Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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J.R.
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Post by J.R. » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:06 pm

Your last post brings back memories, John.

I recall an Irish student who was a bit weird to say the least. I think his name was McGarry (?). He could hold his breath for ages and this stunt sounds like one of his. He could have been the guy you mention !
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Post by AKAP » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:37 pm

Steve Wolley won it when I was at school.
His other skill was his ability to resist waking up in the morning. We would tip him out of bed, throw water at him etc but he just slept on.

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Post by Tim_MaA_MidB » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:04 pm

The only strong memory I have about those baths is breaking in by climbing in through a window in the middle of the night and going skinny dipping with some friends and a couple of girls from a local Horsham school.

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Post by UserRequestedRemoval » Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:57 pm

You did a lot more than that in Mid B Tim. Your signing with headphones on used to leave me in fits of laughter

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Re: Mass nudity

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:29 pm

Sorry if it's boring to revive an old thread.
jhopgood wrote:I must be getting a touch of the selective memories, as I have no recollection of not using a swimming costume whilst learning to swim. I remember classes taking place at midday and having to do five lengths and dive in, the small pool had water in it then, as well as having to open my eyes under water to count fingers, but the absence of a swimming costume bemuses me.
Maybe I didn't notice as swimming took place in the summer term, and by then I had become used to the communal baths in the trough after winter sports.
The trough was exactly that, room for about 4 people sitting down, all facing the same way. There were showers overhead, large copper things with holes punched in them, but they were rarely used, and then mainly to give a cold shower to someone.
No, John, I think your memory's fine. Swimming costumes became compulsory between 1955 and 1956, when John Lewis was made the sole supplier of games clothing, and swimming costumes were on the list for the first time.
When I arrived in 1955, there was still some swimming in the Michaelmas Term for a while, and some people swam naked. Most seemed none too keen. By the following summer, swimming costumes were de rigueur, and this seemed to be welcomed by everyone.
Funny really, because people were quite used to public nakedness in changing rooms and for baths upstairs. But for swimming.. no. For me now it's the other way round. I frequent naturist beaches without a problem (I live in Germany, after all), but the thought of going to a public sauna (where in Germany clothing is frowned on, even though they're mixed) I find somewhat off-putting.

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Re: Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:45 pm

What is all this about "Brown Bathers "? In my day (The War Years) Nudity was normal, Red Bathers optional, and those of us (Smug Look !) who were in the 16 - School Swimming Team, wore Blue Bathers , edged in white. Once you were "Entitled" you never went nude again !
Water Polo was interesting, in a pool that one could score from one end to the other. I remember that a visiting team (It might have been Dulwich) complained that they were put off by the rows of waving yellow stockings form the Balcony, after which this was increased, greatly, in support of CH

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Re: Mass nudity

Post by sejintenej » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:54 pm

michael scuffil wrote:Sorry if it's boring to revive an old thread.

No, John, I think your memory's fine. Swimming costumes became compulsory between 1955 and 1956, when John Lewis was made the sole supplier of games clothing, and swimming costumes were on the list for the first time.
When I arrived in 1955, there was still some swimming in the Michaelmas Term for a while, and some people swam naked. Most seemed none too keen. By the following summer, swimming costumes were de rigueur, and this seemed to be welcomed by everyone.
Funny really, because people were quite used to public nakedness in changing rooms and for baths upstairs. But for swimming.. no. For me now it's the other way round. I frequent naturist beaches without a problem (I live in Germany, after all), but the thought of going to a public sauna (where in Germany clothing is frowned on, even though they're mixed) I find somewhat off-putting.
I don't recall swimming costumes becoming compulsory - it was a case of getting them (supplied) when you couild swim a specified distance - and I left in 1961

As for Germany, although I had heard rumours my experience was that you wore a towel around your loins in public saunas ( and women did the same) but that was Frankfurt. At CH one learned the truth that "when you've seen one you've seen 'em all" - my swimming pool here is topless (at least for me!) and bottomless is optional :wink: :wink:
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Re: Mass nudity

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:04 am

sejintenej wrote:
I don't recall swimming costumes becoming compulsory - it was a case of getting them (supplied) when you couild swim a specified distance - and I left in 1961

As for Germany, although I had heard rumours my experience was that you wore a towel around your loins in public saunas ( and women did the same) but that was Frankfurt. At CH one learned the truth that "when you've seen one you've seen 'em all" - my swimming pool here is topless (at least for me!) and bottomless is optional :wink: :wink:
My experience both from CH and more recently of clothing-optional beaches is that the bits that people normally keep hidden vary just as much as their faces.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Post by Ajarn Philip » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:35 am

I wish more tourists here would keep more bits hidden.
Especially in the supermarket.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

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Re: Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Post by CHAZ » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:58 pm

I remember people wearing swimming trunks in the showers after games when in LHA but when i moved on to PeB, it was
show em what you've got...or haven't!
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Re: Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Post by Mid A 15 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:24 pm

No nudity in the swimming baths that I recall but we let it all hang out in the showers.
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Re: Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:26 pm

CHAZ wrote:I remember people wearing swimming trunks in the showers after games
Now that is seriously weird! What did they wear in the bath upstairs -- pyjamas?

I remember confessing to my mother before I started at CH that I was a little worried about the possible lack of privacy in this regard, and she said not to worry, they probably had showers in cubicles. Of course in those days they had no working showers and fewer cubicles. And after the first five minutes in the communal trough you wondered what the fuss was about.
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Re: Mass nudity in the swimming baths

Post by CHAZ » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:29 pm

well we wore the swimming trunks as undergarments to our playing shorts. In the Junior House some people were too ashamed to take them off in the showers. And yet in the baths upstairs people were more free..no logic at all...

Of course in away rugby matches later on I remember the communal bath at Dulwich College. now that was fun!
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Re: Mass nudity

Post by CHAZ » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:00 am

michael scuffil wrote:For me now it's the other way round. I frequent naturist beaches without a problem (I live in Germany, after all), but the thought of going to a public sauna (where in Germany clothing is frowned on, even though they're mixed) I find somewhat off-putting.

I was in a hotel in Paderbon in 1997 and decided to frequent the sauna. I was quite alone in my swimmers when to my enormous surprise two ladies joned me rather scantily clad. This was totally unepxected but the real surprise came afetr when I stepped out and discoverd that the showers post sauna were also communal although individual but no door..!
The Germans appear rather liberated on some things, nicht Michael?
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Re: Mass nudity

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:20 pm

CHAZ wrote:
I was in a hotel in Paderbon in 1997 and decided to frequent the sauna. I was quite alone in my swimmers
Many places wouldn't have allowed you in in that overdressed state.

The Germans have no hang-ups whatever about nudity, and it's not (in itself) for example a criterion for film censorship. Any resort worth its salt will have its FKK beach, and would lose custom if it didn't.
Near where I live there are two artificial lakes (former gravel pits) where unofficial clothing-optional sections have established themselves. On summer weekends they are crowded. (But then so is Wreck Beach in Vancouver, where you might not expect it. But that place has a quite different atmosphere -- no families, and quite a few people high on heaven knows what.)
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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