St Matthew's Day 1960?

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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by Jo » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:39 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
Jo wrote: But I think the effect it had on us (although I couldn't have articulated it as such at the time) was to remove every last vestige of personal identity (and dignity, come to that). So it was never just about clothes, it was about who we were, and how the uniform made us feel at a more profound level than just the superficial attractiveness or comfort of the garments.
The present uniform can hardly encourage personal identity, but it probably does encourage dignity (as in my opinion the boys' uniform always did, the Grecians' coat par excellence). That may be why no one seems to complain. The old uniforms made you feel "characterless", and, as has been pointed out, constantly changing a uniform almost defeats one of its purposes.
I appreciate what you're saying, but my understanding (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) is that these days pupils are allowed to wear their own underwear (and possibly nightwear). That might seem like a small concession but it's hugely important. We suffered what I believe is the unique combination of naff outerwear and naff, non-personal underwear. That's what I was trying to say.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by midget » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:08 pm

Naff is a polite word for it!
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:15 am

Jo raises an interesting point. When I was in Libya two years ago, I noted that the womenswear shops had a great deal of quite sexy stuff (underwear and outerwear) in their windows. You don't of course see it being worn in the street. While Libyan women and girls don't normally wear veils, and don't always wear headscarves, they do cover their arms and legs and certainly their midriffs. When we asked our minder about this, he said these clothes were worn "underneath" or "at home". I wonder, does the modern CH girl use her housey coat as a sort of burqa to cover all manner of things "underneath"?
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by Katharine » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:21 am

Michael's last post reminds me of my first Christmas in Islamabad (1974). We organised a party for all the wives and children of the Pakistani staff of the British Embassy and British Council. The invitations made it quite clear that the only adults present would be female. Even at that time, many of these ladies covered up while out. However they relaxed enough to reveal the clear vibrant jewel colours of their clothes underneath.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by Angela Woodford » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:43 am

A few years ago, I had to assist at a central London outpatients clinic. On the floor above, was a Very Expensive Private Surgeon. The front door opened and shut constantly as a nonstop supply of Arab ladies, clad all in black and heavily veiled, arrived for their consultations.

In our little coffee area under the stairs, the VEPS's nurse and I sipped at a hasty cup of Gold Blend during a quiet moment. I commented on the possible difficulty of removing the layers of black for on-the-couch-examinations. "You should see what's under the black layers!" she said. "Gucci, Pucci, Dior, Chanel - magnificent jewels and beautiful lingerie."

Rather nice to think that the modern CH girl doesn't have to smuggle in her own underwear!

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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by midget » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:53 pm

It wouldn't just have been smuggling it in, it would have been a problem keeping it from the ever-prying eyes of Miss Norris.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:38 am

See my new thread under Reminiscences.

Back to the photo: there is, in Plumley's "Christ's Hospital in Photographs II" a (much better) picture which may even have been of the same girls on the same occasion, or very close (I recognize the boy on the extreme left of that photo). This section of the book represents a potted history of the Hertford uniform (unfortunately b/w throughout).
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by midget » Sun May 10, 2009 8:25 pm

Just re-reading this thread, I seem to remember a newspaper photo from about the mid to late 50s, when the girls in the St Matt,s march appeared to be wearing scruffy baggy matching top and skirt, which looked like a cheapish poplin. And also NO hats and longish loose untidy hair. Was DR having an off day?
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by englishangel » Mon May 11, 2009 11:44 pm

It's not this one is it? I ask because surely in the mid 50's the girls would have been wearing coatfrocks.

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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by Jo » Tue May 12, 2009 7:32 am

That's an interesting photo, which I haven't seen before. I'd have said it was early 70s, possibly 1971, because I can recognise Alex, Bun, Mary, Valerie Williams, Lois Shepheard-Walwyn, and a number of other faces that I can't put names to off the top of my head. The uniform doesn't look very smart, does it? Especially when you consider that the blouses were tartan, the tunics royal blue, and the blazers cherry red. :shock: At least the marching appears to be in step.

Having said all that, I remember St Matthew's Day marching in my UVI year, and being distracted talking to Old Blues who had come to watch. It probably looked very slovenly.

DR talked about her uniform choices in "Half to remember", and explained she wanted something that didn't look like a school uniform for Sundays. That does make a bit more sense of her bizarre selections, but personally in that case I think she should have gone for a separate "dress uniform" that we could have worn on special occasions. Especially as we were allowed to wear our own clothes at weekends by that time. The trouble with the grey button-through pinafores and their successors the blue sacks was they didn't look like we belonged to anywhere in particular, least of all CH. I think the old navy frock coats looked very smart.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by englishangel » Tue May 12, 2009 8:38 am

I think I was looking at my cousin who was taking my photo. The three young people in the background are OBs, well the women are anyway.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by Jo » Tue May 12, 2009 9:11 am

I thought they probably were - I know OBs often came to watch. I remember Fran Holmes shouting at me when I was marching. Who are the OBs in this photo, do you know?
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by englishangel » Tue May 12, 2009 11:01 am

I don't have a clue, euterpe would be the best one for that but I haven't seen her here in a while. I will email her.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by midget » Tue May 12, 2009 8:56 pm

Not that photo Mary-the tops seemed to have no fastenings (possibly a zip at the back) and the whole appearance was MUCH scruffier.
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Re: St Matthew's Day 1960?

Post by englishangel » Wed May 13, 2009 8:05 am

Worse than this?
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