Burnley Grammar School
Item #: 1607
Source: Lancashire Life Magazine, December 1959
Like Craig my first experience of being stripped to the waist was also on my first day at primary school aged about 5 when I had a medical.Afterwards I started doing PE stripped to the waist both in and out of doors.This continued throughout my school career until I left at the age of nearly 19
Borstal Boy:- Judging from yourI/D you susequently served a sentence of Borstal Training. Am I right and if so did you have to do PE and/work while stripped to the waist
When I was fourteen I was sent to a detention centre for three months.On my first morning there I had to do thirty minutes P E while stripped to the waist and barefoot.This was outdoors at 6 a.m. and was followed by a cold shower.I had previously been stripped to the waist for P E since I was about nine or ten but this was something else!!!
My first experience of being stripped to the waist at school was on my first day at primary school when we had a medical.I then did P E stripped to the waist reegulary so when I went to secoonday school and learned we had to do gym etc stripped to the waist I just got on with it.
I also remember having to do P E stripped to the waist at school.Also as punishments I had to stand outside in freezing weather stripped to the waist and barefoot for at least an hour.
I also had to do PE outdoors stripped to the waist in the hard winter of '62-63 with snow on the ground
At my school in the sixties some boys engaged in unofficial boxing fights and for those they were always stripped to the waist.(Up till then I had believed that only professional boxers stripped to the waist for fights).
I also was always stripped to the waist for P E and again I enjoyed the freedom of being bare-chested.Again it was normal and all the other lads were stripped to the waist and many including myself were also bare-footed.
I remember in the hard winter of 1962-63 having to do P E stripped to the waist outdoors and with several inches of snow on the ground.It was tough but you got used to it.
Perhaps Hardman goes a little bit too far but I don't think that the young thugs would come back for a second helping especially if they were caned and/or birched for breaches of discipline and at the beginning and end of their time inside.
I can also remember occasions when in the sixties in Summer term in periods revising for O Levels and A Levels boys had to go outdoors for the lessons stripped to the waist.Again we thought nothing of it
Further to Mark's comment I can see nothing wrong in making these young criminals be shirtless nearly all the time.It would be a good idea to adopt in our own YOIs.When they arrive to be processed these youths would have to strip to the waist and would remain stripped to the waist thereafter for all activities.This would include several hours of labouring a day and also for meals and for sleeping.They should also have their heads shaved.
We had a Sports day in the Summer Term when all the boys taking part were always stripped to the waist.Again this was normal and we thought nothing of it.
There was a 'whimsical' documentary on BBC4 las week - 'Leotards & vests' - about the British way of keeping fit. There was a section on school PE at the start, with some nice vintage footage. Its still available on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01g6g2k/Leotards_and_Vests_The_Great_British_Workout/
Cross-country in just shorts - no top or shoes - yuck! It sends shivers down my spine just to think of it!
I loved being stripped to the waist for PE.It was what you did in the sixties and I also went barefoot.
The file name "Sportunterricht" makes me think it could be German. Seems plausible, as I read an article elesewhere about boys being made to do PE shirtless there in an attempt to clamp down on discipline issues. I have no confirmation of that however.
In my schools (primary and secondary) it was normal practice for all boys to do PE and cross-country stripped to the waist and bare-foot.Nothing was thought of it.
John, is it a PE lesson at an actual german school? We are not allowed to have permission for the album so we don't know any information about that picture. But yes it seems quite recent
Shirtless PE in Germany apprently. Photo seems to be quite recent.
In reply to Nigel's comments, we had no inhibitions about our bodies. I cannot recall any comments about being shirtles or remarking on other boy's physiques. In fact performong handstands supported by another lad with feet up in the air left nothing to the imagination.
I still thimk as I put in a comment some time ago for some reason lads seem to have more inhibitions about their bodies & it seems these days that comunial showers & changing rooms create a problem for lads. Any current pupil care to comment?
Yorkie,it was co-ed but PE etc was organised separately for boys and girls.
For those who experienced shirtless P.e before. Do you guys make fun of other boy's body or nipples? We had a friend whose nipples are always hard and we call him harry-hard nipples. He always tried to cover them, but the P.E teacher 'insisted' he perform star jumps, to our amusement.
Roy when you say all boys was this a co ed school or all boys?. I did not know that schools insisted on running barefoot. We wore plimsolls but no socks.
When I was at school in the fifties and sixties all boys had to be stripped to the waist for PE. In addition we had to do cross country runs both stripped to the waist and barefoot.
I was at primary school in the early to mid 1970's and remember both boys and girls did PE bare top.
in response to your question Dave, pe indoors white short shorts plimsolls no underwear, no top & outdoors athletics etc the same the only concession was football when we wore any old t shirt or if could afford it a "proper" football shirt & again very short shorts usally the same ones we used for pe except for a few better off boys started wearing colours of their favourite football team. Swimming was once a week at the local public swimming pool used exclusively for school lessons when we wore what are now known as "Speedo" type trunks none of the modern type baggy
shorts that kids wear these days.
Yorkie, so what was your PE kit indoors and outdoors?
I was educated in the 60's up to 1966 at an all boys school. No female input or domination.We took part in PE & football & sports, with the minimum of clothing even during the coldest winter. Having read previous comments we had no problems about using communal changing rooms & shower was not even thought about as being strange. In fact it was all part of the camaraderie of growing up & continued until we left school at 16. Things have certainly changed over the years but why are guys these days so inhibited about their bodies & have to have seperate cubicles for changing & showers?
I was born in Canada in 1954 into a world that was dominated by women (the supposed men in my world were apparently oblivious to that fact).
So, why were girls not forced to perform PE almost naked? Why were boys subjected to swimming naked within the eye-shot of girls?
Gender equality is a myth contrived by females in order to subordinate us even further!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reading Stuart‚Äôs post made me recall a lad in my class who hardly ever seemed to wear a vest for PE. Sometimes he just didn‚Äôt bring one at all, other times he would start the lesson in his vest and take it off later on, mostly in the gym although I do remember him running outside shirtless as well. We did shirts against skins games quite often and this boy was almost always a skin as he had his top off anyway. The full kit was white vest and red shorts, white socks and plimsolls and most boys wore all the items allowed.