Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

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Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Year: 1959
Views: 308,397
Item #: 1602
Led by Stuart Bennett (Captain), right, the cross-country team returns from a practice run around the nearby country-side.
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, November 1959

Comment by: Jason on 29th June 2022 at 16:56

Why that question George. Of course girls share some lessons in school. Why do some men/boys get so worked up by the slightest chance about being in a PE lesson and having to take a top off and that there might be some girls who see the upper body for a bit. Am I missing something here, is it such a big deal? It's something that I did a fair few times and literally nothing was made of it. Maybe some girls were keeping a secret black book to themselves and enjoying the nipple count amongst themselves, who knows what they thought, I didn't care, I was in PE not sitting doing double maths like it.

Does this somehow relate to your own hang ups you had as a kid doing PE amongst others who saw you?

Comment by: George on 29th June 2022 at 13:49

Amanda, did your sons attend a boys' school or did female students attend too? If girls did attend, was PE gender segregated or were your boys made to be shirtless around female peers?

Comment by: Jason on 21st June 2022 at 16:15

I suspect Ashley must have had a bad time swimming at school or something to actually write and believe what he, or was it she, wrote. A very sad, disappointing and fearful attitude to take. Please respond.

Comment by: James on 20th June 2022 at 10:09

I was subjected to wearing short trousers to age 13 or 14although they were not compulsory for the school uniform.
This was at the at the whim of my parents not by my choice.

Comment by: Jason on 19th June 2022 at 16:56

People with your view, if you really believe it as you wrote it, are the problem not the solution Ashley.

Comment by: Tim on 19th June 2022 at 16:16

Does anyone remember still wearing short trousers as part of the school uniform even in secondary school till age 13 or 14?
I was one of those boys who always wore school uniform shorts till age 13 or 14 and if I remember well most boys did the same with just a few starting to wear long trousers.
This was in the 60s.
I don't think that this was a school stipulation but just the taste of parents.

Comment by: Ashley on 19th June 2022 at 14:50

I don't think schools should do any swimming lessons nowadays, it should be left to parents to take them for lessons in their own time under their own supervision to keep them as safe as possible. If they have to do them at school I think an all in one body suit covering up the boys as well as girls is the way to go and should be the future. Just like the girls, boys don't need to take almost everything off to have a swimming lesson and learn properly in school. Plus if there are a few boys who hate showing their bodies it solves that too.

Comment by: Duncan on 17th June 2022 at 21:26

Tim, my apologies if I appeared insensitive. I just had in mind a few gentle words of kind encouragement to help overcome insecurities.

Comment by: Mike on 17th June 2022 at 18:25

Parents are known for their stock cliche comments to their children but I'm sure there is a fair collection that came from the mouths of PE teachers if anyone else wishes to share a few. Two of mine could often be relied upon to refer to our all boys class as 'a bunch of girls' with tedious regularity if there was any complaining or slacking as they saw it.

Comment by: Tim Keane on 17th June 2022 at 14:36

"A few kind words for children self conscious about swimming lessons" you say Duncan.

It's interesting this. Everyone always assumes everyone else is fine with things like this. What fascinates me is that I read some comments on one of the other discussions here on HW where some of the now men said they used to be very bothered by doing their PE in a bare chest but when swimming it did not seem to register as anxious for them on the same level.

Body anxiety issues surrounding doing classes without shirts, whether it be PE or swimming, or showering with full nudity were never addressed or even acknowledged for a split second when I was in school from the 70s to 80s. Are we suggesting that this would have been a good idea or would it just make matters worse in some way by drawing attention to things and therefore perhaps the old ways are still best and just be expected to get on with it and as I once heard a remark from a PE teacher to a boy in my class - "stop being a big girls blouse".

Comment by: Duncan on 16th June 2022 at 19:15

Perhaps a few kind words would be a better response to children self-conscious about swimming lessons than what the school below is proposing. There is also the extra cost to parents from buying additional items of swimwear.

Amanda, pardon my enquiring - roughly what part of the country are you in? Boys at the primary schools I attended were obliged to do PE indoors bare-chested between the ages of four and nine (in Essex, in the early nineties), but I'm surprised this happened at your sons' school more recently.

Comment by: Amanda on 16th June 2022 at 02:38

I've just been reading some of these comments with my mouth open.

Astounding stuff!

But incase you think the whole world is going nuts then I can reassure it's not. Aged 60 now, I've put three sons through their secondary education in the last fifteen years and my youngest is now almost 16. All three of them have done competitive swimming with the school in the way you'd expect it to be done, no daft ideas and prudish merging of the genders nonsense. The boys have all done lots of lessons in their P.E classes without tops, indeed their inside one the school made them do it like that much of the time but I knew this and so did they when we first went to the open evening presentation for new intakes many years ago for the first time and had private chats with various staff including the ones for their P.E. I had no big issue with it and was entitled and encouraged to raise any concerns about some aspects. They've all showered properly in school too and I've no issue with that. They were told this before they started and could have raised objections I suppose. Whether any other parents ever raised issues relating to such things I wouldn't know but I wouldn't have done.

One of them has always been less body confident than the other two and quite sensitive about how he looks dressed and undressed but all are happy healthy and intelligent with no obvious chips on their shoulders or hang ups that I'm aware of. They seem to have had much the same kind of educational experience that my own husband had throughout the 70's so although we hear that much has changed we must also remember that we seem to hear loudest those who want things different whilst a quiet majority just get on with their lives and lot much closer to the ways some of us older ones remember.

I would actually encourage the open defiance of some of these completely unreasonable rules, simple as that. What you don't do is mutter under your breath, complain to yourself and then accept them.

Comment by: Robby on 15th June 2022 at 20:44

Are we really entering a new Puritanical era?

There is no doubt that this is being engineered by the extreme left in a holy alliance with the strong Muslim influence in Britain to destroy our society and its traditional values.

Comment by: Fiona on 13th June 2022 at 17:20

Tanya - amen to that. How about this for n extreme example:

Comment by: Tanya on 13th June 2022 at 16:36

This is all about the extreme end of gender neutrality dogma now beginning to be pushed hard in schools. It's the beginnings of a totalitarian ideology and a minority choosing to impose on the majority of society. So it leads to boys having to wear tops in a swimming pool or girls having to wear trousers, both have now been in recent media stories.

Before long there will be attempts to remove the term sons and daughters from the language in schools. Schools like Tiverton High in Devon need to be confronted not encouraged.

Comment by: Jim on 12th June 2022 at 22:15

Mark Dolan on GB News right now (Sunday at 10pm) talking something very similar to the making everyone in the pool wear a top, he's talking about a school telling girls they can no longer wear skirts and must wear trousers like the boys because the school is fed up trying to enforce skirt lengths!

Comment by: Adam on 12th June 2022 at 20:50

Robby - an identical story, perhaps it was the same one Norman mentioned here, turned up on a brief comment section of GB News with Colin Brazier a couple of weeks back.

I didn't much care for being asked to remove my own top in the school gymnasium sometimes but even those of us with that kind of natural bashfulness about our bodies would have found going swimming with a t-shirt on to be a step too far and let's face it, it's not the natural way to do it is it, just in terms of comfort alone. Given a choice I'd never have elected to swim with a t-shirt although given a choice I'd never have elected to do main gym PE without one.

Boys/men swimming is our top half bared, always has been. These maddening ideas must not be allowed to take hold and become considered normal, they are not.

Comment by: Claire on 12th June 2022 at 20:00

Oops, made a mistake. Dando copied:

Comment by: Robby on 12th June 2022 at 09:14

Boys being made to wear t-shirts to swim to cover their chests while girls are wearing thongs and string bikinis?
I can't believe this, have we gone to such extremes?
Boys in the past were made to swim naked at school while girls wore decent one-piece swimsuits.

Comment by: John James Parnell on 29th May 2022 at 03:01

Why is the concept of being shirtless/barechested in school seen as so alien to so many now? You'd be lucky to get through any week in the school calendar without having to do so back in the 70's or 80's. It was what boys had to do and were expected to do, simple as that. Citing a fear of doing so back then would have invited very little empathy. I spent more time during timetabled P.E periods in school not wearing a top than wearing one and that includes going outside to run at almost any point in the year. Our choices were always made for us whether we liked it or not and our own insecurities about how we looked didn't amount to much in the great scheme of things. Is it really so bad in the end?

Comment by: Kevin on 28th May 2022 at 11:52


I could not believe it when I heard about that school point blank refusing to let BOYS go swimming properly with upper body uncovered, their chests bared. What is even worse is there is no half decent GENUINE explanation for that policy.

We've gone from a situation decades ago where some men say they swam in schools with nothing on at all, stark naked on demand to a situation now when swimming in places is expected almost fully clothed on demand.

It's a kind of social engineering.

Comment by: Ed on 27th May 2022 at 19:34

I heard Brazier mention something along thre lines of what you outlined Norman.

Comment by: Norman on 24th May 2022 at 18:45

William, after reading what you said I spoke to my daughter-in-law who said she watches GB News with Michelle Dewberry, Mark Steyn and Dan Wootton in the evenings a lot. She tells me she will email all three. I'll leave it with her and see what happens.

Comment by: GBBGG on 24th May 2022 at 16:36

Although I completely agree with the comments about children wearing T shirts in the pool I suspect it may be part of the H&S theme that has children wearing 'rash suits' on the beach and in pools.

Whether or not this is needed or just a fashion I leave other people to decide. Have look at -

Comment by: Fiona on 24th May 2022 at 14:11


If it;s the toe-fetishists they are concerned about, then yes to socks. If it's equality, then birthday suits would be cheaper to source, and no chlorine to rinse out afterwards..

Comment by: William2 on 24th May 2022 at 13:13

Norman, Your daughter-in-law might object but anti-woke media outlets, such as Telegraph, Mail, Express, Piers Morgan on TalkTV, GB News, would love to get their hands on a story like that, so as to support common sense parents in challenging the school.

Comment by: Jason on 23rd May 2022 at 23:58

Next requirement Fiona, well surely at a school as dumb as that they might as well go for socks too. I better not joke, it might just happen. Real world is way beyond parody nowadays.

I'd suggest that school forgets doing swimming lessons completely.

Comment by: Fiona on 23rd May 2022 at 22:45

But the school isn't requiring the boys to wear one-piece swimsuits as I would imagine the girls are wearing. They are demanding that both boys and girls wear t-shirts and shorts, which seems rather overkill as swimwear. Whaat will the next requirement be? Full-cover wet suits, diving suits with helmets?

Comment by: Tanya on 23rd May 2022 at 20:06

Let me get this right. A school is doing the equivalent of a wet T-shirt event! If it's all about equality then why not let the girls be like the boys, not the boys like the girls. Seriously though, are they attemting to teach people how to get hang ups now? Any self respecting boy should feel far more self-conscious wearing a T-shirt in the swimming pool than not wearing one. We hear stories like this ten times a day now and that's the worry, stupid ideas are getting normalised and accepted without much pushing back.

Comment by: Mike on 23rd May 2022 at 00:00

I'm staggered Norman. What kind of mindset thinks like that and tries to impose such nonsense. Do good for nothing liberal retards.