The School Rules

Share your memories and stories from the Hertford Christ's Hospital School, which closed in 1985, when the two schools integrated to the Horsham site....

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Angela Woodford
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The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:20 am

I was pondering away about Discipline and the Rules at Hertford. The Rules were several pages of typewritten A4 in Miss Gamble's immaculate style - so different from modern open punctuation.

Was there a copy of the School Rules pinned up on the notice board in each House? I think I have a memory of this, and of rule no 1.

1. Hands must not be kept in pockets.

Rather as if our hands were not attached to the rest of us and could be stashed away in pockets for long periods. :D

I remember "Hair ribbons may be black or blue" and the rule that we must not catch the 31something Greenline bus from outside the School Gates, but these are the only rules I remember! That is, apart from no talking in the corridors, but then there was a Mon at the foot of the stairs in the School Block and Science Block - first thing after Chapel - to remind you anyway...

Does anyone remember any more of them?
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Jo » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:43 am

I don't remember them verbatim, and I don't remember what what actually in the rules, what was in the info for parents, and what was just unwritten but expected. But some of the types of rules are forever engraved on my brain. :x

There were several rules about who could and couldn't go into town, how often, and whether alone or accompanied by a peer or senior. There was another rule about money (up to a certain age) being kept by the housemistress. All jams and sweets to be locked in the tuck cupboard and only available Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Six sweets or a small bar of chocolate each time - inspected by a senior :D

Hair had to clear the collar or be tied back in one or two bunches. Only the sixth form were allowed to put their hair up. Bedtimes must have been in the rules too - 7.30 in the first year, rising to 9.30 in the UVI.

There must have been rules about where was out of bounds (behind the kitchens, behind staff houses, behind the music school???). The shrubbery was certainly out of bounds, as Lindsay Morton and I were caught there once by the impossibly glamorous Jane Hayward, eldest of the four multi-talented Hayward sisters, who set us writing out the school rules as a punishment.

I know times change, and rightly so, but it's no wonder some of us are rather wryly amused at the uproar about John Franklin's style at Horsham. Some of the things he is tackling were so much taken for granted as forbidden behaviour, they weren't even in the rules :o
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Katharine » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:48 am

I don't remember the existence of school rules in written form at all. They were engraved on the heart or something similar! Perhaps we learnt them by osmosis?

From discussions here, some things were house rules rather than school rules.

Looking back, some were very petty and I wonder why I never kicked against the rules. I was very accepting of the status quo - now I am very different in that respect!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: The School Rules

Post by J.R. » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:57 am

On a 'Horsham' note - I don't ever remember school rules written in 'Tablets of Stone'. I think we just picked them up as we went along. One learnt by ones mistakes and suffered the ensuing punishment gladly (?)

I bet some ex-Hertford pupil would be able to find a copy of your original hand-written rules.

Is there nothing in your museum ?
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:54 am

Well remembered Jo!

I've remembered the hair rules the best, I think. "Short hair must clear the collar" "Long hair must be tied back". Yes, the V1 Form were allowed to put their hair up (there was a splendidly majestic girl called Caroline Scott with an intricately woven heavy coronet of hair!) and I think a rule something like - members of the V1 Form may have permed hair :?:

Very sensibly, "All fountain pens and watches must be engraved with the owner's name". I've never forgotten the bliss of my first lovely fountain pen.

Out of Bounds - I only remember the behind-the-chapel area, really. Here it was that more daring souls went to talk to boys through the railings!

I didn't see a copy of the Rules in the Museum, JR. I'm sure there was a copy on the House Notice Board... perhaps too battered to keep for posterity? There were definitely several pages of them.

(I began thinking about the Rules when making a huge fruitcake, and suddenly the Junior House memory of being allowed birthday parties in the tuck room with five guests, own birthday cake... it came back to me! That's how we had secreted a plastic bag full of leftover lemon jelly for the midnight feast under a mattresss to which we nearly set fire with a candle.)

(I now have the challenge of sculpting this huge fruitcake into an FV Field Artillery Self-Propelled Abbott gun for my f i l's 80th birthday!)

How come Jane Hayward gave Jo a Rule Writing punishment for being in the shrubbery? We were always in the shrubbery during summer All-Out, hunting for lost balls. (Cue Nellie...)
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The School Rules

Post by midget » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:51 pm

Katharine wrote:I don't remember the existence of school rules in written form at all. They were engraved on the heart or something similar! Perhaps we learnt them by osmosis?

From discussions here, some things were house rules rather than school rules.

Looking back, some were very petty and I wonder why I never kicked against the rules. I was very accepting of the status quo - now I am very different in that respect!
Thank goodness for your post, Katharine. I was beginning to think that senile memory loss had started all those years ago at Hertford! I think the osmosis idea is correct, as I certainly never saw anything written down.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by MKM » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:35 pm

We did have written rules by the time I was at Hertford. The copy in 6's had witty additions.

Rule 9. Seniors must not go shopping for juniors. Very few shops sell them anyway.

There weren't very many rules, but Rule 1 was something like "Girls must behave in a sensible and ladylike manner at all times", which pretty much covered anything that hadn't been expressly forbidden, like smoking.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Katharine » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:51 pm

MKM wrote:We did have written rules by the time I was at Hertford. The copy in 6's had witty additions.

Rule 9. Seniors must not go shopping for juniors. Very few shops sell them anyway.

There weren't very many rules, but Rule 1 was something like "Girls must behave in a sensible and ladylike manner at all times", which pretty much covered anything that hadn't been expressly forbidden, like smoking.
But Mons were expected to go shopping for juniors if something had been requested in the book that hung on the peg outside the Hag's study.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Jo » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:17 pm

MKM wrote:We did have written rules by the time I was at Hertford. The copy in 6's had witty additions.

Rule 9. Seniors must not go shopping for juniors. Very few shops sell them anyway.

There weren't very many rules, but Rule 1 was something like "Girls must behave in a sensible and ladylike manner at all times", which pretty much covered anything that hadn't been expressly forbidden, like smoking.
Having had to copy them out, I can tell you that there were six typed pages :D

BTW Munch, I think we were allowed into the shrubbery to retrieve balls and things - rather like going into DR's garden - but I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to just be in there otherwise, hence the punishment. I guess we would be out of sight and could be getting up to all sorts in there :D
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Re: The School Rules

Post by MKM » Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:05 am

Jo wrote:Having had to copy them out, I can tell you that there were six typed pages :D
I stand corrected. Most of my posts should be hedged about with caveats that my memories could be wrong. But I'm trying to cultivate a more direct style.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Jo » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:33 pm

It's possible they were gradually extending over the years :D

I'd forgotten about the "witty" additions though....now you've reminded me, I remember the copy in 5's had been annotated thus:

All tuck and jams must be kept locked in the tuck cupboard, except for the Study. It wouldn't fit.

Oh, how we laughed :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The School Rules

Post by MKM » Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:48 pm

Similar wit was displayed when we copied out the weekly menu. I can only remember "Stake Pie". More examples, anyone?
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Eighhttwelve » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:28 pm

I know there were several pages of them because Miss Morrison made me learn them all as a punishment once (either for singing 'he jumped from 40,000 feet without a parachute' to a well known hymn tune in chapel or for watching 'Top of the Pops' when I should have been doing prep - I can't remember which). Sadly they did not last long in my memory except for 1. Girls must act in a seemly manner at all times (have I ever been 'seemly'? I do hope not) and 2. Girls must not be seen eating in the street (hah, so it's OK if you're not seen then....?)

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Re: The School Rules

Post by midget » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:36 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:
(I began thinking about the Rules when making a huge fruitcake, and suddenly the Junior House memory of being allowed birthday parties in the tuck room with five guests, own birthday cake... it came back to me! That's how we had secreted a plastic bag full of leftover lemon jelly for the midnight feast under a mattresss to which we nearly set fire with a candle.)

(I now have the challenge of sculpting this huge fruitcake into an FV Field Artillery Self-Propelled Abbott gun for my f i l's 80th birthday!)

)
How's the sculpting? Do we get to see a photo?
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:28 pm

Just had the idea of icing a brandysnap as the gun barrel thingy, Maggie!

The Ruler of All the Universe says the icing should be camouflage green. I refuse to ice my lovely cake a hideous unappetising colour. It will remain white. I shall say it's designed for Arctic warfare. I'll take a picture, if you like?

I'd forgotten "girls should behave in a seemly manner"! Love it.

It seems a bit strange that our parents never had a copy of the School Rules. My mother kept every letter from the School, and there's no copy of the Rules. Amazing - the current tightening up of rules about smoking, drinking, being tested for drugs.... oh, how seemly we were!
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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