Burnley Grammar School

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Burnley Grammar School
Burnley Grammar School
Year: 1959
Views: 1,469,978
Item #: 1607
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

Comment by: Bernard on 17th July 2024 at 21:02

Things seem to be rather quiet here at the moment. Here are some short clips which might be of interest. Going back to the 60s they show what might be called an ideal boy's gym kit being worn at other times during the school day.

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Comment by: Chris G on 6th July 2024 at 12:57

Michael, the great thing about English Country Dancing is that you only have to be able to count up to eight

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Comment by: Michael on 6th July 2024 at 08:43

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and possibly in an effort to preserve our traditional culture, there was an option to teach Country Dancing. This was a regular fixture on my primary school's timetable, and my class became quite adept at each dance's individual choreography. The jaunty music was new to all of us and, with the rapid, almost breathless activity, added up to a welcome change from our usual sedentary routine. Sadly, Country Dancing proved to be a short-lived 'fad' and was all too soon displaced by another topic in the ever-evolving curriculum.

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Comment by: Matthew S on 27th June 2024 at 22:07

Alan and Chris G, thank you for your interesting recollections. I must admit never hearing of Honneger's "Pacific 231" previously, but will seek it out.

I was not a musical child, but various pieces of classical music were played immediately before our junior school assemblies and on one of these occasions I thrilled to hear a recording of the William Tell Overture. Perhaps I had not heard it before.

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Comment by: Alan on 20th June 2024 at 16:35

Chris G - If you enjoy train music, there is a similar piece by the Brazilian composer, Villa-Lobos called "
The Little Train of Caipira". I think it is almost contemporary with Pacific 231, and V-L wrote it as a break from composing his many Bachianas Brasileiras. There were 10 in all,
I think. At one time BB5 was greatly admired by big bands, and I played flugelhorn on it. But only once!

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Comment by: Chris G on 20th June 2024 at 13:08

Pacific 231 has lonf been one of my favourite pieces, and although probably as monotonous as Bolero, somehow its less irritatingly monotonous.

The sunny weather here over the last few days has brought out a good crop of shirtless runners and cyclists, of both persuasions. Out of school hours, bare navels seem to be the adornment of choice of most young ladies - don't know why the boys don't have the same fashion opportunity

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Comment by: Alan on 20th June 2024 at 05:26

At junior school, in our so-called "music lessons" where we were taught to play the triangle or tambourine, there was ONE cassette tape, and all it had on it was Ravel's Bolero coupled with Honneger's "Pacific 231", depicting a steam railway engine. I think Ravel was to encourage our triangling, the Honneger was an occasional "treat", if the teacher had had enough of Ravel, and the triangles and tambourines.

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Comment by: Chris G on 19th June 2024 at 13:38

The opening theme to the original detective drama series Van Der Valk is said to bring back memories of bygone "music and movement" classe.

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Comment by: Matthew S on 18th June 2024 at 23:13

Perhaps this may raise a wry smile.

I never hear "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, without mentally transporting to my infant school PE in a high-windowed Victorian hall, dusty parquet flooring, skimpy shorts, goose-pimples and all. (This was relatively late: I left infant school in 1992).

May I ask visitors to this site: do other pieces of classical music, or other musical genres, evoke similar recollections?

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Comment by: Alan on 17th June 2024 at 17:23

Scoolteachers - 2024 vintage:


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Comment by: Alan on 8th June 2024 at 12:27

Comment by: Mickey on 7th June 2024 at 23:29

I think that is encouraging, Mickey and seems to confirm that things are changing for the better in the 21st century, and schools realise that not all lads are comfortable running round half naked. Presumably the lads from 2001 were going shirtless of their own volition.

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Comment by: Mickey on 7th June 2024 at 23:29

It was a bit random but I asked three guys at work today whether they had done shirts and skins at school or been given bibs. Born in 1989, 1995, and 2001 all had bibs and didn't really seem to understand any other possibility. The one born in 2001 said they sometimes did it during break playing football.

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Comment by: Alan on 3rd June 2024 at 07:58

For some reason the link to the National Service article from City A.M didn't work. Here it is again:


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Comment by: Alan on 3rd June 2024 at 06:17

Following last week's ridiculous National Service "pledge" by Sunak (almost as funny as Starmer versus Abbott later in the week, here is a very well written analysis of the idea:

Will it work? National service

Will it work? National service
Sam Fowles
Sunak's national service plan has dominated the first week of his election campaign, but, regardless of politics...

In "Question Time" transmitted on BBC 1 on 30th May, Damian Hinds, a government minister described it (approx 3'30") as "a good way to ,learn new skills":


This begs the question - what is school for if not to "learn new skills"?. In the past lads left school at 15 or 16 and most were ready to take on jobs and did indeed, "learn new skills" - by the age of 18 - the age when both main parties prefer people to leave school today, - they were very competent workers.

If anybody gets to the age of 18 and still needs full time education (of a sort) there is something wrong with the system. At my school, rotten as it was, they did instil in you the need for good time-keeping (punishment if late was very good motivation), and nobody left unable to read, write or add up. That, I emphasize, was a poor school in every meaning of the word. As schools now have higher standards (so they tell me) then the excuse for N.S. is otiose.

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Comment by: Stephen on 31st May 2024 at 22:37

Rather interesting that Mr Dando has not responded to the recent news, which rather leads one to a certain conclusion in that case.

I'd suggest a boycott for the time being to show solidarity to the recently departed PE teacher after somebody so stupid made that approach at his work.

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Comment by: Craig on 31st May 2024 at 22:26

Comment by: Mickey on 31st May 2024 at 16:06
But did you spot any outies Craig?
*grins* keeping my running vest very definitely on!

Yes actually I did on the Monday run this week. A quiet observation. We don't tend to pick out things about each other once we are bareskin for the runs. You can never be sure what complex someone might have if you say something to them about it. So you can whip your vest off now and give bareskin running a bit of a go. By the way, something I've never mentioned previously is that I've a small light red birthmark on my lower left side, the size of a couple of stamps. It does not bother me at all and nobody has ever mentioned it and I would never allow it to prevent me removing my top.

I think the reasons why some boys at school (and later men) are unhappy or less than keen about going bare chested are quite complex and not so straightforward. Mostly I think it's a psychological barrier more than the physical. I've seen some comments on here from men who say they had quite nice normal bodies at school when younger but still didn't want to be made to do PE barechested. It's all in the mind in the end. Mickey, your 'outie' belly button is no excuse, get that vest off now lad! (smiles)

I've just come back from a three mile run we did tonight locally with a group of five including me. Just a normal small group, short run. It was dull, it looked a bit fresh at first but really wasn't once we got going. Didn't really bump into anyone much. Saves getting a sweaty top to wash as well.

It would be really interesting to see what kind of take up bareskin running would have if offered properly as part of PE, even if that was just as part of an afer school running club or something, set aside from within the normal PE lesson. I think there are benefits to be had for people that choose to do it and it wouldn't hurt to offer this style of running, or cross country to those who wish to do so, such as appears to have been the case at the Dunstable school mentioned recently.

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Comment by: Mickey on 31st May 2024 at 16:06

But did you spot any outies Craig?

*grins* keeping my running vest very definitely on!

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Comment by: Alan on 31st May 2024 at 05:04

Comment by: Neil on 30th May 2024 at 16:24
Comment by: Greg2 on 29th May 2024 at 23:32

...."No Alan, I don't believe you are responsible so don't worry yourself about that. I think the evidence only points in one direction."

I'd just like to say a genuine thank you to you, Neil, and others on here, who have accepted my word that I had nothing to do with the disgraceful letter sent to Nathan's school.

How much more civilised the discourse has become on the site since last year, when certain people (who mysteriously vanished when the I.D. system was introduced) were accusing me of being several people, including "Mr. Dando".

However much I disagree with somebody I would never take that disagreement out of the forum, and it is terrible that anyone would ever think of doing such a thing, and I am sure none of the regulars on here would, either.

Just one thought - I wonder if it was one of Nathan's former disgruntled pupils who wrote the letter?. The reason I say that is that there seemed to be no discernable postmark on the envelope, I think Nathan said, which suggests it might have been hand-delivered

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Comment by: Neil on 30th May 2024 at 16:24

Comment by: Greg2 on 29th May 2024 at 23:32

I'm quite disgusted at the person that contacted the school like that. I too was interested in his views and generally interesting attitude as someone still conducting a certain amount of PE in the way many of us remember ourselves.

The facts seem to speak for themselves. I just looked back to the place he pointed out and read that. It was clear that Mr Dando had singled Nathan's own school out and gone through the website which made it clear the school still does some PE in bare chests and that the school required a mandatory shower as part of PE. Mr Dando made some inflammatory comments about this, like he has done with other places. Now he has resurfaced on here after being dormant for quite some time and just at this moment we hear this development from Nathan himself. I don't blame him one bit for his decision if this is what happens when you try to be open with others in a discussion.

No Alan, I don't believe you are responsible so don't worry yourself about that. I think the evidence only points in one direction.

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Comment by: Chris G on 30th May 2024 at 07:27

In fact, Mr D is all over the place today!

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Comment by: Chris G on 30th May 2024 at 07:22

Has anybody noticed the latest on the Fulwood thread:

"Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes (and not stare at the women), and to maintain their chastity. This is purer for them. God is fully Cognizant of everything they do."

And there's an even longer admonition to the 'believing women'

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Comment by: Greg2 on 29th May 2024 at 23:32

It was always particularly interesting to hear the views and comments from Nathan, a present day gym teacher. What a pity he has now felt the need to leave this group due to some deranged and selfish individual making anonymous contact with his school. Whoever did this has shown no regard whatsoever for how this might affect Nathan’s position in his school, and for this reason alone it is a disregarding and despicable act.

I really wouldn’t have thought you would do such a thing Alan, but a certain individual who has resurfaced at this very time does seem highly suspicious to me. It’s understandable why Nathan has made his decision and I wish him well.

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Comment by: Craig on 29th May 2024 at 22:43

Mature comments from you as a mother of a son Mel.

How sad the PE teacher has departed, what a stupid thing to send letters to the school. Perhaps the person responsible would like to explain themselves at some point. It made me think of the cheek of Ross who admitted following up Bill's comments about the boys running bareskins from school and emailed the school Bill identified to verify his posts here and that he had seen a large group of bareskin runners of school age.

Meanwhile on bank holiday Monday we gathered 14 of us for our latest bareskin run, not the greatest day and there was some fine drizzle at one point, we did have a few knock backs this time as we'd been hoping for about 20 but considering it was a bit drizzly it wasn't a bad show up and a bit of drizzle isn't going to stop me, it's only water and I quite like running bareskin in the different types of conditions. Some of the ground was surpringly waterlogged where we went after a lot of recent rain and at one point we went across a ploughed bit of farmland with a public right of way beside it and what looked like quite solid earth was actually softer than we realised and some of us suddenly ended up sinking down rather easily halfway up our shins by about eight or nine inches. All part of the fun though.

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Comment by: Mel on 29th May 2024 at 20:29

I've got a message for Mr Dando.

I have right at this moment got a teenage son, who is 14, who goes to school and does some bare chested PE and has to take the showers they make available after his PE lesson ends. Although initially I was surprised by this I have become quite accepting of it and do not see it as any kind of problem. It's one of those things that has an instant ooh factor if you don't expect it but then you realise it's not so bad as long as the boys are okay and not feeling terrible or unhappy over it enough to cause big issues. I noticed how Nathan works a school similar in outlook to what I know my son does at his and he has previously said that he has had no feedback from any parents about the way he teaches or how his school operates. If parents were deeply unhappy about their sons being told to do PE bare chested or taking showers don't you think at least a few would complain in some way, in person, a phone call, email or a letter? In this day and age people are not backward about coming forward and complaining, especially parents where their own children are concerned. But you Mr Dando do not appear to be a parent at the schools you complain about, are you even a parent at all, like I am? So why are you getting offended on behalf of others like the parents of Nathan's school, the parents of that school you wrote about on here a few days ago and others?

Whoever wrote the letter to a school they almost certainly do not send their own children to, in order to complain in that way, has no right to do so. It's none of your business doing that. That decision is one for the parents and their children to decide upon.

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Comment by: Terry on 29th May 2024 at 17:40

I don't understand why anyone would write to your school about some normal things you have written on here Nathan, any more than I understand why someone is returning with more gym clothing lists calling out another random school they have simply tracked down on the internet. Who spends their time going through school websites like this, it's not normal.

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Comment by: Alan on 29th May 2024 at 16:41

Comment by: Tony on 29th May 2024 at 14:03

......"I don't think you were being accused of anything there Alan, I think that was clear from what was said, but you are proving your sensitivity all the same."

No, Tony - I know Nathan wasn't accusing me, but all the same, knowing my strong views on the subject, I know there would be some on the forum who might think I was responsible. I was just trying to save them the trouble of suggesting it, which would mean me having to deny it.

In regard to "Mr. Dando's" recent message, this school seems to allow track suits and tops, so I don't see a problem there. Many schools have showers, and provided you don't have teachers taking an undue interest in them, I am a bit more relaxed about that. That is a battle for another day.

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Comment by: Sean on 29th May 2024 at 15:14

Comment by: Nathan Hind on 28th May 2024 at 22:48

Whoever sent that letter to where you work is an absolute idiot. Sorry to see you go.

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Comment by: Don on 29th May 2024 at 14:55

I've read this forum for a few months and never left a message. I always liked what the PE teacher was saying and supported his comments almost entirely. I thought he had a very refreshing attitude to the pupils even if some people here were not keen on certain aspects. It sounded like he had respect for his pupils and they had respect for him. His sometime barechested PE was acceptable to them and that's as it should be. It's PE after all and that's the deal sometimes. So are showers, or they used to be, some schools still do so. I cannot for the life of me work out why anyone would so take against it that they would fire a letter off like that, what could they possibly hope to achieve by that?

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Comment by: Tony on 29th May 2024 at 14:03

Very disappoimnting to hear that Nathan, both what has happened there and also your own decision, which in the circumstances I understand why you've made it. You've made it quite clear that those you teach have been supportive in the main of your decisions and that parents have been also. Nobody has any right to interfere like that and I don't welcome the return of Mr Dando all over again with those kind of posts to endure and agree the timing looks rather apt to say the least.

I don't think you were being accused of anything there Alan, I think that was clear from what was said, but you are proving your sensitivity all the same.

I think the contribution of a modern serving PE teacher was to be welcomed alongside the retired ones here who have previously left comment.

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Comment by: Matthew S on 29th May 2024 at 12:52

Nathan Hind, a shame that you will no longer be commenting, but thank you for all your interesting contributions over the past two years.

It is very regrettable that someone has caused you trouble.

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