Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

Moderator: Moderators

Straz
3rd Former
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:49 am
Real Name: Paul Strange

Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by Straz » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:15 am

I remember my dad mentioning noseblowing by numbers at CH in the 1930s, but I can't remember the full details.
How did it work? Why was the practice introduced? And when did it finish?
Paul Strange
Leigh Hunt A 1969-71
Peele A 71-75

User avatar
LongGone
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:17 pm
Real Name: Mike Adams
Location: New England

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by LongGone » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:42 am

I never came across this in Maine A in the 50s. It may have been both year and house-dependent.
If a stone falls on an egg: alas for the egg
If an egg falls on a stone: alas for the egg

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:26 pm

I mentioned this on some other thread somewhere. It was in force in ThB until 1960/61. I can be precise, because I was a junior dorm monitor. But we had a house-captain from another house who happened to be passing by and couldn't believe his eyes. He abolished it on the spot.

We only had it in the evenings for the junior juniors after matron's inspection. I was told that LambB had it in the mornings too, as soon as the bell stopped ringing, but one heard so many horror stories about LB that one doesn't really know which are true.

How the numbers worked I have completely forgotten. I suppose: 1. lift handkerchief to nose; 2. blow; 3. stop. This was repeated two or three times.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14809
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by J.R. » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:29 pm

It was certainly in force in Prep B in the late 50's, early 60's.

At bed time, duty master would have you all sitting on your beds with handkerchiefs. He would count 1 to 5 and you would have to blose your nose 5 times. I don't remember it happening on my move up to Coleridge B.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:14 pm

J.R. wrote:It was certainly in force in Prep B in the late 50's, early 60's.

At bed time, duty master would have you all sitting on your beds with handkerchiefs. He would count 1 to 5 and you would have to blose your nose 5 times. I don't remember it happening on my move up to Coleridge B.
As our house-captain came from ColB, I imagine it had been abolished there some time earlier.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

Katharine
Button Grecian
Posts: 2933
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:44 pm
Real Name: Katharine Dobson
Location: Gwynedd

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by Katharine » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:53 pm

I was trying to remember whether it was my father or my brother who talked about it, perhaps it was both of them. My brother was in ThB with Michael, so would have endured it.

I only remember the expression and had visualised you blowing your noses in number order, starting with number 1 and waiting until the highest number (50?) had blown his. That would probably have taken quite a long time!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

DavidRawlins
Button Grecian
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:50 pm
Real Name: David Charles Rawlins
Location: Somerset

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by DavidRawlins » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:42 am

I think it happened in Col A when I arrived, but was soon discontinued.
Col A 1946-1953

User avatar
Spoonbill
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:45 am
Real Name: Bill/Will/Willie/William
Location: Buckingham

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by Spoonbill » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:14 pm

I heard it was abolished after some poor kid blew his nose too hard and his sinuses came out into his handkerchief.

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14809
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:22 pm

Spoonbill wrote:I heard it was abolished after some poor kid blew his nose too hard and his sinuses came out into his handkerchief.

Could have been a lot worse if you think about it !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

User avatar
postwarblue
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 12:12 pm
Real Name: Robert Griffiths
Location: Havant

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by postwarblue » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:48 pm

Recollect this from Col B along with cold baths and other barbaric practices.
'Oh blest retirement, friend to life's decline'

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14809
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:08 pm

postwarblue wrote:Recollect this from Col B along with cold baths and other barbaric practices.

YES - The dreaded cold baths during the summer term !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Straz
3rd Former
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:49 am
Real Name: Paul Strange

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by Straz » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:19 am

Fascinating and thank you all for your replies.
So we know that the practice definitely existed at CH, but we're still not precisely sure how it worked.
We think it may have been - 1. lift handkerchief to nose; 2. blow; 3. stop. This was repeated two or three times - but can anyone definitely confirm?
And why was it done?
As some dreaded punishment, as has been suggested, akin to the cold baths?
And what happened if you blew your nose too hard and caused yourself irreparable harm? Who would take responsibility?
Any further thoughts appreciated.
Who nose where this one might lead to? :tonqe:
Paul Strange
Leigh Hunt A 1969-71
Peele A 71-75

DavidRawlins
Button Grecian
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:50 pm
Real Name: David Charles Rawlins
Location: Somerset

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by DavidRawlins » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:51 am

It was probably done for hygeine; and was probably instituted long ago. When waifs and strays were admitted to CH they would probably wipe there nose on their sleeve, or just let them drip. Nose blowing would teach them more respectable habits.
Col A 1946-1953

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:55 am

Posted up in lav-ends was a notice headed 'Health Rules' (with which a rule in the School Rules book required us to be familiar). One of the 'health rules' said (something like) 'Nose-blowing night and morning is an important routine for juniors, but seniors should not neglect this aspect of hygiene.'

These 'health rules' came out in about 1958, so this nose-blowing thing was not a relic of long-gone days. But hygiene and health are subject to fashion. (Bertrand Russell relates how Victorian children were forbidden to eat raw fruit, as it was thought this would harm them.)

Still, it's clear that this 'routine' nose-blowing was differently managed in each house. We never had it in the mornings, for example (that would have involved the monitor getting up, after all). When our imported house captain abolished the 'by numbers' bit, we monitors simply said: Blow your noses and go to bed (thus keeping to the 'health rule').
Th.B. 27 1955-63

yamaha
3rd Former
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Noseblowing by numbers - how did it work?

Post by yamaha » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:58 am

Still going strong in Prep A c.1960s

But surely the most notable CH "wellness" item was the advice given in the dormitory on a very formal, printed notice advising "A daily bowel action at a regular time".

Considering the diet we were on, weekly would have been quite an achievement.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests