Burnley Grammar School

Childhood - Schools


Year: 1959         Item #: 1607         Views: 714,403         Comments: 2,609

Burnley Grammar School

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There's pleny of room in the modern-styled gymnasium for muscle developing, where the boys are supervised by Mr. R. Parry, the physical education instruction.
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, December 1959

2609 user comment(s) below:-

Comments by Danny on 25th February 2020  

One can't take Mr.Dando seriously.

Boys must be made to wear tops for swimming, tracksuits for indoor PE and other nonsense which I find extreme and hilarious.
Why should Muslims dictate our customs in our own countries?

I wouldn't be surprised though if silly leftists give in to them to accomodate them.
I read that in some German and Scandinavian towns public pools have imposed separate days for men and for women to swim separately so that they do not not mix because of Muslim pressure.

Comments by William on 24th February 2020  

Mr Dando, In your comment on 20th February you refer to modesty and the feelings of muslims. Is your campaign against school showers and boys swimming topless principally motivated by cultural/religious considerations?

Comments by Mr Dando on 23rd February 2020  

Fiona we have a new headmaster and PE teacher who are introducing a gender nuetral PE kit for September 2020, and the parent Governor's have assured me that no child will be forced to do PE in just their underwear again. A spare kit policy has been introduced which means the school can make this attire available if a child does not have the appropriate.

I have turned my concern to the plight of secondary school pupils and the desire to end compulsory showers which affected me when I was a teenager. One such offending school is https://www.greenparkschool.co.uk/school-uniform.

PE Kit
Pupils also need a PE kit which consists of

Plain red T-shirt

Black shorts

PE pumps/trainers

For swimming sessions pupils require


A towel

For reasons of hygiene and health and safety, families of those pupils with incontinence needs can order from school ‘freestyle’ swimming pants for use under costumes or order these directly online from Kiddicare.

For both PE and swimming programmes pupils need to provide a toiletry bag containing soap/shower gel and shampoo for use in showering programmes that follow physical activities (when appropriate).

Parent Governors, PE Teachers and the headmaster will be petitioned until this practice is stopped and like Corporal punishment, eventually abolished throughout the UK.

Comments by Fiona on 22nd February 2020  

Mr Dando

A while back, you told us of your daughter's experience after a rather wet PE class outside:

"... the teacher decided it was raining too hard to continue and moved the class to the gym for the rest of the lesson. There, she said that all the pupils had to take off their wet kit and do the lesson (gymnastics) in their vest and knickers and bare feet. She did let them go and get their vests, but my daughter, along with many others, doesn't wear a vest to school. So she had to do the lesson in just her pants. . . . . . I was appalled when my daughter told me, and am seriously considering approaching the school over this."

Did you raise this with the school, and what was the outcome?

Comments by Mr Dando on 22nd February 2020  

With the end of half term pending it is important we keep up the pressure to end compulsory showers, so no-one has to put up with invasion of privacy I encountered between September 1985 to April 1987.

Here is another offending institution. https://www.st-hughs.n-lincs.sch.uk/page/?title=School+Uniform&pid=45

Indoor PE Kit
White T-shirt
White shorts
White socks
Black jogging bottoms - if needed
Trainers with light coloured soles
Outdoor PE Kit
Black shorts
Black jogging bottoms
Black sweat shirt / zip tracksuit top
Towel and wash bag with own shower gel - to be provided for all PE lessons

Please ensure that all of your child's belongings are clearly named so that we can find and return any lost property.

Forced showers must be ended now we have entered the 21st century for child protection.

Comments by Mr Dando on 20th February 2020  

I think it is a travesty there are still UK schools that mandate showers when others make the shower optional on the grounds that pupils can shower at home. These institutions that make showers compulsory take no account of the right to modesty for pupils and the feelings of muslims who do not want communal same-sex nudity forced upon them. Here is such a school https://www.sph.academy/parents/information-parents/school-uniform

P.E. KIT – The Essentials
Black or white approved Polo shirt with school crest.
Plain black PE shorts.
Trainers or plimsolls.
Black socks.
Optional approved sweatshirt with school crest.

P.E. Kit – Additional
A plain black track-suit where P.E. staff say it is appropriate for winter – no logos or designer outfits.
Ties, jumper with school crest and all items of P.E. kit can be purchased from school.

A current price list is included.
Physical Education is a National Curriculum subject and all students are required to participate in the course

All students are required to shower unless there is a confirmed medical reason for not doing so.

*If this school wants a confirmed medical reason how about severe psychological trauma brought about by bullying pupils and wicked PE teachers. These schools modernise with the 21st century.

Comments by Alan on 19th February 2020  


To answer your question.

My father worked abroad, my mother had her own life, so by 14/15/16 I was pretty independant - wearing or not wearing pj's didn't concern them much (if at all).

(This sounds terrible, but it was generally the way many fairly rich parents treated their offspring in the 1960's)

Comments by Mr Dando on 18th February 2020  

Listening to the historic stories of child abuse perpetrated by schools and parents on this column is heart breaking. There are still schools that force kids into showers and make boys swim topless which is gender discrimination and plain wrong. Here is another institution that mandates compulsory ablutions


For All Indoor/Outdoor Activities
A plain white or navy T-shirt. Plain navy shorts or tracksuit bottoms and a plain navy
jumper/hoody should be worn for Physical Education.
No team strips or training wear (football, rugby or otherwise) may be worn to Physical
Education. Similarly girls are asked not to wear vest tops.
Madras College sell a range of high quality items of clothing with the school crest which are
very popular with pupils and staff. However, there is no requirement for these to be purchased.
Trunks/costume, towel, goggles.
Madras College Handbook 2016/2017 25
Time is allocated to allow pupils to shower at the end of every lesson, therefore a towel should
be brought to all PE lessons.
School Teams
• Pupils may be required to provide their own clothing, especially short and socks.
• Football teams wear navy top, white shorts and navy socks.
• Rugby teams wear navy shirts, white shorts and navy socks.
• Hockey teams wear white polo shirts, sky blue hooded tops, navy skirts and white socks.

Together we should campaign for better child protection and gender equality in all UK institutions!

Comments by Archie on 18th February 2020  

@john. I sort of knew my father would expect me to sleep naked as he’d made my older brothers do so when they got to that age too. I suppose it was a mix of emotion - from wanting to be seen as a grown up vs being cosy in my old Jim jams!

@william. In the mornings after sleeping at school we also had the morning run routine wearing just skimpy black shorts (no pants) and plimsolls Sometimes that was followed by a few lengths of the school pool (naked, of course) then (thankfully warm) showers.

Comments by Fiona on 18th February 2020  

Alan, were your parents OK with the phenomenon of the gradually disappearin PJS?

Comments by Dougie on 17th February 2020  

Alan, we stripped to the waist for an early morning run except on a Sunday. PE lessons were held outdoors as much as possible again with all lads stripped to the waist. Happy days!

Comments by Alan on 17th February 2020  

At my boarding school, everyone wore pj's at 9/10/11, then it gradually stopped as we got older.

First the pj top disappeared, then one or two boys slept in briefs. Slowly as we got older, it became the norm to sleep naked.

Everyday we had to do an early morning run, summer and winter.

At 0630 we were woken up by prefects, shorts/plimsolls on, always stripped to the waist. Showers on return.

Comments by James E on 16th February 2020  

06:00 We got first bell .. down to bathroom and stuff ... nudity not an issue that worried any of us as l remember
07:00-08: 00 breakfast
09:00 first lesson

Comments by William on 16th February 2020  

Julian, I was a day boy but my experience was like yours: we quickly got used to nude showers because we had to and soon thought nothing of them. Some boys were more confident than others.
Looking back, I'm glad I don't suffer from the bodily shyness that afflicts some Brits, especially the young. The attitude of the northern Europeans and Russians to nudity is much healthier than ours. I think I was lucky to be at a boys' school in the '60s.

Comments by Julian E on 16th February 2020  

Hi Mads, if l have the name right! You can get running shorts without inline - my boys (grandsons to be precise) like Gore - they're expensive though but damned good

Comments by Paul on 16th February 2020  

William - the morning routine was out of bed and straight into the (cold) showers. There was no time to think of putting anything on. There were showers off each dormitory along with wash basins and toilets shared with the dormitory next door so twenty four lads needing to get through the morning routine. There were no partitions, even on the toilets so no room to be shy or bothered about being naked.

Comments by Graham on 16th February 2020  

Rising bell at 7:30 am, get up, wash/shower, dress.
Breakfast at 8.00 am.
Make beds, tidy dormitory rooms etc.
Classes start 09:00 am.

Comments by Julian on 16th February 2020  

We went to the bathroom usually with undies on although some boys just took their towels with them. To be honest no one ever gave it much thought. What was your experience?

Comments by William on 16th February 2020  

Archie, Graham, Julian et al
So you slept in the nude at school. When you got up first thing in the morning did you put something on or not bother? What was your routine?

Comments by Mr Dando on 15th February 2020  

While we cannot change the past injustices of the 1970's and 1980's we should ensure that kids today are not exposed to the same abuses we were. This school still highlights the barbaric practice of forcing minors to PE in their underwear: http://thamesviewinfants.org/families/general-information/school-uniform/

Please inform school if your child has a verucca. He/she will need to wear plimsolls for all PE lessons, until the verucca has gone.

Children who forget their PE kit will be expected to do PE in pants and vest.

PE is part of the school curriculum and is important for your child’s healthy development; he/she will be expected to participate in all lessons.

During Year 2 swimming lessons, boys should wear trunks or shorts (which don’t go below the knee) and girls should wear one-piece swim suits (not bikinis).

Please stop bare foot pe and doing gymnastics in vest and pants!

Comments by Frank C on 14th February 2020  

Interesting about Dr. Kellogs theory. I will see my cornflakes in a whole new light!

Comments by Paul on 13th February 2020  

If you want shorts without a liner just buy rugby shorts! They are still made for real men ;-)

Comments by Mads on 13th February 2020  

James E, to answer your question - I don't like built-in liners in shorts. Now it is hard to find athletic shorts without a liner. When l was at school shorts didn't have lining. You just simply wore a jock. Life was so simple then.

Comments by John on 12th February 2020  

How did you feel when you were twelve and your Dad insisted that you start sleeping naked?.

Comments by James on 12th February 2020  

David H,I agree it was difficult forgetting about it once I had been circumcised and I didn't find it at all agreeable,but it it was something we had to get accustomed to.At school some boys found it intriguing as they had never seen a boy circumcised before.

Comments by Archie on 12th February 2020  

Fiona, my input to your survey! I went to what was essentially an independent day school, but there was a boarding house for folk who lived further away (only about 10-15% of pupils were full time boarders). Like many boys I did board for short periods, when exams were coming up or there was some other more social reason to do so - even just to get away from nagging parents for a few days! - so feel I can legitimately complete your survey.

1 - What was your usual sleepwear at home before you went away to boarding school? Pyjamas until around 12, then naked at my father's insistence.
2 - Was sleepwear specified for boarders, and if so, what? "Appropriate nightwear"
3 - What sleepwear was actually worn in your dormitory room? In my experience, all boys slept in the buff.
4 - Was this less than, the same as, or more than you were accustomed to wear at home? Same
5 - If the general sleepwear level in your dormitory room was less than that specified, what was the reason? They never defined "appropriate nightwear" and there was a sort of expectation that we'd sleep in the buff - I think it was seen as being more manly and grown up.
6 - If the general sleepwear level in your dormitory room differed from what you were accustomed to at home, was that a problem for you? I was expected to sleep nude at home too, so no.
7 - If you modified your sleepwear to conform with your dormitory mates, did you revert to your previous practice when you went home for holidays? If not, did your parents make any comments? Not applicable.
8 - Any other comments? After evening prep we had free time in the dorm common room and were expected to strip down to our briefs and socks before evening showers and bed.

Comments by David H on 11th February 2020  

Well say forgotten - dont forget it just get used to it and accept it

Comments by Dave H on 10th February 2020  

Josh H
I was 11 by brother 6, upset at time but healed fast and soon forgotten.

Comments by Josh H on 10th February 2020  

David H

How old were you when you were circumcised, and do you remember it being a traumatic experience?

Comments by Paul on 10th February 2020  

I buy unlined shorts but I always go commando - perhaps the memories of the slipper whacking my arse are still strong enough that I do trousers off, underpants off, shorts on on autopilot!

Comments by David H on 10th February 2020  

First I should apologise to the other David, as had not noted there was another one .. should have known, never worked at a place that did not have 4-5 David's !
My brother and I where circumcised at a doctors office in Aldershot, given injections to make us go to sleep.
Had to be about 40% roundheads at the grammar a lot more than I was aware of at my junior school, at least one fellow cavalier at junior school had joined the roundheads with me.
Once used to my new status I have to say never regretted it, and when it came time for my own son he was done soon after birth.
I remember my mother telling me the future king had had it done, little did she know some 70 years later he still would not be king !

Comments by James E on 10th February 2020  

Okay, does anyone actually like built-in liners in their shorts? Now it's almost impossible to find athletic shorts without a liner. I've never met a sewn-in mesh brief that was as comfortable or well-constructed. It's a pain to cut them out, and I dislike buying something brand-new and having to cut it out myself. But as said, l am circumcised and as Julian says the liner really hurts my penis. Circumcised lads are sensitive down there! So yeah the perfect solution for me is to cut out the liner and wear a jock.

Comments by arby on 9th February 2020  

Hi Dave
I totally agree. I too cut out the lining of shorts and wear a jockstrap. Still the best.

Comments by Julian on 9th February 2020  


Haha ... l do exactly the same, that is cut out the inline netting from shorts. Good to know I am not alone. I wonder if James and Chris G do the same ;)

Comments by Dave on 9th February 2020  

Hi, James,Chris and Julian, I am just the same as you as regards wearing a jockstrap for support over shorts with a liner. I would normally buy plain shorts but sometimes I have bought shorts with a lining because I liked the look of them and then carefully cut out the liner and worn my jock under them.

Comments by Graham on 8th February 2020  

Fiona - input to your survey.

Q1: During primary school years I progressed from full PJs, through topless in the summer, to year-round topless by the time I went away to school.

Q2: Pyjamas, 3 pairs

Q3: I joined an established dormitory group with seven other boys, all of whom had been wearing nothing at all to bed for at least a year.

Q4: Less than I had been accustomed to wear at home during the preceding years.

Q5: PJs were specified but the only enforced regulation was that for hygiene, we shouldn't go to bed in anything worn during the day. There was tacit acknowledgement throughout the school that this was best achieved by not wearing anything at all.

Q6: Not at all.

Q7: Mum and Dad were amused, but not surprised, when I went home for my first half-term break with three pairs of unworn PJs, but made no attempt to persuade me to mend my new-found ways.

Comments by James E on 8th February 2020  

Chris G, Julian, nice to meet like-minded guys! I hate those built inline shorts. The good old jockstrap, on the other hand, gives us men comfort, support and breathability. Best support going for physical activity. Don't understand why youngsters today wear all that heavy underarmour, and it must roast their privates something rotten!

Comments by Chris G on 7th February 2020  

Julian - I agree. I've never been a fan of shorts with built-in linings, principally due to the lack of support that they generally provide. Like you, I've always found a jockstrap much more practical underwear when wearing shorts.

Comments by Julian on 7th February 2020  

Often! lol but at least we have never had to worry about smegma!

Comments by James on 7th February 2020  

Mathew,I certainly would have preferred not to have been circumcised,I often wonder what it would be to be like other boys, who I considered to be more fortunate who were not circumcised.It was always considered to be the parents'decision,but I deeply regret that they made the decision to have me circumcised.

Comments by Matthew on 7th February 2020  

To Julian
I certainly wasn't "done" for religious reasons but whether it was for medical reasons or because it was "the thing to do", I don't know. But, have you never wondered how it would feel to have a foreskin?

Comments by Julian on 6th February 2020  

Why didn't you like be circumcised? The only irritating part for me was wearing shorts with in sewn support and the material always seemedto be nylon based fabric whivh hurt, but as l started wearing a jockstrap the problem was solved.

Comments by James E on 6th February 2020  

Julian, l remember the roundhead cavalier competition! I also was a roundhead and seem to remember that most roundheads were so because they were living overseas at the time of boarding. My parents lived in Rhodesia and l think all boys were automatically circumcised for health reasons. What about your circumstances?

Comments by Chris G on 6th February 2020  

Fiona - response to your survey:

1 - Nominally pyjamas, but increasingly topless in hot weather once I entered my teens.

2 - Pyjamas, three pairs.

3 - PJ bottoms only, by universal personal choice rather than school diktat, even in the depths of winter.

4 - Less.

5 - Back then (late 1950s), sleeping topless was becoming increasingly acceptable among teenage boys, and not just in hot weather. With dormitories maintained at a comfortable temperature, and a sympathetic boarding house-master, it was a no-brainer.

6 - N/A

7 - Mum knew I slept topless in hot weather, and although surprised to find me still topless when I came home for the Christmas holiday, was quite accepting of my choice.

8 - After a long summer of sleeping topless, I had gone to my new school not looking forward to wearing PJ tops again. Finding that topless sleeping was not just tolerated as an individual quirk, but accepted as mainstream practice, came as a great relief.

Comments by Chris G on 6th February 2020  

JOhn, how did your parents feel about you having to sleep topless at school, and did you wear full PJs at home during the holidays?

Comments by Matthew on 6th February 2020  

To David. It was most unfortunate that you were circumcised for social climbing reasons. When you got to the grammar school, were you in a minority of "good boys"? Have you ever resented your circumcision? And how did your brother feel?
I was circumcised as a baby. I don't know why but wish I hadn't been. How do others feel about being circumcised?

Comments by Julian on 5th February 2020  

Chris G
Gosh that brings back memories the term "roundheads" and "cavaliers" and although l was a 'roundhead' l would say that the 'cavaliers' outnumbered us just!
I too was "done" as an infant for very valid medical reasons.

Comments by Julian on 5th February 2020  

Fascinating to read your message concerning Dr Kellogg and thoughts on circumcision for pubescent boys to stop masturbation!
I had to laugh, as circumcision never stopped me and others who were circumcised! We were as ferocious at masturbation as were those who were those who were 'uncut' at boarding school

Comments by Paul on 5th February 2020  

I was circumcised as a baby. At boarding school I would say that 80% of lads were. From there I went to university and played rugby so again maybe 60% of the lads were. I continued to play rugby post university and I think probably 50-60% of the guys were cut. These days going to the gym, the number of cut guys is reduced. Probably somewhere around 10-15% and mostly we older men (I mean 60+ here). There's one guy in his 30s I sometimes train with and he is but he was done as an adult because his foreskin was way too tight - he asked me about it before he went for the op so I know why he was done.

It's obviously something that is no longer routine outside of religious reasons.

Comments by John on 5th February 2020  

Hi Chris, the topless rule was decided by the school. However, the rite s was decided by the other guys. Has anyone experienced the rite or punishment of being tied shirtless and “tortured” ?