Fulwood Counry Secondary School

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Fulwood Counry Secondary School
Fulwood Counry Secondary School
Year: 1958
Views: 32,671
Item #: 1608
Instruction from the expert, Miss Hilary Peet, physical education mistress, who plays netball for Lancashire and who is also a member of the County swimming team.
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, November 1958

Comment by: Adam on 11th July 2020 at 13:55

Mr Curious – I can remember seeing a cousin of mine doing handstands when I was a child. Her brother asked why she was wearing her "school knickers" which confused me. She said that girls at her school had to wear white vests and navy knickers as the girls' indoor PE 'kit' was their underwear.

I went up to high school in 1991. The girls PE kit for most things included a black gym skirt with matching knickers underneath.

With hindsight it does seem odd that schools thought it was OK for girls to do PE lessons in their underwear, or while wearing a gym skirt, just as long as their knickers were a certain colour.

Comment by: Adam on 8th July 2020 at 15:31

Jane and Pete – I was in high school in the 1990s. Like many schools, the girls' PE kit for most things was a polo shirt, gym skirt, socks and trainers. We did have a slightly awkward mixed lesson early on in Year 7 where the teacher reminded the girls to wear black knickers under their gym skirts.

John – I've heard stories of a few high schools which would embarrass boys who often forgot their PE kit – by making them wear a t-shirt and gym skirt from lost property! I think this was a 1990s / early 2000s 'thing'. I assume they just wore the skirt over whatever boxers or pants they had on at the time.

Comment by: John on 5th July 2020 at 17:25

It was in 1960 I forgot my gym kit,( our normal gym teacher was off ill) we had the girls gym mistress, (a real battle axe) to take our lesson. I was thinking I would have a couple of free periods to myself, I explained to Miss Deans I didn't have any gym kit, she went berserk, instructing me to strip off my clothes as she would get me something from the lost property cupboard. I nervously undressed as she came back into changing room with an armful of clothes. She told me to get dressed in musty smelling white blouse, pair of navy blue gym knickers, white ankle socks and black gym shoes. I was ordered into the gymnasium where there was thirty screaming 15 year old girls waiting. Miss Deans soon brought back order, we were assembled in two lines and taken outside for two periods of rounders. After gym session finished Miss Deans had one more thing for me to do, still in my blouse and knickers which was to pick up litter in girls playground. After this humiliation I was taken back into Miss Deans office and given 6 of her best across my knickers. Lesson learnt I did not forget my gym kit again.

Comment by: Pete on 2nd July 2020 at 04:17

I think one reason for some schools requiring that girls wear regulation colour underwear was from your last comment at the end.
We boys used to make bets what colour underwear particular girls wore on that day, so girls wearing the same regulation colour underwear prevented us boy from this perverted custom which was not hard to find out in those days when short skirts were the fashion even for school uniforms.
Even if it was a girls only school I suppose it also prevented male teachers from being too curious when facing the girls sitting down during their lessons. :)

This may sound crude but it was a reality, unless someone comes up with another reason for this requirement of regulation underwear for girls.

Comment by: Andrea on 18th June 2020 at 11:12

Mr Curious,
I'm not sure why, but that was commonplace when I was a school in the 1970s. In my school the regulation colour was navy blue. I can't recall anyone checking what we were wearing, except of course when we were changing for PE. Indoor PE kit comprised regulation knickers, white polo shirts and white plimsolls or bare feet, so if some one forgot their kit, they were still able to take part by borrowing a spare shirt (usually grubby and smelly) from the lost property cupboard. They still had to shower too - borrowing someones towel after they had already used it!

By the time my son was at secondary school, the uniform rules didn't mention anything about underwear. Interestingly though, some of mums said that their daughters preferred to wear their PE shorts under their skirts to prevent their underwear being seen accidentely.

Comment by: Jane on 17th June 2020 at 13:27

Mr Curious, I don't even know the reason for regulation knickers under our school skirts but we had to conform with a particular style and colour for me the choice was white or bottle green!

I think though this is probably an old English tradition and we girls just wore what the school uniform stated and that's what our parents bought us. Then out of fear of discipline we always complied.

Then plus by wearing standard plain knickers helped out if you forgot your PE kit and was compelled to participate in your underwear.

My own daughter has the same absurd rules even today and I well buy her what the uniform list says.

I don't ever recall having any knickers checks though either although this could have happened elsewhere.

Comment by: Curious on 17th June 2020 at 11:32

To the ladies here.

I still find it strange that in some schools girls were made to wear regulation knickers under their school uniform.
Was there any particular reason for this considering that it was just underwear?

I think it would also have been improper to check girls under their skirts to see what knickers they were wearing.
I don't think that this would be allowed today.

Comment by: Jane on 7th June 2020 at 08:06

Mr Dando so you are saying that girls shouldn't shower after a muddy or sweaty PE session? Don't be stupid showering never caused anyone any harm

Comment by: Mr Dando on 6th June 2020 at 20:50

It is important we not only campaign to abolish the school shower here in the UK but also in Denmark where muslim pupils and menstruating females on their periods are still forced to bathe nude.

Here is the translation from one offending school. Please excuse google translate

Dressing and bathing As an important part of sports education, dressing and bathing is mandatory in all sports. However, students can be exempted if they are free after the lessons and if the teacher allows it.As with all school teaching, it is also essential in sports for student benefit that this meeting be prepared for teaching. Ie to bring sports clothes, towel and footwear (indoor / outdoor).

There are no students allowed to practice sports without sportswear. In case the student has forgotten clothes or towel, the school will ask if possible clothing available.

verrucas The student participates in sports anyway. During bathing, footwear is used, a plastic bag is wrapped around the foot or liquid sores are used.The student must bring this to himself.

Menstruation Girls usually participate in physical education. During the menstrual period, some girls may be embarrassed about bathing with the mother girls after sports. In these cases, an appointment is made with the physical education teacher in order to get the bathing done in the cabin.

Exemption The home can request exemption in the contact book by stating the cause and duration. Exemption for a longer period can only be done on basis of medical certificate.For hygienic reasons, bath exemption usually cannot take place. If a student is fast enough to go to school, the student must also attend sports and subsequent bathing.

In special cases it is possible to bathe behind a curtain.As a general rule, students who are exempt from participation in sports must be present in the teaching as the school has supervisory duties.


Communal school bathing must be banned in school regardless of whether there is a curtain or not and pupils should not be forced to bathe in a cabin when they are on their period. Learn from historical malfeasance highlighted on this website and end all forms of state sponsored child abuse!

Comment by: Jane on 5th June 2020 at 07:14

In my school our PE knickers were more similar to the girls on the right and a horrible bottle green colour. We had to change into these from our regular white school knickers.

Certainly the girl in the black pumps would have been out barefoot if this was my school. We did indoor PE barefoot, outside we wore white pumps or barefoot and inside school we changed into our indoor black pumps.

Comment by: Andrea on 4th June 2020 at 16:18

The ones I wore in the early 1970s were also more like the ones worn by the third girl from the left. Like Helen we were supposed to wear them both under our ordinary classroom uniform and for gym.

At my school the girl wearing the black plimsolls would definitely have been in trouble!

Comment by: Helen 61 on 1st June 2020 at 12:19

I take your point. The girl third in from the left seems to be wearing the style of regulation knickers I wore throughout my school years for both everyday wear and gym. I was at school from 1964. We also wore a white Aertex gym blouse in secondary school. I have been told that some schools allowed gym knickers to be worn over everyday pants but that wasn't the case in my day. It may be the case here?

Comment by: Curious on 29th May 2020 at 15:59

Are those girls in the picture wearing standard PE knickers since they all seem to be different, although they are all wearing identical white t shirts.

Comment by: Sando on 11th April 2020 at 22:08

David G,

Since he previously posted as Mary Dando it could be that he has had a sex change since then, which might explain his obsession with boy modesty now. :)

Comment by: Sarah on 11th April 2020 at 09:33

192.com lists 28 people named Mary Sandi on UK electoral registers

Comment by: David G on 10th April 2020 at 08:54

"Comments by Mary Dando on 24th May 2017"
Quote:- "It is disgusting that boys are not allowed to cover their legs for sport but girls are.

School uniform is compulsory, and we ask for the full co-operation of every parent in ... Items of uniform for boys and girls: ... (Boys do not wear tracksuit bottoms).
Salesian School Uniform Policy.

I am glad PE ended for me in May 1989."

With Dando being an unusual surname, I wondered if you & a certain prolific poster Mr.Dando with very similar views were related?

Comment by: Andrea on 31st March 2020 at 11:16

That was still the situation when I was at school too (primary school in the 1960s and secondary in the early to mid 1970s). In some ways I was lucky, being the elder of two girls, I tended to get new clothes rather than hand -me downs, but certainly not the designer gear (and footwear) that children get nowadays.

Comment by: Biggles on 30th March 2020 at 18:32

It seems from the picture above that girls were not bothered much by the look of their shorts for PE, even when posing for a picture to appear in their local magazine.

Today's kids are spoiled and obsessed by their looks, even for doing PE.
I remember at my primary school in the old days some boys would wear patched shirts, patched pullovers and even patched school shorts sometimes, but no one seemed to mind.
Clothes were expensive and most people were relatively poor, especially if they had large families, so you had to do with whatever you had.

Secondary school girls had sewing classes at school in fact as part of the curriculum. Sewing your own and your children's clothes, and patching them when had a tear, was cheaper than buying new clothes.
They didn't throw away clothes easily in those days or buy new ones often like they do today.

Comment by: Sarah on 29th March 2020 at 10:45

Mr Dando

Have you considered:

1 - The IPR/Copyright implications of replicating extracts from schools' Prospectuses and Parents Information documents all over the Internet.

2 - The legal implications of publicly branding the schools that feature in your posts as "Offending" and similar.

Comment by: Andrea on 28th March 2020 at 21:45

I think that some girls find a skirt more flattering than shorts, but don't want to risk exposing their knickers, so a skort gives them the best of both worlds.

Mr Dando,
I get that you have severe body image issues dating back to your school days, but would suggest that you are in a minority. You only have to look at any beach on a warm summers day to see that most boys are happy to be wearing just a pair of shorts.

Comment by: Mr Dando on 28th March 2020 at 15:07

Biggles the school Skort is nothing more than an attempt to make the mini-skirt and gym knickers more acceptable by devising a pair of shorts which looks on the outside like a skirt for females but is really a pair of shorts.

Personally, I would ban all leotards,skorts, miniskirts and gym knickers from school uniforms and have a gender neutral PE kit including tracksuit tops/bottoms, polo shirt and base layers which provide for complete modesty.
I would also mandate changing cubicles so that pupils could not take illegal photographs or see other kids in just their underwear.

It is also time we ended the compulsory towel requirement as we must get rid of school showers once and for all.

Here is a school which still has a mandatory towel requirement.


PE Kit
Girls & Boys
Navy & Maroon PE top
Navy blue shorts
Navy socks
Navy blue swimming trunks navy blue swimming costume
Football boots
Shin pads
Crestwood tracksuit top (recommended but not compulsory)

Tally Ho Biggles, join the Battle of Britain modesty campaign and lets end institutional child abuse in UK schools!

Comment by: Biggles on 28th March 2020 at 05:08

What is the reason of wearing a skirt over shorts for PE?

I can see that this is a result of modern liberal insanity.
But I am sure that Mr.Dando would be pleased if boys also wear it since he is campaigning in favour of identical PE kits for boys and girls without distinctions.

Comment by: Andrea on 24th March 2020 at 14:33


A skort is effectively a skirt with a pair of shorts underneath them (as part of the same garment). They only seem to have become popular in the last few years.


Comment by: Danny on 24th March 2020 at 02:48

What is a skort, if I may ask?

Or is it a typo and you meant 'skirt' or something else?

Comment by: Andrea on 20th March 2020 at 13:21

When my son was at secondary school, both girls and boys wore white polo shirts and blue shorts for indoor PE. Outdoors boys wore rugby shirts and girls could wear a sweatshirt over their polo shirts.

I understand from a friend whose daughter is still at the school that the girls now have the option to wear a skort, rather than the shorts if they wish to.

Comment by: Ross on 19th March 2020 at 07:18

Danny, the kit I described was pretty much what I wore from year 4 until I left school. In years 1 to 3 there was no kit we all took our clothes and shoes and socks off in the classroom and did PE in our underwear.

Comment by: Ross on 19th March 2020 at 07:15

Fiona, as you say a sensible PE kit and I'm sure one that is commonly found in schools today. If any boy wanted to be shirtless then I say let him. What harm is he going to do? Plus it will be the lads choice.
I do believe though that bare feet should be compulsory, it's good for the childs foot development and keeps in line with the cheap and affordable idea.

Comment by: Danny on 18th March 2020 at 01:38

Ross, we had gender neutral PE kit throughout primary school, which consisted of white t-shirt and white shorts for both boys and girls.

Comment by: Fiona on 18th March 2020 at 00:14

Ross: I suspect that many schools specify kit along the lines that you describe. Would you allow boys to choose to leave their tops off if they so wished?

Comment by: Ross on 17th March 2020 at 07:12

Mr Dando, you talk of gender neutral PE kits. I think an ideal and cheap kit that should be adopted by all schools is white polo shirt, navy shorts and bare feet for all PE in or out and the cross country. Simple, cheap and easy to carry in and around school.

As for showers there are times like after a muddy run they are required itshould be pupil choice if they take one or not.