Fulwood County Secondary School
Item #: 1608
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, November 1958
I went to Fulwood in September 1954. Started in 1c, then 2b, then 3a 5a 6a and upper 6th. Played for the school rugby team, catain Cross Country team, also member of the school athletics team, managed a 54 seconds 400 metres against Penwortham. Specialised in Art and Design with Doug Whitaker, gaining a distinction in A level Art. Went back for a brief part time teaching post in 1966 to introduce photographic studies. Went on to work at two Colleges of Art and Design. Final appointment Head of Graphic Design at Plymouth College of Art, Now retired living in Cornwall at the ripe old age of 80 years. Ted
IP Logged: **.**.217.66
Please don't mind my posting this, but it might be of interest as there are films dating to the nineteenth century. Here is the website of the North West Film Archive, including Lancashire:
The search box for the catalogue is lower down the screen; enter any word or phrase and press enter and that takes you to a page headed "Film and Video Catalogue Search".
To see just those films that can be viewed without charge online, tick the "watch online" check-box before searching. In the results list, the clipboard symbol means you can view the film on the website itself if you click on the film title.
Some of the other films can also be viewed free online, but the catalogue entry will tell you to go to the BFI Player website (British Film Institute) to do so.
If you search for "Fulwood", there is a film you can watch showing Sir Winston Churchill visiting the area of this school in June 1945.
Hi - Does anyone remember (or know where the
following are now) Alan Peat, Jim(James) Gourley, Alan Yates, and Tony (Antony) Rosen who went there around the same time as my friend Dave Wilson whose got a big birthday this year and would like to buy them a pint !! Thanks KM
Wish when I was a boy we had to wear regulation school knickers
Neil, it's not perhaps that some of you were swimming with nothing on in those years that is especially surprising but more that photography was allowed freely in that circumstance. Now even in a normal swimming situation in proper dress, open picture taking even by parents would be discouraged by many.
I was 6 years old in 1971 and we went on a school trip to the countryside and spent some time beside a very shallow river, with some concrete paddling steps down to the water. Because we had not expected to be going into any water the boys were allowed to go in and more than paddle and have a full splash about without any of our clothing on while the teachers and others watched on the grass nearby. Nearly all of the boys, including me, ended up naked having fun for a while, in the presence of I think about three all female teachers, and some girls. Days of incredible innocence and fun that was unplanned and just happened on a day out. I remember us having to shake ourselves dry because there was nothing to dry with. Nobody was harmed by any of it.
We had a pool very similar at our infants first school in 72/3. Lots of us 6/7 year olds used to go in with nothing on even when some of our parents came along to watch and help. I've an old polaroid snap a parent took, noticeable that at least five of the boys you can see clearly have nothing on at all, others do, girls are in the pool and a collection of mums around the edge looking in. We didn't really learn to swim in the pool, it seemed like a big fun splash around bath tub at the time. I actually learned to swim properly only once I'd got to the age of 10 and 11 when primary took us along to a community pool.
I've just seen this article (Oct 2021) about a heated mobile inflatable pool in use at a Stoke-on-Trent school for four weeks. It then toured other nearby schools where children had missed out because of the pandemic:
Tnank you, Andrew, for your recollections. My own junior school swimming lessons in the early nineties were simply at the local leisure centre, our class going there by bus. We were fortunate in that we had a series of weekly lessons in each school year between the ages of eight and eleven. I remember the footbaths and the armbands.
As this is a history site, I hope no-one minds my posting something recent, but it seemed such a joyous, good-natured article relevant to the thread of the discussion that I thought it might be appropriate.
Matthew I swam in a small makeshift pool just like that when I was at primary school and began using it at the age of nine for two years. The pool did not really last very long and after about five years was dismantled and completely removed which was a great shame for those who came after me who lost the chance to easily go swimming just outside the classroom door. Our pool was the same depth throughout, quite shallow, probably about 3ft I guess. The floor of the thing was very uneven and not smooth. It took a lot of maintenance to keep the water safe and clean I think. When we swam before going in we always had to rinse under a shower first in the changing room and were allowed to do so again afterwards if we wanted to rid ourselves of the chlorine smell. I'm roughly the same era as the photo of Parkway School there. It looks to me that those style of makeshift swimming pools for lower school use were the in vogue thing at that time for some reason. In our school the teacher never ever got in the water with us but stood dressed normally at the edge just watching and instructing. By the age of ten I felt like I'd outgrown the pool and wanted a proper one that was deeper after I became better at swimming.
I wonder what happened to the ginger boy looking at the camera. He'd probably be about the same age as me now, fifty one. Being in a school pool just like that seems like it was just yesterday. That school was very lucky to have one in the infants school. I felt lucky to have mine at primary middle school.
A photo of a paddling pool at an infant school in Welwyn Garden City in 1978, on another reminiscence site (click on the photo to see a larger version):
A belated thanks for the video link, James.
The reason we had swimming lessons in school. They loved scaring us 70s kids.
Thank you, everyone, for your comments, particularly Nathan Hind.
Please don't mind my posting this interesting link to a 2022 article on the Royal Life Saving Society UK website, touching on school swimming. It notes that only 80% of schools offer swimming, in part because in many places local swimming facilities have closed down:
Also, it says the greater choice of entertainment children have (presumably thinking of the internet and multichannel television) makes it more difficult to transmit safety messages outside of the education system. Thirty years ago, a TV public information film at 4 pm on a weekday afternoon would have been seen by most British children; now, no longer.
Our school gives pupils swimming lessons as part of the PE curriculum. Some are more keen than others. It's uncommon but not unheard of for someone on the boys side to ask about a top in the pool. Infact one boy did jump in the pool once in a PE vest before being asked to remove it. We won't allow boys at school to enter the pool wearing vests, t-shirts or lycra style outfits like all-in-one body suits. We have had a young man attempt to do so with one of those but disallowed it after a discussion and now make it clear boys enter the pool on swimming days in traditional swimming trunks/swim shorts and that's all.
Really it should not need saying should it and I don't suppose it did in days gone by.
Thankyou Fiona but he's been in the same place all the time, no switching.
He has taken swimming and visited pools in his own time but nothing related or connected to the actual schools he's been at.
When our son had swimming lessons at school, it was only a single course of six or eight sessions, all taken during a singe term.
So, if your grandson has moved between a number of schools during his school career, it's quite possible that he was never in the right place at the right time to ancounter the appropriate term when swimming was on the agenda.
I saw your comment last night Matthew and didn't know that because my own grandson leaves school this coming summer and has never had a swimming lesson at school. Which raises an interesting question about how he slipped through the net then. He's been to normal state schools in the English shires.
Given that swimming lessons are a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, and most schools expect boys to take part wearing only trunks, in a group setting, I wonder how well the boy got on.
Not being too harsh at all. You don't go swimming with a silly spiderman baggy top on yourself. What happened to kids doing as they are told by adults, and adults, their parents accepting the rules and regulations of a place they choose to visit. This is the second story on this site in recent days (the other one was about coat wearing not allowed in PE for God's sake) where a parent has disliked something and gone running to the media over stupid trivia and been indulged.
It's very unusual for a child of that age to want to swim in a t-shirt at all. Most are only too happy to get things off and go in the pool as you'd expect them to with nothing on top. Is this boy wishing to cover up his body because he is shy or is it that he likes that top so much. Even so, he has lots of chances to wear it out of the water so it does seem a bit odd. The pool has every right to insist on its own dress code like any other place can do. This child should not be indulged to this degree. If he wants to swim he goes in like everyone else does unless he has a good medical reason not to do so.
Am I being too harsh on him?
I know it’s a few years ago now, but what do you make of this?
My school banned trainers in the school sport hall around about 10 years ago because of one upmanship with who was wearing what kind of trainers and which brands as it was creating divisions. We initially tried to insist on non logo trainers for a few weeks but that didn't work so now PE at my school sport hall is strictly of the barefoot variety for everyone. Problem solved. We should have done it long before we did. Changing to that caused some unhappiness.
Good notice there Fiona. I watched that video and didn't see that detail. Interesting isn't it. I wonder why the girls had socks and the boys didn't. It reminds me of someone on here who once said they shared PE with girls who wore socks and plimsolls while the boys went without both and wore nothing in the same class beside them.
If you are wearing trainers or plimsolls then socks is the better option rather than nothing but I think trainers/plimsolls without socks looks better visually with shorts, probably why the modern footsies hidden sock is popular nowadays to try and give the best of both worlds.
At least the boys could wear their plimsolls. We couldn't do so at their age on the gym floor or wear tops. I hated being in my bare feet more than I hated being without a top in my bare chest as well. It was like being ready to go swimming but without access to a pool to jump and hide in. We also had to take our pants off before we put our shorts on and my primary began making boys shower by the age of nine and we often had a young student teacher on training with us.
Not only don't the boys get to wear tops, they don't get socks either.
Here is an interesting piece of 1960s colour footage, showing a gymnastics lesson with the equipment set up in the playground, taken at a primary school in Ramsbottom, Lancashire:
Huntley Archives, though a business, state they are happy for the public to view their film previews, such as this one.
Some schools are now forcing parents to buy kits with a logo when they have perfectly acceptable tops without one that meet all the requirements. Why does a kid doing PE need his shorts to be emblazoned with the school logo in one small corner exactly, it's pure vanity. Plus these kits are always so much more expensive.Tops also have to be logo'd much the same, and even socks. The local school to me even requires a towel with a logo of the school. When and why has that all become a thing?
Jeff, I think that was fairly normal in the 1950s and 1960s. Schools hadn't got ensnared by "logo-ed kit syndrome" back than. When I started at secondary school, the uniform list just specified "white shorts" and "white vest", without specifying a particular style or that these items needed to be purchased at a particular shop. In practice, many of us just re-purposed our everyday underwear vests as PE kit, and on one occasion, Mum actually made me a pair of shiorts from some spare white cotton fabric left over from a dress-making job that she had just completed. The bottom line was that as long as we were reasonably decently and safely clad, anything was acceptable.
Those girls in the picture are sure wearing a variety of different PE shorts.
At my school, both primary and secondary, both boys and girls wore the same white top and white shorts for PE in the 60s.
RIP Mrs McClusky. :-(
I remember doing something in my class when I was around eight or nine years old with many of us in class walking around in our bare feet. I then asked if I could go to the toilet and was allowed to but teacher would not let me even put my socks back on to walk down the corridor to them. When I got into the toilet someone had splashed all over the floor around the toilet and I realised too late before standing in it. I then tried to put one foot at a time into the sink under the tap to wash it off which was hard to manage and taking time when my teacher came along opened the door and saw me and thought I was just mucking about and pulled me back along to the classroom with one foot still wet with the urine of somebody I'd trodden in. Horrible memory and a horrible teacher too and I always hated being barefoot in school even when I didn't step in something not nice.