Housey Coat 'badge'

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michael scuffil
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:28 pm

I agree, plates carried no status.

Re Keith's memory of Cambridge scholarships: these figures applied to all colleges. There used to be something called a major scholarship, worth 100 pounds, but these were abolished by the 1960s. The sums in question were significant, but before the war they would have been enough to live on. By the 1960s, they were just welcome top-ups to a maintenance grant which, before means-testing, was worth 450 pounds a year (so they added plus/minus 10% to your funds). 40 pounds would have paid a term's room rent. Having said which, they attracted other perks, such as a CH exhibition (clothes grant + book grant) worth in total 80 pounds, and depending on the college, your scholarship may have brought other goodies, like first choice of rooms. My college (Emmanuel) gave its scholars and exhibitioners free gowns (cost otherwise about 5 pounds). (An average wage in those days was about 15 pounds a week.) By these standards, the present-day scholarships and exhibitions are frankly chickenfeed.
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Katharine
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by Katharine » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:12 pm

When you got a CH Exhibition was part of the money put on account at Heffer's? I presume that is the equivalent of Blackwell's.
I received one, and some of the money was put on account at Blackwell's, it lasted about a year, and it was a horrid shock when I had to start paying for my own books! (Did you get your name inscribed on a board somewhere in gold letters? We did, and those boards were taken to Horsham at the merger)

My Oxford Scholarship was a University one, an Abbott's Scholarship for 'the sons and daughters of clergymen 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 money would not reap the full benefit of their time at the university' - or words very like that, it was a very useful £50 a year. I was born in Sussex.

Going back to the plates, before the merger, when we were at Hertford it was only the RAF presenters that had badges. These were round about 5cm in diameter. As far as I remember there was just one such presentation each year, my niece Joanna was one.
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by sejintenej » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:46 am

keibat wrote:Re: Francesco's discussion of the history of 'scholars', note also that at some Oxford and Cambridge colleges – possibly also at other older universities – there are financial awards given on an annual basis for students who do well in exams, which are called Scholarships or (a somewhat lesser award, and a very strange term) Exhibitions.
In my days there seemed to be a league table of scolarships gained by diferent schools - it was always headed by Manchester Grammar School but CH always figured in the top six out of all UK schools
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michael scuffil
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:04 am

Certainly the winners of scholarships and exhibitions were listed (with their schools) in the Times and Telegraph, so anyone could draw up a league table.

I got an exhibition at Cambridge. Out of interest, I compared CH's results that year with those of Latymer Upper in Hammersmith (then a direct grant school), which is where I would have gone if CH had not accepted me. Curiously, they achieved precisely the same number of Oxbridge awards. Which made me realize I had gained nothing academically from going to CH, so I had to consider other things more thoroughly. I think I would have become more nerdish at a less eccentric, urban grammar school. Maybe I'd now be a retired accountant.
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sejintenej
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by sejintenej » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:03 pm

michael scuffil wrote: I got an exhibition at Cambridge. Out of interest, I compared CH's results that year with those of Latymer Upper in Hammersmith (then a direct grant school), which is where I would have gone if CH had not accepted me. Curiously, they achieved precisely the same number of Oxbridge awards. .
I wasn't aware of the Times and Telegraph lists but was very much aware that Latymer was a good school. By contrast ISTR that places like Eton and Harrow were (at that time) way down the list into the teens. So much for money and weird uniforms and wall games
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by postwarblue » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:19 pm

I seem to recall understanding that Exhibitions were founded in 1851 or soon thereafter to mark the Great Exhibition of that year, probably encouraged by Prince Albert.

Indeed post-war the £60 was a valuable (for many Blues, possibly vital) contribution to an undergraduate's maintenance and it is sad that its value has declined so much in real terms. It was quite remarkable how Housey managed to collar so many of these awards year after year.
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by JohnAL » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:11 am

I understand the name Exhibition was indeed used to commemorate the Great Exhibition of 1851, but with a more specific connection. During its successor (The Festival of Britain of 1951) I was at CH and at that time a copy of the brochure of 1851 was used for various history and other lessons. I remember its Introduction stated that that the entrance fees made a significant profit, part of which was used to finance the Oxbridge Exhibitions.

(A contemporary at that time – we were both very young - told me that neither he nor his family would attend the Festival because it was organised by a Labour government, of which they all very strongly disapproved. I hope present Blues are more enlightened. But that extreme position was rare in 1951. I attended and enjoyed it, although today I cannot remember many details.)

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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by eucsgmrc » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:57 pm

postwarblue wrote:I seem to recall understanding that Exhibitions were founded in 1851 or soon thereafter to mark the Great Exhibition of that year, probably encouraged by Prince Albert.
I'm fairly confident that the word "exhibition" was used to mean something like a scholarship well before 1851. The OED says
"Origin
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘maintenance, support’; hence exhibition, mid 17th century): via Old French from late Latin exhibitio(n-), from Latin exhibere hold out (see exhibit)."

But this is wandering some distance from the original topic.
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michael scuffil
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:33 pm

I agree with John.

And if you think 'exhibition' is odd, if you won a scholarship at Magdalen, Oxford, you were a 'demy' (pronounced like 'deny', swapping m for n), and if you won a scholarship at Merton, Oxford, you were a 'postmaster'.
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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by keibat » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:35 pm

David Brown ['sejintenej'] wrote, à propos Eton's & Harrow's poorer placing on the scholars and exhibitioners lists:
So much for ... weird uniforms
:lol:

Also, John Wexler [alias the unpronounceable 'eucsgmrc''] wrote:
I'm fairly confident that the word "exhibition" was used to mean something like a scholarship well before 1851. The OED says
"Origin: Late Middle English (in the sense ‘maintenance, support’; hence exhibition, mid 17th century): via Old French from late Latin exhibitio(n-), from Latin exhibere hold out (see exhibit).".
Not having my local library card to hand, I can't dip into the online OED, but my shelf copy of the 1965 edition of the Shorter Oxford lists the meanings of exhibition, in chronological order, as "1. Maintenance, support; 2. A pension, a salary, a gift; 3. An endowment for a term of years given to a student in a school, college or university ... 1525."

But as John also commented:
But this is wandering some distance from the original topic.
As tends to happen with Threads :wink:

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Re: Housey Coat 'badge'

Post by gneuss » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:56 pm

I’ve read with interest the information of the plates that some of us wore (on the left breast just below the shoulder) when we were at CH. I still feel very honoured and grateful to have been the recipient of one of the RAF Benevolent Fund scholarships. I arrived at CH in 1959 and can remember John Twitchin who was the first to gain the scholarship – when I arrived he was already a Grecian.
I’ve got an extract (probably from the Daily Telegraph) dated 20 October 1951 which details the inception of the award and may explain why I won one as it was to be based on the service record of the father rather than on the student’s performance in a scholarship exam. I remember that I had to sit the entrance exam at my primary school then both my father and I went up to central London and were interviewed separately for the award.
We actually had two plates, one for the everyday bluecoat and one for the ‘best’ coat. I certainly do not remember having to sew it on myself and rather think that as has already been mentioned it was a job for the matron. When I left in March 1966 I was allowed to keep one of the plates and my name, house and date was engraved on the back. Although I was proud and happy to wear the plate I’m sure that it was not seen as a status symbol by other students (we were all on scholarships of one form or another), or that I was in any way part of an elite group.
Does anyone know whether there are still RAF Benevolent Fund scholars now?
If JR will contact me (or tell me how to do it) I can add attachments of the 1951 extract and images of both the front and the back of my plate.

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