Beating retreat, end of term.

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Fjgrogan
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Fjgrogan » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:03 am

I am curious now to know which sections of the band were 'traditionally' assigned to those houses which are now girls' houses? Or perhaps you think the girls should be restricted to their traditional role of doing all the sewing for the boys?
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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Fjgrogan
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Fjgrogan » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:07 am

Hypothetical question - what if an Old Girl were to donate a mace to the school specifically for the use of a female drum major? Would such an offer be rejected? And Heaven help any misguided person who tries to use the term 'drum majorette'!!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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DavidRawlins
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by DavidRawlins » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:31 am

It is a fairly recent tradition that drum majors come from Mid A. When the whole school went to St Paul's for the Quatercentenary celebrations, the Drum major was in Col A - P J Beare. When was the take over by Mid A engineered?
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by HowardH » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:39 am

David's response and Frances's responses highlight all that is wrong with "tradition".
Both make salient points which need to be recognised. They defeat utterly Mid A 55's 1.08am offering.

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by jhopgood » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:23 am

During my time at CH (59 - 66) the following applied

Bass Drum and Cymbals - Barnes B. Apprenticeship was served on the cymbals before graduating (if you grew sufficiently) to the Bass Drum.

Tenor Drums - Lamb B, not sure why.

Drum Majors - Mid A, mainly because Arthur Rider provided some of the maces, and obviously felt that, as the owner of the ball, he should decide who played. There was only ever a maximum of three on parade at any one time, and then only for the Lord Mayor, Beating Retreat etc. Even St Matthew's Day was only one.

Two of those traditions have already disappeared, with no ill effect, so why not the remaining one?

Whilst I am sure that the Drum Majors feel they are the stars of the show, without the band, they have little to do.

I have a subsidiary query which is how Old Blues relate to their House or Ward?

Barnes changed from a house for pupils from 11 - 18, to a junior house then to a girls house. I can relate to what it was but not what it is.
Middleton went via a senior house back to what it is now. (My brother went Barnes B then Mid A, and although I haven't really discussed it with him, probably feels more related to his contemporaries from Barnes B and to Middleton A).
I am concerned that Old Blues give to their House rather than the school, although it is easier to give for a specific purpose rather than a general pot. It is probably easier to get money out of a Mid A Old Blue for a house that he still recognises, than for a Barnes Old Blue giving to a girls House. Wrong, I know, but probably true.
As Old Blue Editor, we still include years and house when reporting, but I increasingly wonder about the relevance of the house, even though the bricks and mortar still exist.
I believe Hertford Old Blues still relate to their wards, but I get the impression that they are more interested in retaining friendships, irrespective of ward.
Curiously the only registered Old Blue Associations are:
Hertford - Wards 3, 4 and 6
Horsham - Col B and Wards 1 - 4, Th B and Ward 9, and Peele B. Not sure how many they get from Wards 1 -4 and 9, and Peele B is mainly friends from the same generation.
Thoughts on a postage stamp please?
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Mid A 15 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:34 am

HowardH wrote:Such passion, Andy, over something so pointless ill becomes you.
Traditionally Coleridge was a boys block until 1985.
Traditionally young students/pupils had to wipe tables.
Traditionally Grecians used to be the only pupils allowed to walk on the Grecians path until 2001.
Times change, things change.

Why should a child be debarred from taking part in an activity because (s)he is placed in such and such a house aged 11, or they happen to be of the "wrong sex" ?

I am sure that there are bigger fish to fry than this one.

Howard,

It wasn't me higher up the thread in case you thought it was!

My view, for what it is worth, is that tradition is good and valuable when the parameters that gave rise to that tradition remain unchanged.

In this instance the Mid A tradition of supplying drum majors came into being when the School was all boy. It is now co- educational and it does seem wrong to me that if a girl is both keen and capable of reaching the requisite proficiency, she should be prevented from becoming a drum major.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

Fjgrogan
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Fjgrogan » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:46 am

Bass drummers from Barnes B - now that could be interesting, and possibly anatomically uncomfortable these days!!
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Antinous1
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Antinous1 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:30 pm

As the parent of a child who finds any kind of change hard to handle and who has found the level of change at the school in the last few years and the threat to traditions that they love quite difficult to accept, I can sympathise rather with Mid A 55 and their defence of something which will seem a meaningless bit of bureaucracy to many and an important part of 'how things are' to a minority. Personally I'd say that given the major changes taking place at the school lately it might well have been a good idea to let the dust settle a bit before meddling with aspects of life there which, while not especially important to the school's survival, are none the less likely to rouse strong feelings…..

….on the other hand, since the meddling is clearly already underway, then Mid A 55 would do well to recognise that this is surely an un-winnable battle. This tradition quite clearly does discriminate against girls for no other reason than that they are girls (something which is quite simply indefensible these days) and now that the school is so dependent on full-fee payers for its survival can Mid A 55, or anyone else, really imagine that the Head is willing to risk having to tell someone who is paying £30k a year for their daughter to attend the school that she can't be a drum major because not only is she in the wrong house but she could never even have been in the right house to start off with??? The school does rely heavily on the band to promote a certain image of itself and its specialness when selling places to full-fee parents, and the parents being sold to have to believe in the possibility that one day their child too could be there doing amazing things with a mace …. after all John Lewis doesn't put ads with pictures of fancy coffee machines in magazines complete with a strap-line saying "We sell these these glorious objects, but only to people whose names begin with J."

I too have moments when I fear that CH is in danger of becoming "a school like any other", but I try to remind myself at regular intervals that even so that means a school like any other independent school …. and that is still worlds away from the very inadequate local offerings that would ordinarily have been my child's only educational option. That opportunity is the tradition that our energies and passion should be put to safeguarding.

Antinous

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Mr Drum Major » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:05 pm

I
Last edited by Mr Drum Major on Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Antinous1 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:33 pm

Mr Drum Major

I think you are more than likely right, although were I a CH girl reading your statement I would be sorely tempted to do my damnedest to try to prove you wrong, but I wasn't putting forward my own opinion of why girls could or couldn't be drum majors. I was just explaining why I think this is a battle that can't be won: the appearance that the tradition discriminates against girls is the only argument that anyone who wants to do away with it needs.

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Mid A 55 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:11 pm

It would seem that I am coming across as defending this because of the sake of tradition (either that or people are replying to my posts without actually reading them, I know they are sometimes late at night, but given the nature of my work I do not have much free time during the weekdays); this is not the case. My defence is purely on a logical principle, that there are not enough maces/sashes/gloves to equip the current drum majors, let alone anyone else who wishes to join. I'm afraid that the drum majors ARE NOT funded by the school, but rather rely on donations from old blues and the like. Whilst I do agree with 'jhopgood' that it is unfortunate that old blues tend to give back to their own houses, it is sadly the case amongst many of them, but at the end of day we should be thankful they are giving something back to the school. Further to Frances's hypothetical question, I'm afraid that such donations do not occur very often from Mid A old blues, let alone old blues who have no link with the house, and I fail to see where a sufficient number of such donations were to come from for that to happen. If that did happen, then I'm sure most people (including me) would welcome the headmaster's proposals with open arms. For obvious reasons, I do not feel this will ever happen.

Fjgrogan
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by Fjgrogan » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:04 pm

Seriously, I am not actually trying to be a rampant feminist - it is of course not only girls who are currently excluded from the opportunity to be drum majors, but also boys who do not happen to be in the 'right' house. The honour of serving in such a prestigious band should be equally open to all members of the school who have the talent to do so. I showed my husband the comments about girls being physically lacking in the strength and stamina to do the job, and his instant reaction was 'Bull***t'. He was a drum major when I first met him nearly fifty years ago - in fact he was at one time judged to be the best drum major in London Area youth band competitions, until he was beaten by a girl!! He admitted that long marches were hard on the arms, but that it had nothing to do with gender! He was a fairly hefty lad in his youth - sadly I now weigh more than he does, and it is not muscle! Anyway I assume he knows what he is talking about, on this subject at least! It also requires a certain type of personality - I am not sure whether he acquired his confidence from leading the band, or if he was just naturally a 'show-off', but it is certainly not for the shy or timid! Both of our daughters were at CH at the time of the merger, and one of them had the avowed ambition to be the first female drum major in the school band. Of course she never made it, but fortunately she was not aware that she would have been excluded anyway, for being in the wrong house. Both girls were in Barnes (I forget who was which end) and as they progressed up the school neither one of them would ultimately have been a suitable shape to carry a bass drum - nothing to do with strength or stamina!!

Whatever next - organists only from Peele? Rugby teams only from Coleridge - yes girls do play rugby, although not as CH I think!!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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DavidRawlins
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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by DavidRawlins » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:09 pm

[quote="jhopgood"]During my time at CH (59 - 66) the following app

Drum Majors - Mid A, mainly because Arthur Rider provided some of the maces, and obviously felt that, as the owner of the ball, he should decide who played. There was only ever a maximum of three on parade at any one time, and then only for the Lord Mayor, Beating Retreat etc. Even St Matthew's Day was only one.

One should look at the Arthur Rider song again.
If he donated some maces to CH perhaps some drum majors should have come from Mid A. A lot have already.
Col A 1946-1953

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:40 pm

Five drum majors had new sashes awarded on the day of the Court Meeting last week. The Awards were given by members of livery companies and Bob Sillett - I was not clear on the rationale for any of that, but it was a serious and moving occasion. Especially when I realised that many (if not all) of the drum majors would enjoy their new sashes for all of three days, before leaving school las Saturday.
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

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Re: Beating retreat, end of term.

Post by kerrensimmonds » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:51 pm

Having now read through (most of) this thread, I remain rather bemused at the sexist inferences.
Our second Hertford corporate presentee (daughter of a Hertford Old Girl) achieved the grand position of Band Captain for 2010-11 - having been a saxophonist in the Band almost from the outset. So what's with the gender bias now, folks....????
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

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