Pocket money, Nausea and more

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Alex
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Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by Alex »

Last night I suffered from nausea and the resulting few hours’ insomnia jogged memories of a house rule in Lamb A, around 1950, stating that if a boy vomited in the house and another cleaned up the mess, then the cleaner would be paid 1/- (that's 5p the normal weekly pocket money for a junior, or it may have been 2/6 [25p], but that seems a bit high). This rule was presumably introduced by “Johnny” (Mr AL Johnstone, then the senior housemaster).

Did other houses have this rule? Was the sum paid from house funds, or by the vomiter? Were there other local house rules of any interest?

For those who like closure, I add that last night I did not vomit, although I came very close to it.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by brian walling »

I was in Maine A shortly after your date (1953-60), but I don't recall any local rules similar to what you describe. Of course at that time Ma A had much more easy-going housemasters (Senior HM Tod/Barker, Junior HM Jesson-Dibley/Whitfeld) than La A under ALJ.

Pocket money: I couldn't remember the amounts, so I looked at the joining instructions sent to my parents in July 1953, which I still have, and I found the answer - at least the answer for 1953. It was minimum 30/- (£1.50) per term, which works out at about 2/6 (12.5p) per week. I remember that the frugal among us used to spend much less than that and so went home at the end of term with a tidy amount of savings in pocket.

Among all the various instruction sheets that I have now just re-read for the first time in 67 years, there is an interesting list of "OTHER NECESSARIES" that we were asked to bring (in addition to the various items of sports clothing, Cash's name tapes, etc). Some of these items were barely familiar to me at that time. I still don't know what a playbox is or was (see item 11.)

"
OTHER NECESSARIES

1. Holy Bible
2. Book of Common Prayer
3. Hairbrush and Comb
4. Twelve Handkerchiefs (large)
5. Tooth Brush and Paste.
6. Clothes Brush
7. Nailbrush, nail scissors
8. Sponge bag and flannel
9. 1 pair stout House Slippers.
(not bedroom slippers)
10. A handcase for pyjamas,
washing materials and
slippers on the first
night of term. One
pair of pyjamas must be
brought for the first week
of term - these will be
returned.
11. A trunk (not a suitcase),
large enough to accommodate
the boy's clothes, etc., for
the vacation. Playboxes are
not allowed, each boy being
provided with a locker.

Dressing-Gowns are not necessary.
"
Ma A 53-60
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by J.R. »

I well remember 'The Trunk' purchased from John Lewis in London along with all the other requirements. Very sturdy and shipped each way separately by rail. It was stored term time in the trunk room in the Tube.

I think pocket money was 30 bob a term and was managed by R A Hewitt, dep h/m of Coleridge B.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by ColA25 »

I remember in the 1970s being able to buy a hot dog and a Mars Bar in the tuck shop for about 10p...

And the trunks were stored in the Tube.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by Ajarn Philip »

Oh gawd, the pre-first term John Lewis shopping trip. It must have almost bankrupted my parents, though I didn't realise it at the time.

I can picture my blue trunk now with no effort at all. I can even see the lining. But for the life of me, I have no idea what happened to it after I left! Shame, it would have come in handy in recent years.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by sejintenej »

I also remember the 30/- which was a killer. In my latter years at CH I was entrusted with money - £25 for the entire year. Of that £20 odd went on train fares home and back to school, it also covered all my shoes and clothes, Christmas and other presents, £4 10/- compulsory pocket money and I seem to remember there was a house payment taken from that. I got called in to see the house master who demanded that I draw pocket money to pay for sweets - a luxury I had never enjoyed and hated on that one sickening occasion..

As for the trunk it was a hand-me-down - very thick leather, too heavy empty to move and covered with shipping and hotel labels.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by AStaverton »

I confirm that my CH pocket money was a weekly shilling around the half century. Is it a coincidence that the Lord Mayor’s St Matthew's Day largesse (as Flecker put it) was a newly minted shilling? Has inflation increased this sum in the last 70 years? Monitors and Grecians then received half a crown and a guinea, I believe.

The shilling was not a large sum, but some parents could not afford it. Some 13 years ago Paul N mentioned on the Forum that unbeknown to him his housemaster, Mr Waller, paid for his pocket money. While at school I heard of other masters also doing this, but never had concrete knowledge of such a practice. Yet I’m quite sure it occurred. There were many from impoverished backgrounds at CH then.

Another expense arose for monitors. It was payment to a swab. That too was about 30 shillings a term. I had one friend from a very poor family who told me frankly that his parents could not afford this additional thirty bob. He would have had to forgo having a swab, he added, if it were not for a much older working sister who provided the funds. I had never heard of a monitor who had no swab for that reason. Did it ever happen?
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by eucsgmrc »

sejintenej wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:16 pm As for the trunk it was a hand-me-down - very thick leather, too heavy empty to move and covered with shipping and hotel labels.
Lots of us had hand-me-down or second-hand trunks in Sejintenej's and my era. There were plenty of them in junk shops (which don't really exist nowadays). My father found a very solid one for me, and the whole family used it for holidays. It survives to this day, adopted by one of my nieces. It was covered in brown canvas printed with repeated LV marks. Evidence that, once upon a time, Louis Vuiton was an actual manufacturer of quality luggage, rather than a brand name used to inflate the price of life-style accessories. In the 1950s, nobody in Battersea would have even heard of LV, let alone cared about life style, so the junk shop price of this trunk was probably just a few shillings.
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Post by LongGone »

Memories of trunks and even suitcases being lugged around, with the resultant arm, back and shoulder pain, make me wonder why wheeled luggage didn’t exist back then. Certainly the technology was available. All I can think is that most people who traveled a lot tended to have money and always paid others to carry their luggage.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by eucsgmrc »

LongGone wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:56 am Memories of trunks and even suitcases being lugged around, with the resultant arm, back and shoulder pain, make me wonder why wheeled luggage didn’t exist back then.
That Louis Vuiton trunk did have casters - four of them, on the bottom, and they weren't steerable. It was a struggle to push the thing any more than a few feet, and the rollers got very hot. Not practical at all.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by brian walling »

AStaverton wrote: Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:14 am
Another expense arose for monitors. It was payment to a swab. That too was about 30 shillings a term. I had one friend from a very poor family who told me frankly that his parents could not afford this additional thirty bob. He would have had to forgo having a swab, he added, if it were not for a much older working sister who provided the funds. I had never heard of a monitor who had no swab for that reason. Did it ever happen?
I don't recall swab duties ever being paid -- and certainly not at a rate that high, that would certainly have been unaffordable. In my day it was simply an expectation that new first year boys in the upper school would be assigned swab duties for one or other house monitor. The only payback that I recall was that once a term (or once a year, maybe) the house monitors would club together and pay for a "tuckshop tea" for all their swabs. Maybe monetary payment is something that died out before I joined (1953) or maybe different houses ran different arrangements.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by jhopgood »

Definitely payment in my day but I don’t recall how much. 15 florins seems a lot, all in one go, but I used to get one florin as a choir boy at weddings before I went to CH, so maybe it wasn’t that much.
I was a swab for my second two terms to Launchfield, the Trades Monitor, and the all of my second year to Robbins, who had the second study.
Compared to my duties at home it was no big deal, got me off trades and I got paid.
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by sejintenej »

brian walling wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:39 am I don't recall swab duties ever being paid -- and certainly not at a rate that high, that would certainly have been unaffordable. In my day it was simply an expectation that new first year boys in the upper school would be assigned swab duties for one or other house monitor. . Maybe monetary payment is something that died out before I joined (1953) or maybe different houses ran different arrangements.
Col A; first years did house cleaning dutiess. 2nd year were the swabs I suppose that by then they knew their way around. Some monitors still paid their swabs but I don't think there was any set amount. 3rd year had Dining Hall duties - setting/clearing table.
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Post by William »

Swabbing customs, duties, etc. must have varied between houses. I swabbed in my LE year. For some years they were paid, but I can’t remember how much. This changed by the time it was my turn. My swabmaster, jointly with all the other five for we had six monitors, paid us with a tea at The Old Barn - pleasant tearooms in Southwater. I remember the tea very clearly for it was the first time in my life that I experienced a checkerboard cake, with square cross section, containing four square coloured types of cake, all surrounded by marzipan. The Tuckshop’s tea then was certainly inferior to The Old Barn’s offerings. (I have just discovered it is now called Ye Olde Barn and is on sale as a 4 bedroom family house.)
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Re: Pocket money, Nausea and more

Post by J.R. »

jhopgood wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:35 am Definitely payment in my day but I don’t recall how much. 15 florins seems a lot, all in one go, but I used to get one florin as a choir boy at weddings before I went to CH, so maybe it wasn’t that much.
I was a swab for my second two terms to Launchfield, the Trades Monitor, and the all of my second year to Robbins, who had the second study.
Compared to my duties at home it was no big deal, got me off trades and I got paid.
I was swab to an American one year student named Flynn in Col B. 30 bob sounds right. He later became a US Judge.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.
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