Burnley Grammar School
Item #: 1607
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, December 1959
Bran: "Was this teachers policy of keeping his 10/11 year old boys bare chested for PE right into the 1990's still appropriate.
It might be just me but the reasons he gives for entering teaching, his choice to become a PE teacher and his free use of the camera to record his boys (and girls) makes me suspect his motives. What do you think?"
Thanks for publishing this, Bran, and also Spelvin for bringing that disgusting book to our attention.
LIke you, Bran, I have severe reservations about that teacher, and if the police and education authorities took this sort of blatant voyeurism and child abuse seriously, the photographer assuming he is still alive (the book author died a couple of years ago) could expect the sort of early morning police visits several TV celebrities have enjoyed.
I was especially shocked that this sort of "minimal kit" as some people like to describe it, was still allowed in 1990, and it makes you wonder what his "dress code" would have been for older boys.
Many people on the site have sneered at my observations over the past year (and "Mr. Dando" gets it far worse than I have), but anyone who has ever been at the mercy of one of these weirdos (and that is putting it politely) might understand my reluctance to put it down to "those were the times". I have often said that, during the conscription years, which ended in the UK in 1960 there might have been some grounds for hardening boys up, but since 1960 is now over 60 years ago, there was no excuse for it to continue past 1960, when any lad who wished to experience military life could do so, but the vast majority who did not, could be spared the indignities we eventually went through. There was no excuse, and I maintain, those teachers who continued to use this excuse into the 1980s (and beyond, as we now see) was hiding more scabrous personal motives. At least two of the perpetrators have condemned themselves - you have to wonder how many more of them with paedophile tendencies who wasn't so ready with a camera got away with it for so long.
I have felt for a long time, anyone going into teaching, especially into PE , should be investigated by a psychiatrist.
One final thought about the English photographer - he taught other subjects, if his interest in young boys and girls was merely the beauty of their faces, why not photograph them in the subjects he taught them that did not include their removing their clothes? - and where the hell was the headteachers sense in allowing him to snap away when he should have been teaching?. I hope both are now retired.
(The school concerned is still open, btw)
But doesn't mention PE kit in either the Uniform or PE sections of its web-site.
All: Follow-up to my previous posting - I've no idea what I meant by a 'TP personal webpage' - put it down to an old age mis-type and leave it as 'personal webpage'.
(The school concerned is still open, btw)
That site reminded me of a book entitled In Search of Young Beauty, a book by Charles Du Bois Hodges, published in 1964.
The last time I looked at that book, I noticed that the word "enviable" appears a few times.
My guess is that he didn't get enough looking and showing during his own childhood and was trying to make up for lost time.
Here is my review of the book on the Amazon site:
The volume abounds with nude and seminude photographs of children and adolescents. This is ostensibly because children and adolescents are less inhibited models (8).
On top of this, he offers numerous other reasons. One reason is informality. In one photograph, he tries to convince himself that a girl at least 7 years old would typically play outside wearing only shorts (22). In another photograph, he tries to convince himself that a boy would typically perch on a tree branch wearing only undershorts (16).
Another reason is relevance. In one picture, two boys, disguised as Indians, appear shirtless (32). He also skinny-shoots a boy in a forest setting and titling the picture "Young Fawn" (164). In another picture, an adolescent girl posing as a member of the working class appears shirtless because shirtlessness symbolizes the working class (198).
Of course, nudity and seminudity are appropriate in some settings, so Hodges makes certain not to miss any of those settings. He poses a girl at home in underpants to show how she is seen by her family (76). Since total nudity is related to the river and the ocean, this is where he sets several photographs (152).
Composition is still another reason. In "Study in Rotundity," a chubby girl sits backwards in a curved chair, facing the viewer and showing her upper chest (50). For other photographs, he argues that a plain subject is imperative in order to compensate for a turbulent background (92). He could just as easily simplify the background or ask the subject to wear a solid-colored outfit, but why throw away a perfect excuse?
Hodges is also fond of using nudity as a symbol. A girl inspects a bud on a bush while showing her own budding breasts (178). A boy sitting on the riverbank displays his penis as proof of his gender (162). In the companion piece, titled "Nature's Verge," a girl with baby breasts and a fuzzy vagina steps into the river (160). He eventually runs out of constructs to represent, so he uses nudity as a symbol of nothing in particular (149).
Hodges' real reason might be that he got a buzz out of stripping children and showing them off. In other words, he might have been like an alcoholic on the constant lookout for people to toast.
That's an awful lot of kids shown for posterity in a state of undress, almost certainly without their, or their parents', permission.
@Bran - Thanks for bringing these to our attention - they're an interesting sociological/ historical group ... but ... I think it wrong that they've been posted 'openly' on the www. In a 'Friends Reunited' type group on Pestbook, with closed access, OK but to public view - no. Did he contact the 'youngsters' before putting these up?
Even if all of this is innocuous they shouldn't be on a TP personal webpage.
(One further sentence deleted)
I have an interest in history, especially the history of ordinary people so I sometimes search out old photo's on-line. I just found some of interest to this site. Here are the links:
The taker of these photos' tells us he entered teaching because "I was already running, boys clubs, youth clubs, football teams, so I decided that teaching would be the path for me." He entered teaching in 1983 so just before my first middle school PE experiences.
The photos show mostly smiling boys of I guess around 10 stripped down to just shorts posing while the teacher takes pictures of them. From my experience I would say that many of these boys are much less happy about the teacher's minimal kit preference than is shown. My guess is that this teacher gathered a sizable collection of photo's of young boys posing semi-naked during his years as a PE teacher, the reason he gives is that he enjoyed photography. Was this appropriate?
It is a mixed class and the girls of course are modestly attired so the bare chest policy is not safety related, my guess it was a mix of discipline and voyeurism which dictated the boys kit. Was this teachers policy of keeping his 10/11 year old boys bare chested for PE right into the 1990's still appropriate.
It might be just me but the reasons he gives for entering teaching, his choice to become a PE teacher and his free use of the camera to record his boys (and girls) makes me suspect his motives. What do you think?
We were given the choice of shirts or shirtless. To distinguish different teams we wore different colour bands over our chests. Always barefoot though no footwear allowed as school rules
Were you given a choice to be shirtless if you wanted to be or were you only shirtless if you played as a skin for shirts vs skins team games?.
Nice and modern in 1959 but come 2002 my school was probably using the exact same style gymnasium with polished wooden floors and wall bars and equipment. We weren't allowed plimsolls or trainers though and was strictly bare feet in the gym. We wore white shorts and white tee or shirtless.
Thanks Claire, You could just tell it was the ramblings of a fantasist, by the repetition of certain words and phrases. I didn't think of Googling her. What a pity on a fairly serious site people like that have to abuse it.
Googling for "Linda Jansen" and "nude" shows that this author posted this same fantasy (with minor text variations) on Quora.com a dozen times or more in the month of December 2019 alone!
LInda: You cite as proof a piece of film made in 1931. NOT 1974. I can believe it happened in the 1930s, but forty years later?..... I doubt it. Sorry.
William: What are we to make of a post which mentions the word "nude", or "naked" or "nudity" THIRTY SIX times?. I counted them, but I can't guarantee I counted them all. There was also a dime store sex novel term about the females "getting a little wet" when the boys undressed, and the girls saw the erections. I wonder how many of our readers really believe this story? - do you?.
According to this woman she and her friends went to the library "naked", she and her friends "drove nude" - you try putting your bare feet on the metal controls of a modern car and operating them, let alone one in circulation 47 years ago. I should have thought that the bible belt in America, still very vocal in the 1970s would have had something to say about that. A nice fantasy for those who like that sort of thing. I don't - I look for fact and honesty, I sometimes find instead exaggeration and, frankly disturbing fantasy passed off as fact.
Alan, the communist thing was just a little joke, the priest was complaining about boys being unfit to fight communists in that movie scene I posted.
As for USA, see these:
Alan, Look closely and you will see that you've got the wrong William.
I don't know if Linda is a fantasist. There is serious historical material to support much of what she says about boys' nudity in US schools and the change in attitude towards non-sexual nudity. An article in Life magazine from 1941 on Democracy in US schools has a photograph of boys showering naked. Apparently no-one complained.
As for insults, you need only look back at your comments over the past year to see what I mean. They stifle discussion which is a shame because you've made some thoughtful points.
It is okay to doubt me Alan but this is one example of a school sports days I used to attend. You must remember there were different standards then to what we have now.
William, Are you really so gullable you believe that nonsense in Linda's post?. She was obsessed with the word "nude" she used it three times in one two line paragraph alone. "Nude" and "naked", in the 1970s in America?. Unless she was attending one of those hippy commune schools, I frankly don't believe a word of it.
It is not an "insult" to suggest there are several posters here who have the strangest and most unsavoury fetishes. I thought I was quite gentle with poor Linda and her fantasies. You yourself in recent days have presented us with two videos showing naked lads. It seems a somewhat odd preoccupation for an adult male.
While talking about "insults", I didn't like your suggestion that I was a communist. God alone knows what strange fantasy of yours inspired that weird thought.
It is a shame that a site such as this should eb inspiring odd thoughts and wishful thinking. It should be based on fact, and I would put it you that Linda's post was pure fabrication.
Linda, You should know that Alan insults everyone who contributes anything that is different from his own opinion, usually by insinuating sexual perversion of one sort or another.
Linda. Here in Britain we have a long running game show on radio called "Just A Minute". Four contestants are given a subject and they have to talk for sixty seconds without hesitation, deviation (from the subject on the card) or repetition.
If we were playing the game on this thread I would have you for repetition of the word "nude". That there is deviation there is no doubt.
I honestly think a psychiatrist would have a field day if he/she were to read some of the messages on this thread. It hardly matters whether the stories are true or not, it is what the participants would have LIKED to have happened.
I went to high school in New York state, class of 1974.
Not only did we watch, we swam naked with them and did sit ups, push ups, jogging etc with them. Not all schools segregated the males and females.
We also attended other events in which the boys were nude and for us girls it was optional for us to go nude. Several girls chose to go nude and it was perfectly fine.
It wasn't a requirement for us girls. It was optional. All but two girls stripped naked when they were told they had that option. Not only did we swim naked, but we did sit ups, push ups, and jogging naked. This was during the 70s and not only did the girls strip naked so did the guys. I think it was mandatory for the guys to swim naked. But it was a lot of fun watching the guys get stiff as we stripped!
We also had other nude events at school such as fundraisers, track meets, and nude protests. As I mentioned in other posts it wasn't uncommon to see guys and girls walk to their cars nude after gym class or after track meets.
Nude protests to end the Vietnam war were common also. Both guys and girls participated.
During the 60s and 70s nudity was embraced by just about everyone. In the 1980s all of that changed when new laws to prohibit nudity were enacted.
My older sister wore a tie dye skirt with nothing underneath to Woodstock. I protested nude with other men to end the war in Vietnam.
Other times we were naked in school included our class walking to the library nude.
My friends and I rode bicycles nude when I was a little girl.
It wasn't uncommon to see girls and guys walk to their cars nude and drive off nude after gym class, swimming events. and track meets.
We often rode the bus nude to swimming events and meets.
There was a fundraising event at school in which a booth was set up and two other girls and I decided to be nude for the fundraiser. We only wore beaded necklaces and a headband.
The guys did a fundraiser nude also.
A friend of mine from another school told me that she was in a nude beauty pageant at her school.
I drove my car nude to several events.
My parents went nude also, and told me and my sister that they also had nude events when they were in high school. My dad graduated in 1949, and my mom graduated in 1953 by the way. So even back then nudity was common and accepted.
Nudity seemed to be popular until the early 1980s and then anti nudity laws and ordinance bans prohibited freedom of expression involving nudity and that's why you don't see people involved in nude activities today.
If I did half the things I was able to do and did when I was a teenager now, I would be arrested and sent to jail for a few months.
I noticed a lot of other people my age and younger who are saying that never happened in high school. I'm not sure where some of you attended high school, but swimming nude was mandatory in most schools in the U.S. even after I graduated.
In many schools nude PE and nude swimming was mandatory for boys. In some schools like the high school I attended beginning in 1970, boys had to be nude for PE and swimming. For girls it was optional. We were given the option to go nude for PE, swimming and other sports. Again this was common and acceptable during that time.
The girls were called into our gym teachers office and he told us to sit down. Once seated he said “Ladies, the boys have to be nude for PE.” We all began to giggle. Then he said “ But you ladies have the option to participate nude if you desire to.” We snickered even more. Then he asked us if any of us had a problem with it. No one said anything. Then he motioned for us to get up and we walked to the gym. On one side of the gym was the boys and we were on the other side. The gym teacher told the boys to strip. They stripped first. Then he looked at us and said “if you ladies would like to strip, please do so now.” All but two girls got naked. I watched the boys get aroused very quickly. The other girls saw it too and we all began giggling. A female assistant teacher who was older said “Girls, no giggling. An erection is a natural function of the male body. It just means they have healthy bodies.”
Did it it turn me on when I did PE with the guys? Yes! But we were watched closely. We had to follow the rules even though some of us were a little wet. Eventually we got used to it, and it wasn’t as stimulating as it was at first.
William - though it is none of your business, NO, I am NOT a communist - far from it. What on earth prompted that remark?
Politics aside, you seem to enjoy YTs of naked boys. I'd worry more about that than who I vote for, if I were you.
Alan, are you a communist?
William - what does that get filed under? - necrophilia or paedophilia?
William - the operative word is "was". It's dated 1919, over 100 years ago!
This is Strömbadet in Stockholm.
I guess it was more comfortable wearing just shorts when the weather was warm. It was certainly nice riding a bike shirtless. I wore shorts at home during the summer all the time until I was 13.
Bran,did you find it more comfortable wearing just your shorts for playing in the garden than your jeans and sweater?UP to what age did you wear shorts at home?
Did anyone else ever have to do public displays of gymnastics while being shirtless?
They could easily have allowed the PE vests to be worn for athletics John as they were not being used for gymnastics at that time. The strict adherence to games kit for all games, PE kit just for indoors was ridiculous.
It’s clear that the summer athletics kit should just have been socks and trainers, there was no point in making you wear a ridiculously hot rugby top only to have to take it off.