underwear

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michael scuffil
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underwear

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:53 am

A thoroughly innocent picture of CH girls in London on St Matthew's Day c. 1960 (see Hertford Photos thread) gave rise to a discussion of their underwear. In the interests of sexual equality, here's an observation on the boys' underwear.

The only significant change in our clothing during my time was in the underpants. When I arrived, we had a curious garment that was made of ordinary cloth, was fairly tight fitting (not like boxers), reached halfway down the thighs, had no elastic, but did up with a button, and also had loops so that it could be attached to the braces that we were supposed to wear (but mostly didn't, except in the one or two houses where housemasters/matrons insisted). These were replaced in my first year by something which, while bulky by modern standards, at least were normal enough by the standard of the time. By about 1960, some boys were using their own, but they didn't have the shibboleth status that private underwear seems to have had at Hertford, and nobody cared.

(Incidentally, has the boys' uniform changed in any significant way since then? To judge by photos, bands are no longer done up with a pin, and don't even seem to go round the neck ("fudged", we would have said; it was an offence). And the shirts seem to have buttons.)
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J.R.
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Re: underwear

Post by J.R. » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:40 am

Michael: I have searched my brain and cannot honestly recall anything about underware.

Bands certainly took a little time to master and I think a lot of boys in Coleridge B had a clean, and neatly secreted pair of 'fudged' bands for emergrncy use. So time saving, especially for band-parades. 'Bill' Bailey couldn't abide messy bands as I remember. JH may be able to comment further
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Re: underwear

Post by Mid A 15 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:17 pm

If memory serves me right what we wore were like "y front" underpants in texture but rather like boxers to wear in that they reached some way down the thigh.

I do recall that we were privileged enough to change them as often as twice a week!
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Re: underwear

Post by sejintenej » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:36 pm

Michael's description is pretty accurate. The ladies are generally writing about a period in the mid 60's and later when the country was starting to come out of warti8me shortages and parents had the wherewithall to supply a couple of sets of underwear.

In the 1950's there was clothes rationing and in some places abject poverty. True to its purpose the school set out to provide pupils with everything necessary which of course included underwear, pyjamas ................ We were required to supply sports clothing (basic - no whites for cricket), gym shoes, blazer and grey slacks. Nothing more. Even track spikes (wrong size of course) were supplied. I got my first male shirt in 1959 or so; up to then it had been hand-me-downs and normally no "own" shoes were worn in case they wore out.

I do remember in 1960 there was a furore in Col A because a boy in Col B had the money to buy proper running shoes for the school steeplechase and had an unfair advantage in the mud in Shelly's Wood. Even worse his housemaster seems to have colluded in allowing him to have non-regulation clothing on school premises. No question but that he should have been disqualified. :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: underwear

Post by englishangel » Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:29 pm

We supplied our own tennis shoes (dunlop green flash), hockey boots and swimsuts and caps. Also tennis raquets and hockey sticks. Absolutely everyrthing else was supplied. I think in around 1970 we were allowed our own underwear and to have a pair of trousers to change into after lunch on Saturday and pm chapel on Sunday.
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Re: underwear

Post by Vonny » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:44 pm

In the 80's we were allowed to dress in our own clothes after lunch on a Saturday and also on a Sunday depending on when chapel was although we had to wear Sunday uniform for lunch. I don't remember wearing our own clothes at Horsham at the weekends at all :?
As for underwear, we wore our own (although there were white school knickers available :lol: ) - at Horsham we had washing machines in the girls houses but at Hertford we had to hand wash everything.
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Re: underwear

Post by jhopgood » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:43 pm

J.R. wrote:Michael: I have searched my brain and cannot honestly recall anything about underwear.

Bands certainly took a little time to master and I think a lot of boys in Coleridge B had a clean, and neatly secreted pair of 'fudged' bands for emergency use. So time saving, especially for band-parades. 'Bill' Bailey couldn't abide messy bands as I remember. JH may be able to comment further
I am intrigued that JR thinks I might be able to throw some light on either CH Horsham underwear or Bill Bailey's dislike of fudged bands.

My memory is rather dim about these matters although I seem to remember that the underwear was huge and baggy.
2 styles, both boxer types with a strategic button or two, one that seemed to be cut up old white pyjamas as they were held up with string and were almost paper thin, and the other with elastic, which soon stretched so that the string version was preferable. It would probably have been better to have liners inside the britches.

As to Bill Bailey of the gnarled arthritic hands, I can't recall any aversion to fudged bands, probably because I never mastered the art of fudging the bands whilst keeping the ends inside the collar. Easier to do the bands properly, even though it meant leaving teeth marks on them and running the risk of putting the safety pin through one's wind pipe, thereby reducing the ability to play a wind instrument.
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Re: underwear

Post by J.R. » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:06 pm

Bill Bailey WASN'T averse to 'fudged' bands, but WAS averse to wrinkled, grey or gravy-stained bands.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: underwear

Post by jhopgood » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:29 pm

J.R. wrote:Bill Bailey WASN'T averse to 'fudged' bands, but WAS averse to wrinkled, grey or gravy-stained bands.
That explains why we always played before lunch.
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Re: underwear

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:00 pm

Nice one, hopgood!
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Re: underwear

Post by gemmygemmerson » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:34 am

Bands held together with safety pins!. I am immensely thankful that that is NOT the case anymore. There are button holes in the bands and a button in the shirt so that they are easy to put on and remove, also quick to put on when you are caught without bands etc. :)

The shirts definitely do have buttons, but they don't button all the way, only about 10cm down worth of buttons. You still have to put them on over your head.
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Re: underwear

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:48 am

Morning gemmy! We had two safety pins. The small one held the bands to the shirt at the back. It had to be properly centred, but it only had to be done once with clean bands. The other safety pin lived in the right shirt flap. You aligned the bands, held the visible ends in your teeth, held the collar part together at the neck with your left hand, then passed the safety-pin through both layers of collar and the left flap of the shirt. Then you let go with your teeth.

"Fudged bands" were, so to speak, ready pinned, with the back of the collar included. You tucked them in to the front of the coat. It was very obvious, and your "friends" were liable to snatch them and run away with them.
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Re: underwear

Post by Jude » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:27 pm

Hertford underwear was revolutionised the year I started - where we were allowed to provide our own WHITE knickers - bra's were still an option - school would provide - or you could provide them yourselves, along with certain other items just for the female gender... these items were still rationed when I joined, and an awful amount of money went on getting some of the new up and coming sticky on ones, and using the Dr Whites only for emergencies.

All personal underwear we had to wash by hand - so you can get the gist of what our bathroom and dorms looked like - 3 horrid stand alone enamel baths with flimsy curtains around and opposite 4 wash hand basins - all available room for haning up our knickers and bra's taken up on radiators, around the edges of our baskets (under the beds) and on the rarely warm radiators in the dorm... Tights were yet another thing that had to be washed by us when we got to senior status - and I remember putting on damp pairs many a day - especially on a Sunday as we were really stared at by the staff to see if we had ladders in them!

I cannot remember what kind of bra I had.... I suspect a mix of both school and home, but the home clothes were a nightmare - again if they got dirty you had to wash them yourself! My stepmother for no reason bought me ( a size 10 MAX in those days) a pair of jean size 16 and sewed in to ENORMOUS darts at the waistband at the back of the jeans - I guess she thought I would "grow in to them"??? I never did, and the relief of never ever having to wear the wretched things again was immense (I had left CH by then!!! So yes they lasted the entire time I was at school, and it was a toss up between home clothes or uniform due to the amount of teasing I got)

I am happy to say my daughter never suffered anything like that, my poor son however, did go to CH for 3 years, and we had to provide white Y fronts, with his name (in capital letters in red and house and number) sewed along the Rt side of the "V" - they didn't last long, as soon as we found out other boys had different underwear, we let him have whatever he wanted... probably incorrect, but knowing how I felt at school??? No way was I prepared to do that to my son!
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Re: underwear

Post by CHAZ » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:49 pm

Morleys wwas the name of the underwear in the late 70s-84...they were provided by the school and were already tagged with your house number. Horrible things as itchy nad with lots of holes!!!
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Re: underwear

Post by Vonny » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:21 pm

CHAZ wrote:Morleys
:lol: :lol:

There's a blast from the past!
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