Wearing of C H uniform

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

Moderator: Moderators

Kit Bartlett
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:58 am
Real Name: Christopher Bartlett

Wearing of C H uniform

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:26 pm

This may well have been raised previously.
Does anyone have the date when the wearing of CH uniform to and from home was discontinued ?

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

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by Katharine » Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:07 pm

I don't know when it was discontinued, but I do know that my grandfather had to sign that my father, born 1914, wore his uniform during the school holidays, not just en route to and from school. Grandfather was a vicar in Stepney then, so I don't know whether father suffered any abuse. I imagine my aunt, a few years younger, would not have suffered too much.

Father wore the uniform to church each Sunday.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

eucsgmrc
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Real Name: John Wexler
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by eucsgmrc » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:19 pm

1954-1962: we wore uniform for the journey to and from school, and often when we were away from school during term time. I could travel on public transport in London without undue attention. I think there was still some folk memory of CH, so that people had a vague notion of why I was wearing those clothes. Also, seeing various odd uniforms on the street was much more commonplace in those days. In school holidays, I do remember choosing to wear uniform for a very few formal occasions, and people seemed to find it appropriate. Attitudes were very different. What I don't remember is whether I chose to wear uniform or civies when I went for Oxbridge exams/interviews.
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62

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

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by Katharine » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:41 pm

In 1966, we were expected to be wearing uniform when we went for Oxbridge interviews. I mean expected by the interviewers, at least one of my cohort was asked why she wasn't wearing uniform!

The only time we had any home clothes at school was the last term, because you would leave school in your own clothes. When I had my Oxford interview it was my last term, but as there was a girl from the second year sixth also being interviewed I wore uniform, so we were the same. I didn't feel it would be fair to her to wear my own clothes when we were both from CH.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

Fjgrogan
Button Grecian
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:56 pm
Real Name: Frances Grogan (nee Haley)
Location: Surbiton, Surrey

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by Fjgrogan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:00 am

I remember that Housey uniform rated a pretty high score in one of the I-Spy books, but cannot remember whether it was I-Spy Sights of London or I-Spy Uniforms. Very handy little books they were too. Most of what I still remember about trees came from the relevant I-Spy book; I probably still have some of them lurking in the loft!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

'A clean house is a sign of a broken computer.'

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

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:46 pm

It was I-Spy People in Uniform, and I recall that it perpetuated the myth of buckled shoes.

I remember when I was about 6 or 7 seeing someone dressed in Housey uniform outside Brompton Oratory, and I said indignantly to my parents: 'I'm never going there!'

When was it abolished for journeys to and from holidays? Around 1970, I would guess. Certainly after 1963 (except for button grecians, who had the privilege of wearing 'civvies' from a very early date -- anyone know when?)

"What I don't remember is whether I chose to wear uniform or civies when I went for Oxbridge exams/interviews," asks John Wexler above. The rule was that you had to wear uniform for interviews (only), but normally people wore civvies otherwise, so I imagine you did too.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by LongGone » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:26 pm

"What I don't remember is whether I chose to wear uniform or civies when I went for Oxbridge exams/interviews."

I know I wore mine to Bangor: including walking across the Menai Straits bridge. I was the first student from CH they had ever seen, and I suspect I got points for uniqueness.
If a stone falls on an egg: alas for the egg
If an egg falls on a stone: alas for the egg

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14808
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by J.R. » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:00 pm

I'm probably wrong, but I have a sneaky feeling that the tradition regarding wearing uniform too and from home ended after the retirement of the head, C.M.E.Seaman
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Richard
3rd Former
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:31 pm
Real Name: Richard Slingfield

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by Richard » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:42 pm

For the first year of the Seaman regime we certainly wore housey clothes on the Housey Special (the CH train to and from London). I remember it being emphasised that for the Oxbridge interviews in those days it was a definite advantage to wear housey clothes and it was a reason why one would make a mark in the memory of the examiner, if one’s other interactions were less memorable. (In retrospect is that an advantage or not?)

As for there being a school rule (unenforceable) that one should wear housey clothes during the holidays, this was not such a strange notion in the days before the second World War. This was probably introduced to accommodate those from poor families who could not afford an 'unnecessary' alternative set of clothes. In fact the knee breeches and long stockings are very practical garments, although obviously the long coat sometimes less so. Housey clothes were also distinctive and dignified. In those days many boys wore their school cricket clothes (grey flannel trousers and white shirt) at home during the summer holidays. So parents did not need to buy them extra clothes, used for only a few weeks each year. In Reading and Newbury, where West Gifts scholarships provided for about a dozen boys from each town to attend CH, seeing boys wearing housey clothes in the streets was not unusual, but elsewhere it could clearly attract some attention. Also in the town of Reading there was another school, the Reading Bluecoat School with a very similar uniform and founded in 1646 by an Old Blue Richard Aldworth, so boys in housey dress in Reading would be accepted as totally normal.

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

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:47 pm

Certainly until I was about 16 I only ever wore school 'cricket clothes' in the holidays. What else? Maybe with a pullover some aunt had knitted for me, and probably I had sandals in the summer. And I probably had a tie for the winter at least (even 12-year-olds wore ties in those days). But the school cricket clothes were normal boys' wear then -- if you look at illustrated original editions of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books, that's what Julian and Dick were always shown wearing.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by Straz » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:23 pm

Going home in CH uniform was phased out, circa 1971. I was in Leigh Hunt A at the time and I remember that in my first couple of years (69/70) we had to wear Housey uniform to go home in at the end of term.
But the big change came circa 71, when we were allowed to wear civvies on leave days and to go home in them at the end of term. It's possible that the switch was being considered by CMES, but it was implemented early in David Newsome's reign.
Paul Strange
Leigh Hunt A 1969-71
Peele A 71-75

sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 3097
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown
Location: Essex

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by sejintenej » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:51 am

Looking back at Michael Scuffil's last entry in the late 50's we had to wear dark blue cravats rather than ties. Of course in those days we didn't have mufti at school and cricket cothes were a bit different to what one generally saw. Having a 15 hour journey I would have liked to change but I was expected to arrive in full uniform (or else - they knew the rules!)

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14808
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by J.R. » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:24 pm

I still have my blue cravat in a drawer upstairs, though I haven't worn it for years.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

eucsgmrc
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Real Name: John Wexler
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by eucsgmrc » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:12 pm

That cravat was never, so far as I remember, called a cravat. It was described as a "blue square", I think, in the "required clothes" list that the school sent to parents. I'm not sure that it wasn't officially a "blue silk square", although by the time I was at CH (1954) the squares were probably made of rayon or some newly-invented synthetic fabric. Can anybody confirm my memories?

Which brings me to another topic: the official suppliers of all those supplementary bits of clothing. In 1954, I believe that parents simply got a list of the items, and they could buy them wherever they could find them. Some time before 1962, the school nominated John Lewis as sole supplier. Since John Lewis at that time was far from the cheapest store, and they were not very helpful (and they had only one store, not dozens of branches), their exclusive contract seemed quite exploitative to me. It put me off John Lewis for years. How times change!
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14808
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Wearing of C H uniform

Post by J.R. » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:17 pm

YES - It was John Lewis, at least in 1957/8/ I still have vivid memories of going with my mother to their store in London.

The cravat I have is not a 'square' as such, but a proper cravat in a very cool to wear like silken fabric.

I use the word 'cool', not in the modern juvenile meaning, but in relation to its feeling cool to the neck when wearing.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests