Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

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Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Year: 1935
Views: 344,292
Item #: 1741
Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team of Atherton, Greater Manchester.
Source: G. Smith.

Comment by: As on 5th December 2023 at 15:43

Ryan, at what age did that girl engage in such behavior with you? Did she ever mature out of it before you parted ways? Would she be subtle when she touched you or was she brazen about it? Did anyone else notice her behavior or comment on it?

You said you'd go onto the playground after PE, were you explicitly instructed to remain shirtless then?

Can you recall any particular examples of the cutting comments and teasing you mentioned?

Comment by: Kay on 4th December 2023 at 19:22

Ryan you've got to remember that some of these girls will not have brothers at home so when they are at school in the PE lesson if they are sharing with boys who are bare chested then it is probably the first time some of them have ever actually seen a real life boy up close with a bare body like that.

Comment by: Ryan on 4th December 2023 at 15:16


Choosing to go the pool I think is a whole different scenario compared to being made to do a PE lesson by your teacher without your shirts on and if there is any girl involvement among boys like that at say 12 to 16 years old. I know because I was forced into those kind of situations at school a lot at that age in the early 90s where girls shared the school gym alongside boys such as myself who had to present ourselves for our teacher in gym shorts and shirtless. It may be nothing to some people but it can be a big deal to others. I wasn't at all keen or confident like that and overly weedy, even though it probably wasn't. I'm familiar with the arm fold thing that got a mention, yes, it's like a shield defending yourself in an uncomfortable position. There was a girl who had to hold onto me in PE and touched my bare nipple and made a bit of a thing about that in the playground after PE, so embarrassing and there were one or two other girls who liked passing teasing or cutting comments about how boys looked.

Comment by: Andrea S on 4th December 2023 at 11:08

In reply to AS, although I never had a shared PE lesson with shirtless boys it was normal to see them at our local swimming pool etc. and none of them seemed to be bothered about their nipples being on show.

Comment by: Jason on 3rd December 2023 at 20:56

Whilst I can understand anyone ashamed of being overweight, how can anyone be ashamed of their nipples for goodness sake?

Comment by: Fiona on 3rd December 2023 at 09:28

Was it their nipples they were ashamed of or their obesity?

Comment by: Stu on 3rd December 2023 at 02:06

What's the first thing a girl looks at on a shirtless boy?

Comment by: As on 2nd December 2023 at 16:44

A question to the female contributors to this discussion who shared PE lessons with shirtless boys.

Over the years there have been several comments from males complaining about being forced to show their nipples in PE, which apparently was a particularly bad experience when the session was shared with girls. A few even spoke of crossing their arms over their chests to hide their nipples, and one male recalled a female peer chuckling when he tried to cover himself so.

Did you or other girls ever talk about the boys' nipples, stare or tease them about it?

Comment by: Tom on 16th November 2023 at 22:27


Get 'em young I say. Co-ed showering is a good start in life to help with all those silly problems that crop up later from some people about their bodies. Just look at the Burnley thread on this site and the amount of people fretting about school showers as more grown up teenagers for God's sake, and the amount of guys who didn't even like taking a top of for a bit in PE really surprises me. Nobody should have ever been bothered by any of these things in school. Your French growing up had it about right there.

Comment by: Ivan on 14th November 2023 at 10:02

In response to the post by Simon Steyn, I agree that in the UK big issues are made about nudity. Furthermore it is not only nudity but fashion. especially in means swimwear. Whereas i understand that in France and possibly other parts of Europe men wear swimming briefs(colloquially Speedos)in public in the UK this seems frowned upon and the wearing of such is limited to private swimming pools situated in Gyms.

Comment by: Mark on 13th November 2023 at 15:32

I wonder if boys in French schools get so worked up about the same things boys in UK schools seem to, like having to go shirtless or shower.

Comment by: Simone Steyn on 12th November 2023 at 22:57

I grew up in a small town Saint-Savin just outside of Poitiers in western France in the 1970s before coming to UK where I have a British husband. Back in those days at home in France as a young child boys and girls would share everything together. In France children were asked to take a short shower at young ages and boys and girls shared this at the start of school. This is maybe why my home country has a reputation for being very relaxed about nudity compared to UK where big issues are made of it.

Comment by: Chris G on 11th November 2023 at 09:30

I suffered from there being more than one Chris for a time, hence my simple alternative. Seems to work

Comment by: Tanya J Markham on 10th November 2023 at 22:45

David W Wow... that's not very nice is it? There's also nothing even remotely amusing about my name either.

Barry, thank you. The boys usually did their own thing but in the summer term each year group played a couple games of rounders, one against the girls the other a mixed team against the teachers. As it was PE kits the boys played bare chests. The gym was essentially a goldfish bowl with large reinforced windows nearly running the length of both sides so it.was easy for anyone to look and see boys exercising.

Comment by: Queen Gertrude on 10th November 2023 at 17:57

Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 2!
Line spoken by Queen Gertrude:

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks".

Not a game at all, just an English Literature test

Comment by: David W on 10th November 2023 at 12:02

I agree with Mark J. There are a few Mark's and David's about on this site so I use my surname initial like quite a lot of others do to set us apart if we don't wish to place a full name publicly. It's not hard to do.

But considering Tanya is not the commonest name going and that it followed a strange joke name prefixed Queen, I strongly suspect someone here is playing games.

Look at the name on 5th November from "Catherine Weighell" which is obviously meant to say Catherine Wheel which is how you say that surname.

Comment by: Harry on 10th November 2023 at 00:19

You're very welcome to post here, Tanya (Markham)! I wondered whether you actually shared the gym with the boys at your school?
At my school boys and girls mostly did PE separately but there were occasions when we were all in the gym together.
Boys' PE kit was shorts and bare chest and it was clear many of the girls definitely enjoyed that aspect of shared lessons!

Comment by: Mark J on 9th November 2023 at 23:08

Comment by: Tanya on 9th November 2023 at 21:51
I'm a Tanya too and yes it's my real name. My surname is Markham. Surely I can post using my own name??!.

Then may I suggest you used a bit of common sense and used your surname or it's initial, or something else after it to differentiate yourself from the Tanya that you must have noticed had already posted on here and has done lots on other parts of this site.

Comment by: Tanya on 9th November 2023 at 21:51

I'm a Tanya too and yes it's my real name. My surname is Markham. Surely I can post using my own name??!.

Comment by: Queen Gertrude on 9th November 2023 at 19:27

CF Hamlet, III, 2 for context

Nobody's name is unique, even on this thread!

Comment by: Tanya on 9th November 2023 at 17:06

Comment by: Tanya on 9th November 2023 at 13:19

Why have you written your comment using my name please?


Use your own name and stop that now.

Comment by: Chris G on 9th November 2023 at 14:20

I can understand your sister teasing you about sleeping topless, but girls are often like that. More seriously, did your parents have anything serious to say on the subject?
I've posted here recently about how, due to a misunderstanding on the part of my well-meaning Mum, about how I went from sleeping in PJ top and vest to fully topless one hot summer. The follow up to this is that when I went away to boarding school some 5 years later, reluctantly equipped with the regulation 3 pairs of PJs specified on the boarders clothing list, I found that everyone in my dormitory, without exception, wore shorts, or even less, to sleep in.

Comment by: Tanya on 9th November 2023 at 13:19

Pat, The photo wouldn't have the same effect of those boys were in vests, in my eyes it would have looked odd.

Schools should at least give them a chance to decide for themselves if they want to exercise bare chested indoors. Feminism really has gone too far.stopping boys being boys. I enjoyed seeing boys show their bare chests in the school gym and I'll bet I wasn't alone

Comment by: Dennis on 9th November 2023 at 13:13

I would think the majority of guys over the age of 18 sleep shirtless don't they?

Unsure what that percentage might be at various ages under 18 but in my case I was not encouraged to sleep like that and didn't do so until late teens.

When you've already got a sheet and four blankets over you, as I did in those days, or a high tog duvet as I now do, why do you need to wear anything on top in a bed. Although my wife thinks sleeping naked is not hygienic.

Comment by: geraint on 9th November 2023 at 02:08

These latest posts on nightwear are really interesting! In my own case, I only started sleeping shirtless in just a pair of shorts when I was an older teen, perhaps fifteen or even sixteen. We used to do PE without shirts at school for various activities so I was well used to the idea by then but somehow it never occured to me to go bare top to sleep, even during the warmer months. It was actually my older sister who finally caused me to make the switch. On one ofthose warm evenings when our parents were away I complained about the heat and so she suggested I take my top off to sleep. I was a bit caught offguard I suppose,by the idea of my own sister asking me to get my top off! But after some teasing I did try it that very night and was much more comfortable. I have rarely slept with a top since. I don't recall my parents or younger sister making any comments when they would catch a glimpse of me shirtless in my room but older sis was always ready with a snide comment or amused looks. I suppose that's how some siblings are!

Comment by: Pat on 8th November 2023 at 21:59

The uniform of a bare chest is far superior for boys in PE to wasting time with tee-shirts.

The boys above look better without than if they had tee-shirts of vests on don't they?

When working out in PE it's good to see the actual body doing its work.

Comment by: Gavin on 8th November 2023 at 13:30

Hi Clare,
No I dont think we did. Just grew up with it being the norm. I think it was just perceived as more masculine and manly for men not to wear sleepwear.
Also makes you wonder if us Lads doing PE shirtless was also perceived as being more masculine or about increasing our body confidence. A lot of people talk about it being related to health and safety, though some of our gym classes involved no equipment. think its all to do with norms and values at the time, would not be tolerated in schools today

Comment by: Andrea S on 8th November 2023 at 12:43

When I was at Primary School in the 1960s neither boys nor girls did PE in our undies, but we did have to get changed in the same classroom.

We were quite used to seeing boys in just swimming trunks at our local pool or on the beach. Similarly it wasn't unusual for some boys to take off their shirts when playing out during hot weather in the summer holidays.
I have to admit that,, although mum wouldn't have approved, I sometimes did the same (before I started to develop of course).

With regard to Fiona's question, I can't imagine that any schools would specify, or even allow, just a bra top for PE.

Comment by: Claire on 8th November 2023 at 10:02

Gavin 7th Nov;
Did you and your brothers ever compare notes with your sisters regarding nightwear, and did you anyone ever question why the boys and the girls had different arrangements?

Comment by: Gavin on 7th November 2023 at 20:35

Interesting read and lie what Maggie was saying I think this was very much the norm in both the 70s and 80s, probably more dominant in working class areas in Inner city areas of the UK where a lot of familys could not afford PE Kits.
I hated the indignity of PE at promary school, where on a Thursday afternoon you had to strip to your underwear for what was then called movement and drama. Girls wore pants and vests, us Lads had to take our vests off and go topless in just our pants. This was mortifying for most of us lads particularly with a female teacher.
It actually made high school feel much more civilised as we got a proper PE kit, which consisted of shorts and a houseshirt, colour deoended on what school house you were in. The house shirt was only worn for games, the lesson that took place out on the sports field. For PE which was done in the indoor sports hall, this was shorts only, strictly topless with no exception but to be fair this was an all boys high school in inner city Newcastle. I dont remember it being any big deal at all, or thinking anything of it, it was just the accepted Norm. I think us Lads were much more comfortable with our bodies back then though then what a lot of young men are now. It was the same at home. I grew up sharing a room with two brothers and in our house only the girls wore sleepwear, us boys including dad just went to bed stark naked. I dont think our parents could have afforded pjs for 3 boys back in those days, so think it was very much a generational thing