedia states that, “The first Dr. Martens boots in the United Kingdom came out on 1 April 1960”, [my emphasis] which is hardly surprising since they were invented immediately after World War 2, by a German in Germany. This is confirmed by the official history of the Dr Martens brand (at http://www.drmartens.com/uk/history ). The 80 year old error stems from the fact that the UK licensee of Dr Martens was founded in 1901. So the newspaper writer was sloppy. Also like postwarblue I have no recollection of them at CH in the 1950s, hence the 80 year has to be incorrect, for postwarblue is surely much more reliable than (any?) newspaper writer.

Housey shoes in the 1950s had no brand name, were heavy, black, strong, laced, somewhat inflexible and with a simple toecap. One peculiarity they had was that the soles were permanently curved (along the direction running from heel to toe), as a result of their sole’s inflexibility I presume. They lasted well and in my case were usually outgrown rather than outworn. Occasionally one was issued with a second hand pair (by Mr Henderson of “The Wardrobe”), if they were in good condition. Leavers could sometimes keep their Housey shoes, but only if their shoes were unusual (eg size 13 or larger and/or unusually wide).
This mirrors my memory from the 1970's too. I recall the chaos in The Wardrobe when collecting "new" shoes. For me it's a sort of surreal nightmarish memory, possibly exaggerated by the bloke issuing orders.

Weren't we issued with two pairs of shoes? One pair for best?

Judging by the number of media sites carrying this story, I suspect the error is totally the making of Dr Martens themselves. It's just good PR.

I'm just pleased to know that my memory isn't playing tricks with me ... yet.
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by ailurophile » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:02 pm

DMs have certainly been the recommended style of shoe all the time my lads have been at CH, and they used to be stocked by Broadbridges in Horsham while they were the official school outfitters. However they're by no means compulsory, and lots of pupils seem to wear different shoes - with DMs now costing more than £60 a pair, perhaps that's not surprising!

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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by Adrian » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:15 pm

Jo - When did your lads start going to CH?

So parents now have to buy their kid's shoes, and Dr Martens are the recommended style. Since when I wonder?
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by Eruresto » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:26 pm

ailurophile wrote:DMs have certainly been the recommended style of shoe all the time my lads have been at CH, and they used to be stocked by Broadbridges in Horsham while they were the official school outfitters. However they're by no means compulsory, and lots of pupils seem to wear different shoes - with DMs now costing more than £60 a pair, perhaps that's not surprising!
This was the case for me, too (2002-2009)
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by ailurophile » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:15 pm

Jo - When did your lads start going to CH?

So parents now have to buy their kid's shoes, and Dr Martens are the recommended style. Since when I wonder?
2005.

And yes; as well as DMs we have to provide them with football boots, outdoor trainers, indoor (non-marking) trainers, and slippers... it all gets very expensive when their feet are growing fast!

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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by sejintenej » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:50 pm

I concur completely (is that unnecessary repetition?) with Fitzadou's second paragraph but with one possible difference to how I interpret his submission; they were, from time to time resoled and reheeled.
In contrast to some contributors I never had any problems with the curvature etc. of new shoes; I don't suppose the effect was any worse than Chinese foot binding.

I had heard that Doc Martins were introduced decades after I left; I suppose that they do even more damage than the old shoes when some squit decides to launch a broadside on some other squit's shins.
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by J.R. » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:15 pm

At least in our day, we were responsible for cleaning our shoes.

I have gone down this long long ad before after witnessing a young lady in Horsham with absolutely distugsting cleaned shoes.
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by Tommy » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:11 pm

The standard shoe that we were issued with at the Wardrobe when I was at CH were three-hole lace-up DBs, which if I remember correctly, took an unusually large amount of severe Housey-style punishment before being either a) pensioned off and replaced or b) falling to bits so they HAD be replaced.

The DMs appeared in the late 80s - I got hold of a pair on my Deps. They were SO hard-wearing and virtually indestructable; I made sure I got another pair before I left. They lasted 6 years! However I don't recall being able to get them from the Wardrobe - I had to buy my two pairs (albeit at a hugely discounted price) from Clive Kemp.

I want another pair for work now... :lol:
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by Katharine » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:18 pm

My mother was convinced she could recognise an Old Blue by his walk, and occasionally challenged strangers, always with success! I thought I'd heard that the shoes in my brother's and my father's time were double soled, but perhaps it was just the curvature. Was it that curvature that made the walk so distinctive?
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Re: Dr Martens 1461

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:55 am

My mother was disgusted with CH shoes (they gave me corns) 'after all I've done for your feet!'

We had two pairs. The 'best' were kept in a shoe cupboard on the main staircase. Matron inspected the ones we were wearing once a week. If they exhibited wear, they were sent for repair. If they turned out to be irreparable, they were 'condemned', and we were sent to get new ones from the wardrobe. If our shoes were too small, however, they were exchanged for serviceable second-hand ones. Shoes were identified by pokerwork house numbers on the instep.

These were the only footwear provided by the school. Parents even then had to provide football boots, gymshoes, rubber boots and 'indoor shoes'. Houses had their own store of 'spikes' for athletics. There was a fashion in my time for wearing indoor shoes (normally elastic-sided, but still with leather soles) outside; it was strictly against the rules, but we thought they looked more stylish, and they were more comfortable.

Monitors were allowed to wear their own shoes with 'cricket clothes' (i.e. blazer and flannels). The rule-book specifically said 'brown', but black was tolerated.

As JR says, shoes had to be kept both clean and shiny. Juniors (in some houses, seniors too) had to have their shoes inspected every evening, and there was an informal inspection on lunch parade. While the school provided brushes and 'blacking' (called in ThA slang 'jigger', also the name for gravy, and custard), most of us were vain enough to have our own 'polishers' (I still have mine, neatly poker-worked with name and number by my father.)
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