Burnley Grammar School

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Burnley Grammar School
Burnley Grammar School
Year: 1959
Views: 1,409,735
Item #: 1607
There's pleny of room in the modern-styled gymnasium for muscle developing, where the boys are supervised by Mr. R. Parry, the physical education instruction.
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, December 1959

Comment by: Tony on 20th March 2024 at 13:31

It's a shame to see you back up and persisting down this line of conversation Alan to the exclusion of something else. Time to move on don't you think, and talk of other things.

I'll agree with you that anybody convicted of offences relating to minors should never be allowed any kind of employment anywhere in any school again for eternity, full stop.

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Comment by: Graham on 20th March 2024 at 10:16

Sean - what a breath of fresh air in what has become a rather introspective and tedious discussion. Like you, I generally seized any opportunity to get my top off. At Primary school, PE was generally topless, by individual choice rather than teacher's diktat, and in summer, outside of school, I spent most of my waking hours, and all of my sleeping ones, bare chested, largely with parental encouragement. When I went to a boarding school aged 11, expecting to have to wear PE and pyjama tops, as these were both on the boarders' equipment list, I was overjoyed to find that both items were superfluous. PE was again optionally topless, and 100% so, and my first night in a dormitory with 7 or 8 other lads was as a revelation, as one by one, my dorm-mates stripped to their birthday suits on getting into bed

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Comment by: Alan on 20th March 2024 at 04:17

Comment by: Jennings on 19th March 2024 at 20:30


"Alan lunchtime comment today response;

"Addressing someone as 'Sir' or 'Madam' is all about a level of respect and being polite, not just in school but just going around the shops. Today I was called 'Sir' by an employee of John Lewis when I went in, and it makes a huge difference and is very pleasant that some places decide to uphold respectful standards of practice in this day and age.

Sir, you seem to have hijacked this forum somewhat in my opinion."


With respect, (Mr?) Jennings, the use of "sir" and "madam" reeks of another age - the age of deference. I do not subscribe to it, and never have, and on the very few occasions I have ever been called "sir", I say the name is Alan. I believe John Lewis have been faring very badly lately, to the point where they are shedding jobs, closing stores and denying their "partners" (staff) their annual bonus. Most of the blame seems to attach to their CEO, Ms. White who has never previously run a retail outfit. Perhaps they should embrace moderninity?



Comment by: Nathan Hind on 19th March 2024 at 22:11


Clearly if you are marrying next year (congratulations by the way) my remarks don't apply to you, but I have made it very clear the sort of person I am talking about.

Comment by: Sean on 19th March 2024 at 23:23


"I think you've been ingesting some magic mushrooms or smoking weed Alan, to come out with that viewpoint and expect it to be taken seriously. You've basically cast all single men under automatic suspicion of who knows what and that's a horrible place to be, to do that to any group in society. It's like feminists who cry 'all men are rapists'. Like hell they are."

Leaving aside the opening jibe, Sean - the question remains - how are we to deal with men and women who have these proclivities, which, in the context of children are illegal?. There are no mitigating circumstances.

Let's take one of the cases I have highlighted: the teacher served a prison sentence of 22 months on his first series of offences, and when he was charged with exactly the same offences years later, he received a suspended sentence. This opens up a series of questions: why was he allowed to teach PE after his first custodial sentence?. By the late 1990s computers were in widespread use and the databases that accompany them. He even got a job in the same area - not even hundreds of miles away. Somebody, I suspect, turned a blind eye. Secondly the derisory sentence was far too short. Perhaps a 5 year stretch would have convinced him to see the error of his ways?. Clearly he either received no practical help for his peccadilloes or he was just rotten to the core. He shouldn't have re-offended, but given that he did, he should never have been readmitted to his profession.

You had no problems at school, Sean, and you seem to imply they would not have affected you even if you had, but what of men who were affected by disgusting perverts like the one we are discussing?

What is the answer in dealing with men of this sort?. They cannot just be allowed to get away scot free, and able to re offend.

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. You would not leave an open bottle of Scotch to tempt an alcoholic and men who have these proclivities should be kept away from school locker rooms. In fact, they should have the strength themselves to preclude themselves from temptation.

As I have said before, these days there are so many openings for people in the private sector, with private gyms springing up more quickly than budget supermarkets. Why not seek employment there, where the clientele are adults - why inflict themselves on children and very young adults?.


I make no apology for my viewpoint - I am merely explaining it.

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Comment by: Harold on 20th March 2024 at 03:01

I've often wondered if in the far future there will come a time when the fairer sex will also be allowed to walk around in general public or perform in sports while stripped from the waist up like men and boys do.

The male of the species was always designed to bare his chest. It's a sign of masculinity, strength and confidence. PE teachers that can take a class like that and make them feel good about themselves are doing a good job. I think there are definite plus points for at least engaging with bare chested PE at least once in a while for everyone irrespective of feelings. Your body is nothing to be shy or ashamed about when in a natural setting to expose it, and a gym lesson is the idea opportunity other than going in the pool.

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Comment by: Jeff on 20th March 2024 at 01:30

Comment by: Sean on 19th March 2024 at 23:23
I really like people such as you Craig with that wonderful group you've got going and would be in it like a shot myself, it sounds so positive, friendly and non judgemental, all things I like a lot about people.




Positive people are always infectious to be around and lift those around them, whereas overly negative people are often a drain on people and drag them down with them.

I have a good PE report for Iain, it goes, 'Jeffrey has an enthusiasm to join the school football team in the near future but I have suggested the athletics team might be more suited at this time.'.

I loved football but was not really good enough for the school team but excelled at field sports. Polite way of saying I was no good!

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Comment by: James Finch on 20th March 2024 at 00:56

Comment by: TimH on 19th March 2024 at 19:33
@PaulG 18/3/2024 04.46
Your video link - I haven't looked at it all - but my reaction was/is - 'Aah - Happy Days!'


I agree Tim. I also have very fond memories looking back at the old videos of myself back at school in the late 1970s such as the one I left on here of my sports days in South Africa where I went to school before returning home to the UK with my parents.

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Comment by: Sean on 19th March 2024 at 23:23

I think you've been ingesting some magic mushrooms or smoking weed Alan, to come out with that viewpoint and expect it to be taken seriously. You've basically cast all single men under automatic suspicion of who knows what and that's a horrible place to be, to do that to any group in society. It's like feminists who cry 'all men are rapists'. Like hell they are.

Am I that ususual, surely there were lots of others like me. I'm outgoing, keen to try new stuff all the while and give anything a go, even if I fail. At school I didn't care one bit about having showers, or who saw me in them, I didn't care one bit when I wasn't wearing a top, I didn't care if girls saw me like it either. None of that mattered to me at all. It was all quite absolutely alright. I didn't mind failing or being no good as long as I tried things. Surely there are other men out there just like I was at school. I can hand on heart say I never felt anxious by going barechested in school at any point in time and being naked with showers far from being something to avoid was something I jumped at the chance to take enthusiastically without any fear about it or thoughts to what people thought of me or what I looked like.

Good on those boys at your school Nathan for that result you got. They sound a grounded bunch there and you sound like a fabulous PE teacher too.

I really like people such as you Craig with that wonderful group you've got going and would be in it like a shot myself, it sounds so positive, friendly and non judgemental, all things I like a lot about people.

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Comment by: Nathan Hind on 19th March 2024 at 22:11

Thankyou for a couple of the comments reacting to my school vote so far. I'd welcome some more feedback.

I would not be eligible to do my job in school under the suggestion that was made on this thread early today by you Alan. I am neither married yet (that's set for summer 2027 hopefully) nor actually cohabiting with my long term girlfriend who I have been with for 7 years, we live in our own separate homes for the time being, so on that basis I should be denied the right to work in school PE. What about if I was married and got divorced and became single, would I then have to leave my job because of my new single person status, or if a casual relationship broke up and the partner moved out? If my own non cohabiting partner/future wife did live with me at the moment I'd be alright but if we parted ways I'd automatically be ineligible to continue my job and therefore be dismissed simply because I was a single man?

I am called Mr at school and almost never Sir. That suits me nicely, it's how I used to refer to my own teachers at school too, very rarely by Sir, although I see nothing at all wrong with it. I think this is now becoming a case of looking for issues to pick at where there are none.

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Comment by: Jennings on 19th March 2024 at 20:30

Alan lunchtime comment today response;

Addressing someone as 'Sir' or 'Madam' is all about a level of respect and being polite, not just in school but just going around the shops. Today I was called 'Sir' by an employee of John Lewis when I went in, and it makes a huge difference and is very pleasant that some places decide to uphold respectful standards of practice in this day and age.

Sir, you seem to have hijacked this forum somewhat in my opinion.

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Comment by: TimH on 19th March 2024 at 19:33

@PaulG 18/3/2024 04.46

Your video link - I haven't looked at it all - but my reaction was/is - 'Aah - Happy Days!'

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Comment by: GARY NEWMAN on 19th March 2024 at 19:16

This comment today <I think only married or cohabiting teachers should be in charge of locker rooms and showers, preferably parents themselves. I of course, mean marriage/cohabiting in the conventional use of that term, male/female. Single sex schools must be a magnet for teachers with this appalling aberration.

I make no secret of the fact that I have reservations with teachers. There must be something very inadequate in a man, say of my age, who insists on little boys of 11, or older lads of 16 calling him "sir" all the time.>




IS THIS ^ FOR REAL? GOOD GRIEF!

SUCH INTOLERANCE.

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Comment by: Craig on 19th March 2024 at 15:58

I just want to pass comment briefly on the statistics that have been left on here by you Nathan from across your classes regards the issue of whether or not going bare chests for PE is okay. Of course it is! To get three quarters approval rating in anything, 75 percent, is complete vindication about it, any vote in a two horse race that gains that level is more than conclusive enough. I think what caught my eye there was the lack of any real difference in numbers from the ones in their first year at school and the ones in their top year, from those who might well be new to such a style of PE and those who had been doing so for three or more years already.

So quite a lot of schoolboys actually like the chance to remove tops and go bare chests for PE. It's not exactly a surprising revelation is it. The thing that is a small revelation that I've previously mentioned here is that we have men who admit to low self confidence about themselves who have chosen to come bareskin running with our whatsapp group to improve their sense of self a bit and say it worked and one comment I got was how it gave an immediate boost and adrenaline rush to do so that lasted days afterwards. Our bareskin running group is a stepping out of the comfort zone task for quite a few and this has been openly admitted by many in our group.

On Easter Monday, April Fool's Day, we have so far managed to secure the agreement of 21 of our group of 30 to go bareskin running at 2pm that afternoon, weather permitting, only heavy rain will prevent us or a very unseasonable cold snap. This will be our biggest group bareskin run yet and we might yet get some further additions or another new member or two. We are aiming at going about 8 to 10 miles, starting off at an agreed location that some will drive to first, and then set off. Fitness, fresh air and socialising, how healthy is that, and an age range of more than 40 years from youngest, aged 23 to oldest 66.

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Comment by: Veronica on 19th March 2024 at 14:01

You have an aversion to the shirtless way of doing things in physical education in school Alan, and I believe you yourself went to a single sex all boys school according to a previous comment.

Imagine how much more traumatic it would have been for you if you'd been made to get your fine physique out among the girls as well as the boys in physical education. It was bad enough for you among other young boys but now you are suggesting that would have been your preference, a mixed school.

I'm not going to be rude or deeply personal suffice to say that I do think your views are on the extreme end of the argument and your call today for those who administer school physical education to be married or cohabiting heterosexuals cements this view in my own mind.

The world isn't perfect I'm afraid, it's never going to be. All the checks in the world, such as CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks are not going to be 100% foolproof. No checks are. You can pay a small fortune for a computer antivirus programme and it is still not total 100% guaranteed and they say so. But it's all better than nothing, and the fact that these stories come out and get prosecuted tells me things are working, and a lot better than they used to.

I wholeheartedly condemn any abuse you may have experienced in your own schooldays, whether physical, mental or sexual and any online abuse you have received also.

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Comment by: Alan on 19th March 2024 at 12:11

Comment by: Russ on 19th March 2024 at 02:13


With equal respect to you, Russ, you have avoided answering my question just as much as Angela and David did. The question is: WHY do we persist with the antique idea of single sex schools?


When these peculiarly repulsive cases come up (and the one you refuse to read is especially egregious, - as was the notorious Royal Liberty case) nine time out of ten they take place in single sex schools. Let's be frank - homosexuality and lesbianism is not illegal, but paedophilia is - and what do you call a man who is interested in boys, or women interested in girls? If I am being illiberal, then so be it. I think only married or cohabiting teachers should be in charge of locker rooms and showers, preferably parents themselves. I of course, mean marriage/cohabiting in the conventional use of that term, male/female. Single sex schools must be a magnet for teachers with this appalling aberration.

I make no secret of the fact that I have reservations with teachers. There must be something very inadequate in a man, say of my age, who insists on little boys of 11, or older lads of 16 calling him "sir" all the time. It reminds me of one of my more insufferable customers who always likes to refer to himself as "Mr. Smith" (not his real name, btw). You call yourself Bill Smith, Smith or Bill - "Mr", like "sir" - is a courtesy title bestowed on you by others, not conferred on yourself. Their ego must be round their ankles, if they need this constant obsequious "respect". What's wrong with plain old "Mr"? . When they go to work they might well be calling their boss by his/her forename.

also:

"....I also found Nathan's school vote to be very illuminating as well, and exactly what I'd expect. Actually I noticed that your coin vote Nathan from two weeks ago produced an even more decisive result than what you did last week, but of course when I saw that result sitting on these pages late on Sunday night I just knew that one of the first out the traps was going to be you Alan picking up on that figure of 64 rather than the 186....."




I still think the views of sixty four lads, (not an inconsiderable number, and some of them at the older range) and their discomfiture, deserves to be taken into consideration, - don't you? - and, again, neither you or Nathan (or anyone else) has given an adequate explanation of why shirtless PE is still necessary in the 21st century. Nathan gave some excuse about checking development of muscle groups, but is he seriously suggesting these change from week to week? Come off it!. Most of what happens in schools is down to using power and/or doing things because "that's the way we've always done it" , or they just like to demonstrate their authority with absurd rules.

If we operated everything just the way we used to do it, we would still be riding round in horse and carts and tipping our forelocks to the Squire - those of us who could not afford Penny Farthing bicycles, that is.

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Comment by: Alan on 19th March 2024 at 03:58

Comment by: David on 18th March 2024 at 22:17
Alan:


"...... Someone teaching in a single sex school has nothing to prove about his/her orientation or motivations..... "


You do not think so, David?. I do, I am afraid, especially when we get so many examples of this sort of revolting behaviour in the press on a regular basis, and yet we are assured every potential teacher gets CRB checks. Clearly they are STILL not working in weeding out this sort of unsavoury individual.


Comment by: Angela on 18th March 2024 at 21:16



"Here we go again" indeed!
Why is this relevant to "English History in Pictures"

Cue yet another Volume of the Epistles of St Alan. Yawn!!"

I won't detain you from your yawns for too long, Angela, except to point out that even last week is history now.

If my posts make you feel so lethargic, please feel free to ignore them.

It is sad though that neither you or David addressed the gravamen of my argument, and that is why in 2024 we still persist with single sex schools. They are an anachronism in this day and age.

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Comment by: Russ on 19th March 2024 at 02:13

Angela and David are correct, and Nathan was a few weeks ago too.

With respect, I cannot quite believe that yet another press article has been placed on here by you Alan on the same subject yet again. This time in The Sun. I thought you had come to an understanding and finally managed to read the room on all this stuff. I will not be reading it. The Earl Spencer article last weekend was a slightly different case and was worthy I thought, but anyone can rattle off endless stories like the latest one if they look for them, they are bread and butter of tabloid journalism every week. The thousands of law abiding and professional teachers don't make the papers though do they.

Don't you remember this being said two months ago to you by our insider from school......

Comment by: Nathan Hind on 17th January 2024 at 06:37
Have people learnt absolutely nothing after the events before Christmas on this thread?
Come on now, let's not start repeating all that again.
Alan, it's long past time to stop this never ending agenda you persist with. We get the points but we don't need them forever rammed down our throats time and again. Know when to finally stop. I've been reasonably kind to you but you are now trying the patience of the most saintly of us.
We know there are dodgy PE teachers out there and always were, possibly still are. You are not telling anyone here anything they don't know.



Wise words. Quite right.

Orson was correct when he stated that this discussion could do with lightening up. I thought Iain's school comments idea was a good one to try and change the narrative a bit and raise a smile.

I also found Nathan's school vote to be very illuminating as well, and exactly what I'd expect. Actually I noticed that your coin vote Nathan from two weeks ago produced an even more decisive result than what you did last week, but of course when I saw that result sitting on these pages late on Sunday night I just knew that one of the first out the traps was going to be you Alan picking up on that figure of 64 rather than the 186. But I'd count that as very fortunate to even be given that chance to express an opinion at school like that in the first place, and that's democracy for you. Almost 75% in favour of bare chested PE when required says it all.

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Comment by: David on 18th March 2024 at 22:17

Alan:

I don't wanna offend you but you always choose the worst examples of teachers. Sadly there are some very bad people amongst them as in every vocation but most of the teachers don't have anything to do with seducing children no matter if they teach in a mixed or single sex school. Someone teaching in a single sex school has nothing to prove about his/her orientation or motivations. You don't ever mention the good examples of teachers. There are many many....

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Comment by: Angela on 18th March 2024 at 21:16

Comment by: Alan on 18th March 2024 at 19:31

"Here we go again" indeed!
Why is this relevant to "English History in Pictures"

Cue yet another Volume of the Epistles of St Alan. Yawn!!n

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Comment by: Alan on 18th March 2024 at 19:31

Here we go again - there must be something in the water in East London. Surely the time has come when education authorities should ban single sex schools:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/26769416/disgraced-pe-teacher-banned-teaching-life-sex-pupil/

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Comment by: Paul G on 18th March 2024 at 04:46

I really liked the sarcasm in your school report Iain, the thing is that you are unlikely to get little gems like that nowadays with properly handwritten individual comments because some schools just go through a dull uninspiring tick box procedure that offers little insight. Comments such as those you put up on here Iain say lots about both you and your teacher.

Nathan, that all sounds exactly like I would have guessed, and it makes me think of my friendship group when I was a child and went out in a foursome, me and three others my age. We'd hang about down the local park and I'd go down there sometimes without my top and a couple of the others would do if it was a hot day in the holidays but one of our friends never went without his top, often the three of us would be shirtless and he wasn't, but that was okay, nobody ever said anything, that was how we naturally chose to be sometimes. It matches that 3 to 1 ratio and that's why I mention it, pick four random boys and one will feel different.

There is a good video from 1981 here of a skins versus shirts game in the school gym PE class, this one in Florida, where I noticed a contributor called Paula wrote from on 14th February. Skins and shirts obviously a worldwide thing, not just a British school favourite.

Some boys wearing dreadful 'crop tops' here, sort of going semi bare chested, not a good look, just go one way or the other, a bare midriff only on a boy looks naff. I wonder if the average American school like this would look quite so slim and lean nowadays, although even here I spotted a couple of overweight ones.

https://youtu.be/xkERhmQltO0?feature=shared

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Comment by: Alan on 18th March 2024 at 04:12

Comment by: Nathan Hind on 17th March 2024 at 22:38



You are to be congratulated, Nathan on carrying out your vote so thoroughly. But what of the 64 lads (a fairly sizeable number) who are not comfortable. Will they be allow to wear polo or tee shirts if they feel more comfortable so doing?.

I still, frankly, see no point whatsoever at this late date to make lads not wear a top, especially the older ones.


Comment by: Orson on 17th March 2024 at 21:35


Iain seems to have had a lot of teachers who read a great deal of Oscar Wilde, Orson. I have to admit that I was astonished, when my mum died, to find she had kept all my school reports - all hand-typed by our lovely school secretary, Mrs Fennemore (our school didn't even have an Amstrad PcW 8256!). Luckily, for her - and us - our reports tended to have very short comments "satis" was the best most of them could write if you were deemed OK, the usual "could do better" if you were not so hot. "Poor" in very bad cases. I was clearing the house and I have to say that those reports were the first thing to go on the bonfire when I was clearing the house, nearly 30 years ago now. They should have gone a decade before. The only thing I kept was my Technical Drawing course book, and it is still on my bookshelf to this day.

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Comment by: Brandon on 18th March 2024 at 02:08

74.4% happy with going shirtless is a good percentage and very decisive.

There wasn't a great variation across the ages there. I'd have voted against if given a vote at 11 or 12 in all probability. But by 15 I would have voted in favour for sure. I gained confidence in PE as I progressed through secondary school in the late 70s early 80s where going shirtless was all a regular part of our physical education classes both inside for the gym and outside for athletics during summer term, plus swimming until age fourteen in summer term as well. The choice on being shirtless was always one made by the teacher for us. It's a big deal for some lads obviously. Good poll that though.

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Comment by: Nathan Hind on 17th March 2024 at 22:38

Last week we took a training shoe box vote on feelings about doing PE with or without a top on, at the end of PE on the way out of the lesson pupils were asked to pick up a slip of paper and write a 'yes' or 'no' on it and fold it in half and stick it in the box.

The question was - Is sometimes being asked by a teacher to do boys PE in a bare chest acceptable to you?

A nice clear question that I don't think anybody could argue with. I was allowed to do this after getting permission and submitting the actual question and there were no objections.

This only applies to the classes I took over the course of a week, and nobody else. I took two votes each day last week, one in morning and another in afternoon PE, actual gym classes only, not outdoors.

I'm doing a pre-Easter holidays parents afternoon/evening this Thursday and will be mentioning this to some of them.

Mon AM - Year 7 (age 11-12) - Class size 24 - Vote, Yes 18 - No 6.

Mon PM - Year 9 (age 13-14) - Class size 26 - Vote, Yes 19 - No 7.

Tues AM - Year 10 (age 14-15) - Class size 26 - Vote, Yes 20 - No 6.

Tues PM - Year 8 (age 12-13) - Class size 25 - Vote, Yes 17 - No 8.

Weds AM - Year 11 (age 15-16) - Class size 22 - Vote, Yes 17 - No 5.

Weds PM - Year 9 (13-14) - Class size 26 - Vote, Yes 18 - No 8.

Thurs AM - Year 7 (age 11-12) - Class size 27 - Vote, Yes 20 - No 7.

Thurs PM - Year 10 (age 14-15) - Class size 24 - Vote, Yes 19 - No 5.

Fri AM - Year 8 (age 12-13) - Class size 26 - Vote, Yes 20 - No 6.

Fri PM - Year 11 (age 15-16) - Class size 24 - Vote, Yes 18 - No 6.


So that is the detail in answer to the question I asked of exactly 250 boys last week.

Totalling 186 to 64 saying that doing PE in a bare chest and being asked to do so by the PE teacher is acceptable to them, so a 3 to 1 margin in favour.

I thought the results were very consistent across all ages actually.

I'd welcome any thoughts on this result. Thanks.

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Comment by: Orson on 17th March 2024 at 21:35

Comment by: Iain Dale on 15th March 2024 at 22:17
Has anyone got any good comments about themselves from PE teachers written on their old school reports that they are willing to share with others, either funny, sarcastic, very bad or very good?



I'm quite surprised nobody has yet answered your question Iain. I would do so myself but most of my old school stuff is boxed up and tucked out the way unlooked at in years. I have completely forgotten what anyone said about me but I don't think any of it was too dreadful.

I certainly think this thread could do with a bit of lightening up from time to time and found your own comments quite amusing, thanks for sharing them. You can learn a lot about your own teachers from the way they write down things about you.

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Comment by: Alan on 17th March 2024 at 14:45

Comment by: Jeff on 17th March 2024 at 12:56
"You say that Alan but wasn't it someone called Matthew on here about a month ago who mentioned going on a school trip and the WOMAN forcing the boy to take his damaged top off and walk around London in a bare chest for an afternoon by himself like that back in the 1970s and a MAN that thought it was not the thing to be doing.".


Yes, you are right, Jeff, a right old hag she sounded.

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Comment by: Jeff on 17th March 2024 at 12:56

You say that Alan but wasn't it someone called Matthew on here about a month ago who mentioned going on a school trip and the WOMAN forcing the boy to take his damaged top off and walk around London in a bare chest for an afternoon by himself like that back in the 1970s and a MAN that thought it was not the thing to be doing.

The PE teacher Nathan DID answer your question by the way about an 'outright refusal' to shower, as you put it. I'm not sure why you are needing any more on that, he made it quite clear he would NEVER force anyone to do something like that if it was a major and serious problem for them that might impact their mental health, or words to that effect. I'm sure you didn't miss it.

The only reason so many men do this shirtless PE is because it's mostly men that take boys PE, certainly at age 12 and above, although I can think of a number of occasions at primary school myself when the ladies there had boys leaping about the school hall half undressed.

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Comment by: Alan on 17th March 2024 at 09:05

Comment by: Luke on 16th March 2024 at 21:30


It is interesting how it always seems to be male teachers that are so keen to see young lads running round with next to nothing on. The "profession" seems to be full of this kind of man.

It would be interesting to know when the time period was, Luke.

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Comment by: Luke on 16th March 2024 at 21:30

My own introduction to doing PE shirtless came quite unexpectedly when I was halfway through middle school and halfway through the school year when my class teacher had to leave on maternity to have a baby. A new male teacher took over our mixed class, and as most of you will know when you are in middle school your class teacher took you for most of the subjects including PE.

The new man didn't waste any time doing things his way and as soon as he took our class for PE first time he told the boys not to bother with our T-shirts, we could go without, even though none of us had ever done PE at our middle school without wearing our T-shirts before. It must have instantly put quite a few boys on the defensive because I remember many of them saying that we never did PE like that. I was definitely nervous about it and I felt very strange for ages getting used to the new teacher and his different ways. For many months each week that new teacher was always making all the boys in class do PE shirtless. Only when I went up to the next year and gained another new teacher did she return to how I'd been doing things before my other teacher had left on maternity leave.

No other teacher who took me for PE at my middle school ever made boys do it with a bare chest.

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Comment by: Nicholas J on 16th March 2024 at 17:41

Gym Coach Advice.

https://youtu.be/s5UQzXgAflA?feature=shared

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Comment by: Christian on 16th March 2024 at 04:58

Greg2, my grammar schooling was in the same era you identified for yourself, the last couple of years of the sixties and first few of the seventies, 1968 until 1973. The PE at the time was a definite bare chest each time for gym itself, although footwear could be either plimsolls light or dark, or the bare foot option. I think there was a mix of all those much of the time. It's interesting that they went firm on going bare chests in school gym for boys but were not so firm on how we sorted our feet and gave more leeway on that.

When it came to showers there was no leeway given, they were never optional and the communal and very naked experience was expected of everyone at the same time. Now I was struck by what Graeme S said about being defiant and actually getting away with it, bar the odd detention. Now I can remember a couple of boys trying to bunk off the showers actually being grabbed by the ears and pulled into the showers at school by an irate PE master at one time, having been made to strip on the spot while the teacher blew the roof off with his booming voice at them, so intimidating that even the rest of us looking on quivered. You didn't bunk the showers at school if you knew what was good for you. But I also have to say that I never remember anyone being about who should not have been so really there were no excuses not to do so.

Our school also had a number of built in tiled communal baths, did anyone else have such a thing? I think there were three or four small ones, but enough for possibly five or six to use together. They were not used after regular PE however, and only for older boys.

I think getting an introduction to communal group nudity among others the same age is not exactly a bad thing for a school to do with PE. It can help in many cases clear up any body issues people might have and demystify the physical nakedness of others, and create a bond of sorts. I believe shirtless PE had this effect up to a point also, and seeing what Craig has written in the last couple of days here seems to make this point, as his group running without shirts on looks very much like a way of making those men bond in a shared experience with one another. I can easily see the appeal of that. I ran the school 5 miler shirtless on many occasions for PE, the whole group had to, this could be up to sixty boys sometimes and was not only a sweaty but dirty event which would navigate bramble and all kinds of obstacles along the way, not just a clear run at it. It was obviously designed to make men of boys. Everyone at school did that.

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