Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

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916 Comments

Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Year: 1935
Views: 209,827
Item #: 1741
Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team of Atherton, Greater Manchester.
Source: G. Smith.

Comment by: Andrea on 6th January 2021 at 14:53

The guidance from the Scottish Government is in response to the Covid pandemic ie. to avoid pupils being in relatively small, poorly ventilated areas and will doubtless be withdrawn once the pandemic is over.

Comment by: Mr Dando on 3rd January 2021 at 16:52

The current Covid 19 pandemic must be used as a launch pad to abolish the compulsory School shower amongst all four nations of the United Kingdom. Please see this guidance from the Scottish Government.

"Young people should be encouraged to arrive at school in their sports kit on days when physical education lessons will take place and, where possible, wait until they get home to shower and change. If the use of changing rooms and showering facilities is required, schools should ensure these are as well ventilated as possible, used only by small numbers at any point in time to maximise physical distancing, and that attention is paid to cleaning surfaces after use. Consideration should be given to the needs of children and young people with disabilities or special needs."

There are still schools which mandate showers for outdoor lessons.

https://www.blue-coat.org/school-information/uniform-regulations/

P.E. Equipment
Compulsory Items

Black & Gold training Top with Blue Coat logo
Black training shorts with Blue Coat logo
Black knee length sports socks
White ankle socks
Towel for shower taken after every outdoor lesson, optional for indoor lesson.
Football boots.
Trainers.

Let us bring full child protection amongst all of the United Kingdom and in every school.

Comment by: Alan on 16th December 2020 at 06:05

John & Tim H: Those singlets and tee shirts are so heavy aren't they?. Those shorts alone must weight a ton as well - perhaps they should leave their shorts off as well as their shirts and run around in their jockstraps?

Comment by: TimH on 15th December 2020 at 15:46

John
Just a comment: some years ago on one of the TV talent shows there was a mixed sex gymnastics team called 'Spelbound'. The 'boys' in the team wore shorts only, and the girls not an awful lot me.

Comment by: Alan on 14th December 2020 at 07:03

John: You wrote "Such a sensible PE kit, those lads worked hard and would soon have worked up a sweat. Exercising shirtless is comfortable and natural, most male gymnasts train shirtless. I’ve never understood why male gymnasts aren’t allowed to take part in competitions shirtless."

If you will allow me to say so, this seems to be a personal fetish with you. May I ask you why you are so concerned about the dress or undress of other people?. As I have said elsewhere, whilst you might have enjoyed parading round half naked, not everybody did, or does, and why should your whims be carried out for your pleasure and those taking part's possible discomfort?

Comment by: Tom B on 10th December 2020 at 13:39

A photo of the latest batch of RAF PTIs appeared on my Instagram feed today.

They wear cotton shorts of a similar length to those in this pic and vests. It does look somewhat old fashioned.

Comment by: Rob on 10th December 2020 at 11:38

I agree John, apart from those black socks! Male gymnasts should be allowed to take part in competitions shirtless and why not in shorts instead of those long white trousers?

Comment by: John on 8th December 2020 at 15:50

Such a sensible PE kit, those lads worked hard and would soon have worked up a sweat. Exercising shirtless is comfortable and natural, most male gymnasts train shirtless. I’ve never understood why male gymnasts aren’t allowed to take part in competitions shirtless.

Comment by: Ade C on 14th September 2020 at 18:09

I never had to do X Country bare chested etc, that was always in the school out door kit, the good old reversible rugby shirt. Indoor p e however was white shorts only, bare chest and bare feet, not an issue as I was also in a gymnastics club where footwear was frowned upon.

Comment by: Valance on 7th September 2020 at 11:28

did any one meet with Mr Dando to protest?

Comment by: Peterlee on 5th September 2020 at 09:46

If you are going to demonstrate in public why do it on a Saturday??? Surely during the week when politicians may be around!!!

Comment by: LeedsLad on 3rd September 2020 at 09:06

What an intriguing proposition! I'm half tempted to turn up, just to see if you exist! ;) What will you be wearing, so one can identify you?

Comment by: Mr Dando on 2nd September 2020 at 17:51

No pupil should be forced to do physical education either bare-footed, bare chested or be compelled to have a compulsory shower in school.

This is an offending school that still has a mandatory towel requirement.

https://www.crickhowell-hs.powys.sch.uk/uniform/pe-kit/

Both Boys and Girls

Predominantly white PE top with collar (polo shirt)
Maroon Football/Rugby/Hockey socks
Clean training shoes – with non-marking soles
Short white socks
Towel
Tracksuit (Optional)

Boys Specifically

Black cotton/nylon shorts
White cotton/nylon shorts
Black/Maroon outdoor sports shirt, available only from Price and Buckland
Football/Rugby boots

Girls Specifically

Maroon skort
Maroon nylon satin finish shorts
Black/Maroon outdoor sports shirt, available only from Price and Buckland

With the return of the dreaded PE lessons this September it is time to learn from the sins of the past and end state sponsored child abuse. Let us come together this 5th of September 2020 and call for the end of compulsory PE lessons in all state schools! Covid 19 and the need for self distancing gives an excellent reason to end communal changing rooms and contact sports.

Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression is the basis of all PE lessons. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I had no choice but to be subject to the dreaded school communal shower from September 1985 until Easter 1987. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me on September 5th night 2 metres apart, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give Boris Johnson a fifth of September that shall never, ever be forgot. Yours Mr Dando!

Comment by: Stewart on 20th August 2020 at 10:21

Peter... No-one ever hurt their feet as far as I can remember.
And schools in New Zealand are still encouraging pupils to run cross country barefoot to this very day, as they know the advantage of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPrYoruufRM

Comment by: Pete on 18th August 2020 at 12:00

Stewart,
Don't tell me that none of the pupils ever got injured running barefoot during cross country runs if they stepped over something sharp.

I think it is very dangerous and improper to make kids run barefoot outside. Not even the toughest athletes would probably dare do this. This is confirmed by the fact that the PE coaches themselves usually always wore shoes for these runs with the boys while they made the boys run barefoot which does not make sense and was abusive.

I also don't believe as some posters are saying that they enjoyed running barefoot outside in all weather and ground conditions.
In any case I don't think that this was common at all for cross country runs.

Comment by: Stewart on 12th August 2020 at 10:55

Readers may be interested in my PE experiences. Between 1967 and 1974 I attended an English grammar school where the P.E. regime was very strict, and bare feet were compulsory for both boys and girls indoor and outdoor P.E.

It was always a mixed lesson, like all the other lessons at the school, and for indoor P.E. in the gym or sports hall both the boys and girls wore shorts. The girls also wore T-shirts, but the boys were bare chested.

Outdoor P.E. was on a Wednesday afternoon, with cross country every fortnight, both winter and summer. Boys could wear T-shirts for that, but again, both boys and girls were compelled to run barefoot...even in winter. In the winter term, the alternate Wednesdays were given over to netball for the girls, again they had to play barefoot. For boys, it was rugby, and this was the only exception to the barefoot rule. We could wear rugby boots.

All the other terms were given over to track and field events, where both boys and girls wore shorts and T-shirts, but again, we were barefoot, no exceptions. Even when we competed in county athletics tournaments we had to be barefoot, while most other competitors wore shoes. I do think this gave us a distinct advantage though, as we did tend to win most events.

Our P.E. teachers for the most part wore shoes for the lessons, but there was a strange thing with the cross country. Our P.E. teachers were quite young -- the boys' teacher (male) was late 20s, and the girls' teacher (female) was in her early 20s (but, of course, to us teenagers, that was positively ancient!). Both teachers always ran cross country with us -- the man at the front, and the woman teacher at the back. The man wore shoes, but the girls' teacher always ran barefoot -- yet she always wore shoes for all other P.E. lessons, including indoors.

I loved being barefoot for P.E., but my girlfriend at the time hated it. She was okay with going barefoot indoors, but not outdoors. She asked if she could wear shoes for cross country and netball, but was told definitely not: bare feet were compulsory. I remember seeing her crying while she was brushing snow, barefoot, off the netball court.

I can't see the health and safety brigade condoning barefoot cross country at schools nowadays, either compulsory or by indivdual choice, which is great shame.

Comment by: Stuart on 18th July 2020 at 07:35

We get our word gymnasium from the greek Gymnos which means naked.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnasium_(ancient_Greece)

Personally I love to swim naked where possible, so much nicer than wearing a costume. A habit of course picked up at school as recounted earlier

Comment by: Pete on 11th July 2020 at 13:21

Peter V ,
Athletics for boys were very popular in ancient Greece and they didn't take place just at the Olympic games which were held every 4 years just like they are today.
And just like today only the best athletes from around the country took part.
What is rarely ever mentioned is that every town in Greece had a small stadium where athletic events were regularly held throughout the year. In villages or towns that did not have a stadium the events were held in the streets and the boys and youths taking part were always naked no matter where they were held and anyone in the town or village could attend to watch the events, including girls and women. This is all documented though rarely mentioned.
One can still see these open stadiums all over Greece and surrounding countries among the ancient ruins.
The Olympic games were male only spectators because it was part of a religious festival always held in the same place near Mount Olympus where there was a temple dedicated to this god.
So the Olympic Games were the exception, not the rule, concerning female spectators.

Comment by: Peter V on 9th July 2020 at 09:48

Having read the comments re nudity, apparently during the original Olympic games in ancient Greece the competitors all competed naked. although of course the games were restricted to males only.

Comment by: Turner on 7th July 2020 at 13:16

The municipal swimming baths on Holderness Road, Hull, in the late fifties had an all-male swimming session every Saturday for one hour from 9am. lt was the smaller of the two pools that boys aged 9 to 14 were allowed to use; there was no requirement for costumes to be worn and about half the boys went in stark naked, usually the ones aged about 9 to 13. Boys of about 14 seemed to favour trunks though not in all cases.

Family members including sisters often came into the pool area to fetch offspring or brothers. This was perfectly normal and not considered embarrassing by the boys. nor was the sight of naked small boys offensive to the adults.

The building (dating from 1898) still exists and is to be converted to apartments. A nearby leisure centre now provides swimming pools but no doubt any suggestion of naked swimming by little boys would be met with pursed-lipped disapproval.

Comment by: Pete on 6th July 2020 at 13:12

Stuart, I made a long Summer holiday tour in Italy during the 70s in my twenties and it was much the same as you describe on Spanish beaches.
It was common to see girls and women swimming and sunbathing topless on public beaches, something which I never saw in England.
It was also not uncommon to see boys up to maybe 9 or so swimming naked. On some remote beaches one could even see whole groups of boys even older swimming naked.
The further South I went the more this was common, maybe poverty had something to do with it, few seemed to own swimsuits at that age. The girls in these places however always swam in their underwear, only the boys swam naked. It didn't seem to bother any of them at all. Teen boys and girls usually wore old shorts or something or just underpants for boys.

Comment by: Stuart on 6th July 2020 at 09:38

Re no trunks on the beach. As a kid in the 1970s i spent all my summers in northern spain and was often naked on the beach there, a lot of women were topless and they had a far more relaxed attitude than britain obviously.
In terms of ages acceptable it was not clearly defined but definitely not acceptable once puberty had started and always boys not girls. I think the last time i was naked was 13 but was an exception as I had forgotten my trunks and my mum thought it was ok as i was still a boy,- no one seemed to care, except me!

Comment by: Chris G on 4th July 2020 at 23:47

I lived in a seaside town in Sussex until my early teens, and trips to the beach were regular events throughout that period. Swimming trunks were always required, with no exception. Even when playing in the privacy of our back garden in the summer, total nudity was utterly taboo.

Comment by: Josh H on 3rd July 2020 at 09:38

I also wonder up to at what age did mothers expect boys to be naked in public, ( on the beach). I know that my mother always ensured I had trunks on and changed behind a towel.

Comment by: Pete on 2nd July 2020 at 04:29

Fred,
I presume that it was a boys only school that made you swim naked.
Were there any occasions when females like teachers or others could see you swim naked?

Also, was there an age limit when mothers used to make boys sim naked on beaches and pools? I would also presume that this was only for very young boys.

Comment by: Fred on 29th June 2020 at 07:15

Back in my school days naked swimming for the boys was just seen as normal and most of us had mothers that required us to be naked outside of school at pools and beaches so nudity among boys was quite commonplace and ordinary to us. We even did the occasional pe lesson nude I remember one time we should have been swimming but the pool was being serviced so we had regular pe instead and of course none of us had our shorts so we all ran into the gym nude.

Comment by: Harry on 27th June 2020 at 14:49

Ian you seemed to have attend a school for masochists. Having a belting league and you accepting a belting as a forfeit for loosing at a game of strip poker. Was not loosing the game considered by the other participants punishment enough? Surely the game was not played at school.

Comment by: Ian on 27th June 2020 at 06:41

Stuart, we had to take three, four or even six strokes of the belt over the hands given hard by the teacher. Tough but effective as it earned you "street cred" with the other lads. Some lads were even in informal "belting leagues" trying to get as many strokes of the belt as possible over the year. Also, the belt was often seen as a form of entertainment livening up a dull period.

There was bullying, but not much. I also remember one day a lad stripping off, starting to take his trunks out of his bag, hesitating, putting them back then going to the teacher to say he'd forgotten them. It was a quite a sight seeing him belted. Naked beltings were extremely rare.

Apart from actually forgetting my pe kit (maybe once a term), I took on a forfeit to pretend to forget my trunks after losing a game of strip poker with several lads from the class.

Comment by: Stuart on 24th June 2020 at 15:34

Ian, your comment about punishment for forgetting your trunks reminded me that unlike in my prep school where nude swimming was the norm, in the senior school it was regulation black speedo type trunks.
It was still in a private pool and if you forgot your trunks you had to swim naked and goer two whacks from his trusty plimsoll.
However this opened up a route for either bullying or tricks in that some boys every so often nicked or hid another boys trunks before the lesson resulting in the inevitable nude swim and slippering. They couldnt do it regularly else that would have been too obvious, but you never knew when it might happen and if you'd be the target. Happened to me a couple of times. I'm sure the PE teachers knew it went on but as it wasn't targeted at one individual they turned a blind eye to it.

Comment by: Ian on 24th June 2020 at 14:02

Early in secondary in a boys school, our class was scheduled for a gym period but for some reason we had a swimming period instead. We only had white gym shorts with us but not our Speedo style trunks. On that occasion, we had one of the milder PE teachers who told us to swim wearing our shorts if we wanted. He said if they were uncomfortable, take them off if we wanted. The bold lads were naked before he finished his breath and the rest of us soon stripped off. We had a whale of a time when it was our choice.
After that we always took our trunks just in case, as there were some really strict teachers who would just order you in naked and punish you for not having your trunks.