What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

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LongGone
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by LongGone » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:25 pm

I remember that all the emphasis was on Oxbridge, but did students going to other universities get considered for buttons?
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by alterblau » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:32 am

They certainly did, for I presume there was some sort of absolute standard which if attained (whether for entry to Oxbridge or somewhere else) resulted in the awarding of buttons. Frequent examples of this were for those going to the London Medical Schools. Some, not going on to Universities, were also granted buttons, for example a frequent contributor to this Forum who distinguished himself at the Britannia RNC Dartmouth.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:17 am

The thing about Oxbridge was that the colleges awarded scholarships (which they finally abolished in the 1980s), and for a school like Christ's Hospital, historically this meant that either you won a scholarship or you didn't go to university. Before the war, an Oxbridge scholarship would have been enough to live on, especially when topped up by various CH awards. That was why, until the 1950s, you were not kept on as a grecian unless you were thought capable of getting an Oxbridge scholarship*. The decline in their value (because of inflation) plus the advent first of State Scholarships and then of LEA grants made this whole system obsolete, and Seaman recognized this early on, leading to a huge expansion in the grecians (mostly non-button) in the years 1956-60. Incidentally, an Oxbridge scholarship in those days automatically meant a State Scholarship too, so in that sense you had it made: a place at the university, money from the college, money from CH, and a State Scholarship that was easily enough to live on.

Grecians were either 'probationary' (self-explanatory) or 'full'. A full grecian got his buttons when he was 17. By 1955, it was unusual to be made a full grecian before you were 17, but it did happen. It was only after the Seaman reforms that most grecians remained 'probationary' until they left. Seaman also extended most button-grecian privileges to all 2nd-year grecians, simply because the situation had become invidious. By 1960, the only specifically button-grecian privilege was walking down the grecians' path (and immediate service in the tuck shop -- but that was Mrs Tickner's snobbery).

*there were exceptions for candidates for the armed forces and the church. All this was laid out on the back of Report forms, under the heading 'Discharge'.

Some figures: college awards were worth 40, 60 or 100 pounds a year (the latter had been abolished by the 50s). A State Scholarship (before means testing) about 450 with all fees paid. Multiply by about 20 for current values. CH paid a grant of 40 pounds for books (you charged your books at Heffer's or Blackwell's to the 'Christ's Hospital Prize Account'), and another grant for clothes.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Katharine » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:26 pm

I went to Oxford in 1966, with an almost full grant, to pay fees and provide living expenses. My OB country parson dad was amazed that he was asked to contribute a lot less (£6 pa total) than he had to my CH fees in the previous few years.

I think I got £75 from CH, then called an Exhibition, and my name is up on the boards, now somewhere in Horsham. Part of this was on account at Blackwell's and part was for clothes, as Michael says.

I also had a University Scholarship, one closed to 'sons and daughters of the clergy of the Church of England, or the Church of Ireland, with a preference for those born in the West Riding of Yorkshire, who without this scholarship would not be able to obtain the full benefit of a university education'. I was not born in the W Riding of Yorkshire! This was worth £50 a year, and paid in three equal instalments a year.

I had plenty of money with grant and scholarship, possibly I didn't have expensive tastes! I did notice the difference when my CH funded account at Blackwell's ran out and I had to pay for my books!
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by J.R. » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:40 pm

Don't get me started on the curremt Uni fees and grants.

Seeing what it's curremtly 'costing' one of our grand-daughters, the best she can hope for is a good job in the USA which is exactly what she is working towards.

'Dreamworks' studio would suit her down to the ground.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Katharine » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:55 pm

I know John, it is very difficult to explain to youngsters. I feel quite guilty, but was a product of our times.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:09 am

In our day (mid 60s) there were only about 150,000 university students at any one time, and funding them was fairly cheap. The state also had an interest in getting far more graduates.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by J.R. » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:46 am

michael scuffil wrote:In our day (mid 60s) there were only about 150,000 university students at any one time, and funding them was fairly cheap. The state also had an interest in getting far more graduates.
.... whereas today, graduates are leaving university with no job and owing much more than just an arm or a leg.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by sejintenej » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:48 pm

michael scuffil wrote:In our day (mid 60s) there were only about 150,000 university students at any one time, and funding them was fairly cheap. The state also had an interest in getting far more graduates.
Parhaps it happened later but in my day there was absolutely no information available about Universities; of course we heard about Oxford and Cambridge because they gave scholarships.

CH gave out no information about post-school life let alone further education, we didn't know (and for that era I still don't know) if other universities even existed and the fact that there even existed other bursaries and grants was another unknown.

Of course when finding it very hard to find the fare to school and the school's regulations on family income there was no way a CH pupil could even dream of a university place. I do have to wonder about the finangling which seems to have occurred that so many seem to have got there.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by LongGone » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:47 pm

"
Parhaps it happened later but in my day there was absolutely no information available about Universities; of course we heard about Oxford and Cambridge because they gave scholarships.

CH gave out no information about post-school life let alone further education, we didn't know (and for that era I still don't know) if other universities even existed and the fact that there even existed other bursaries and grants was another unknown.

Of course when finding it very hard to find the fare to school and the school's regulations on family income there was no way a CH pupil could even dream of a university place. I do have to wonder about the finangling which seems to have occurred that so many seem to have got there."


In my case, I was lucky that Richard Fry supplied me with key information. My interest was Marine Biology and this meant looking outside Oxbridge. fry found the two places that offered such a degree and helped arrange for my application and the ensuing interviews. Luckily the LEA grants had already started, so I had no financial problems attending
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by Katharine » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:12 pm

Did you come to Bangor for it, LongGone? I know it is one of the places known for Marine Biology.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by LongGone » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:26 pm

Did you come to Bangor for it, LongGone? I know it is one of the places known for Marine Biology.
Yes. It was a great experience after CH! Somewhere on this site I recount interviewing in full Housey uniform, which I suspect was so mesmerizing that they ignored my qualifications.
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by viejoazul » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:09 pm

In the 50s there was a reasonable ‘service’ for school leavers who were uncertain in which field they should work. It was run by Dr G van Praagh, the Sen Science Master. He had plenty of brochures and was free with advice. It went further. I remember expressing an interest in Engineering and he suggested I attend a ‘Short Works Course’ in the Christmas holidays at the Stafford factory of the English Electric Company (a heavy electrical equipment and aircraft manufacturer, long since swallowed up by some other company). I attended it (all expenses paid) and got a good insight into what they (and presumably other large Engineering concerns) offered and consequently avoided Engineering in my post CH career.

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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by sejintenej » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:27 pm

viejoazul wrote:In the 50s there was a reasonable ‘service’ for school leavers who were uncertain in which field they should work. It was run by Dr G van Praagh, the Sen Science Master. He had plenty of brochures and was free with advice.
Obvoiusly not well publicised even though I suspect everyone knew of him. That could have been interesting given that sciences were my strengths
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Re: What Keith Douglas got up to at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:38 pm

sejintenej wrote:
michael scuffil wrote:In our day (mid 60s) there were only about 150,000 university students at any one time, and funding them was fairly cheap. The state also had an interest in getting far more graduates.
Parhaps it happened later but in my day there was absolutely no information available about Universities; of course we heard about Oxford and Cambridge because they gave scholarships.

CH gave out no information about post-school life let alone further education, we didn't know (and for that era I still don't know) if other universities even existed and the fact that there even existed other bursaries and grants was another unknown.

Of course when finding it very hard to find the fare to school and the school's regulations on family income there was no way a CH pupil could even dream of a university place. I do have to wonder about the finangling which seems to have occurred that so many seem to have got there.
My impression was that careers advice for those not intending to go to university was quite good, and also that the school was very good indeed at pulling strings in the City of London. Certainly it took the school a long time to realize that other universities existed ('It doesn't matter which university you go to, my boy. They're both very old.'), and worse still, there was no attempt whatever to guide would-be students on what courses they might take. The assumption was that any degree was as good as any other, and the school considered its mission fulfilled if it got you into university.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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