Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

Childhood - Schools


Year: 1935         Item #: 1741         Views: 152,347         Comments: 686

Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

Image scaled down from 1000px to 740px wide. Click the image to view the original.

Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team of Atherton, Greater Manchester.
Source: G. Smith.

686 user comment(s) below:-

Comments by Mr.Curious on 17th January 2020  

I agree that it is no big deal for boys to be topless for PE, especially if it is just a boys class.
They usually showered naked all together after PE class anyway.
But do you think that it is OK to make boys and girls in primary school do PE in just underpants, which was very common in many schools?
I wonder if this is still allowed today.

I also agree that a school is a safe place if they have the proper supervision at all times.

Comments by Emma A on 15th January 2020  

John, You are absolutely right. Schools are the safest places to give the boys experiences they may not otherwise get. The boys are in a protective environment in the gym so exercising topless shouldn't cause any issues, anxiety or fear. It's not unjust, sexy or anything like it, going topless is simply the most effective way for boys to exercise in the gym throughout school.

Comments by John on 4th January 2020  

Mr Dando,

Schools have a duty to educate children and teaching the importance of good personal hygiene is essential for a child’s wellbeing. After doing gym or playing sports children will have become hot and sweaty and will require a shower in order to maintain their personal hygiene.

Your suggestion that children should be able to opt out of taking a shower after sports is a bad one. You will create a division between those children who are perfectly happy to have a shower after sports and those who choose to opt out. That situation could provide an environment for bullying to take place, bullies have a tendency to pick on children that they consider to be vulnerable and those who do not conform.

Parents are not forced to send their child to a school with rules that they disagree with. Headteachers and School Governors should be able to formulate policies and rules which they consider to be in the best interests of their children. there is no need for every school in the country to be exactly the same.

Comments by Mr Dando on 3rd January 2020  

John it is time to end Mandatory ablutions in our dismal educational institutions. Hygiene is a poor excuse for compulsory nudity in schools!

The time has come to name and shame these schools until they promise voluntarism and privacy as part of their new year resolution!

PE Kit
Compulsory Sportswear:
Boys/Option 1:
White shirt with gold band
White shorts
Pale blue socks
Football/rugby boots
Swimming trunks or shorts (not Bermuda Shorts)
Shower towel
Girls/Option 2:
Blue polo shirt with school logo
Pale blue socks
Navy blue shorts
Hockey/football boots
One piece swimsuit
Shower towel
Optional Extras:
Athletics vest, white with yellow bands and school logo, dark blue sweatshirt with school logo, cotton training top and dark blue tracksuit bottoms.

Each individual item must be clearly marked with the student’s name.

Cross Embroidery
Units 5 & 6 Lower Cherwell Street
Oxfordshire OX16 5AY
United Kingdom
Tel: 01295 270555


It is time to learn from past sins and abolish the school shower forever as part of our 2020 vision for effective child protection.

Comments by John on 27th December 2019  

Mr Dando,
What on earth is wrong with having a shower after getting hot and sweaty playing sports?. Surely it is unhygienic to return to the classroom without having had a shower?

Comments by Mr Dando on 26th December 2019  

The next school term is fast approaching and there are still some pupils who will have to return to the dreaded shower in January.


Physical Education takes place both on and off site. The PE kit consists of a white tee shirt, white shorts, white socks and trainers. Students should have additional games equipment including footwear and should not wear any part of their school uniform during PE. In winter a track suit of any colour is advisable. All students are encouraged to take part in PE and showers may be required at certain times.

The school has representative teams in a number of sports – the school has some special kit for these or parents/carers will be advised accordingly.

Let it be our New Year resolution for 2020 to ban mandatory school showers.

It is time to get modesty done in all UK institutions!

Comments by Andrea on 23rd December 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

Hi Claire,
How annoying! At least my dad never commented on my bra (if he noticed it).

I don't have any brothers and was at an all girls school by the time I started wearing a bra, so I guess I got off lightly compared to some. I recall the boys at Primary school taking an interest when a few girls started to 'develop' during our final year there.

Comments by George Spelvin on 22nd December 2019  spelvin545@gmail.com 

Michael, where is your school located?

Comments by Mr Dando on 21st December 2019  

Doctor J Wallace we must act to end forced nude showers in all educational institutions. I had to undergo this state sponsored humiliation between September 1985 to April 1987 for football, rugby and cross country.

Some UK state schools still carry out this barbaric practice. Please see below:


Physical Education Clothing

Physical Education is an integral part of the curriculum and it is essential that students change for the lessons. The clothing listed below is required by all students taking part in PE/Games: Please ensure that all items of uniform and PE kit are clearly marked with your child’s name.

PE Kit for all Years 7—11 students — boys and girls (which can only be purchased from Barnums)

Black tracksuit trousers with School logo
Black rain jacket with School logo
Black Mid-layer with School logo
Red polo shirt with School logo
Black shorts with School logo
Black socks with red top
Girls can also wear a Black Skort which is embroidered with the School logo
All students should have a pair of clean indoor trainers to use in the indoor facilities (gymnasium, sports hall, climbing wall, fitness suite). Plimsolls or similar flimsy cloth or canvas shoes are not suitable for PE lessons as they offer no foot support. Students must have appropriate trainers or running shoes.

A pair of outdoor trainers and/or football boots are required for outdoor lessons.
Shin pads are advisable for football and hockey.
A gumshield is advisable for hockey and rugby.
Showers: A towel will be required when a shower is necessary.

Swimming: A costume will be required for students involved in swimming during PE lessons.

It is essential that students bring their PE kit to change into even if they are not taking part in PE lessons

Comments by Claire on 19th December 2019  

Oh Andrea don't! I had 2 older brothers who could be real nightmares and for a laugh would move my bra right to the front of the clothes line so as many people as possible could see it! When I protested to my mum she simply told me to get on with it. Looking back she was right.

Comments by Doctor J Wallace on 15th December 2019  

I got to Teagle Hall (Cornell), where the pool was. They said “strip, shower, and go to the pool to take the swimming test.” And they handed me this piece of paper. So me and this other guy were wandering around naked, trying to find the pool without our glasses, and hoping that we wouldn’t accidentally find the women’s gymnastic team or something.

Eventually we found the pool. People swimming. An official-looking guy sitting at the table. We said “well, obviously, we’re not going to swim while carrying this paperwork, we’re clearly supposed to hand it to him for safekeeping while we do the test.”

So I handed it to him, he stamped “swim test passed” on it, and handed it back to me.

So that was it. Never went in the pool.

I now teach at North Eastern University Massachusetts and students are still required to strip nude before using the pool.


Pool Rules

Use of the pool during open swim hours is permitted only in the presence of a University employed lifeguard.
All pool users must take a nude shower before entering the pool. (this is mandated by the State of Massachusetts)
All hairclips, pins, and jewelry must be removed before entering the pool.
All male pool users must wear a conventional one piece swimming suit. All female pool users must wear a conventional one piece swimming suit or a moderate to conservative cut, 2 piece suit. (Cut-offs, running shorts, gym shorts,running tights, or any other clothing, are prohibited).
Safe lap swim will be in effect: Lane 1 & 2 slow; Lanes 3 & 4 Fast; Lanes 5 & 6 Medium.
When more than 3 swimmers are in each lane, please swim in circles. Remember, be courteous with your fellow swimmers.
Swimming under the bulkhead will not be permitted at any time.
Use of the starting blocks will not be permitted at any time.
No diving into the shallow end of the pool.
Use of diving boards will not be permitted at any time.
Only flip flops or bare feet are permitted on the pool deck.
Face masks and snorkels will not be permitted at any time. Only short training flippers will be permitted.
Eating, drinking, and smoking are prohibited anywhere in the building.
Glass containers should not be brought into the pool ares, bleachers or locker rooms.
No horseplay or running on the deck will be permitted at any time.
Only lifeguards and Northeastern University swimming and diving coaches are allowed on the bulkhead.
Lifeguards reserve the right to administer a swim test to any individual, any time they think it necessary. They may remove any individual from the pool from the pool at any time.
Leave all personal belongings locked in a locker. The pool deck must be kept clear at all times.
Lifeguards may prohibit any activity they deem hazardous. They may remove any individual from the pool at any time.

Comments by Andrea on 6th December 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

Talking about being embarrassed about being seen in your bra, I felt the same the first time my mum hung one of mine on the washing line when my dad was at home!

Comments by Claire on 30th November 2019  

Hi Andrea, I forgot to add I was 15 and 16 when this happened. But being the same for everyone was a big leveller

Comments by Claire on 30th November 2019  

Hi Andrea, I didn't mind going to my bra. I'd have likely died if there had been boys around. I'm with you, I certainly would not have gone braless, though there wasn't much to show anyway. Most of us got caught out at some point and rules were rules. I would have enjoyed seeing boys go topless to exercise though, it would've been something different!

Comments by Andy on 29th November 2019  

The comments about the girls being amused reminds me of a similar experience at junior school. In the last year of junior school I had some shorts that where a little transparent and the girls used to comment that they could see the colour of underpants I was wearing. A few months later at senior school we had a fire drill during PE, outside standing around the same girls where commenting they couldn't tell what colour underpants I had on - I answered we weren't allowed to wear any and from then on the comments where always I can see you've got no underpants on..

Comments by M Tyce on 28th November 2019  

I started school in the mid 1960's, we were lucky in that my Infant and Primary school had a proper gym, changing rooms and showers, rather unusual at Primary schools in those days! Right through Infants (age 5 to 8) and Primary (age 8 to 11) Lessons were always 'mixed' and we all had to wear the same for PE. There was a 'single layer rule' for PE, none of us (boys or girls) were allowed to wear any underwear, and we didn't wear socks or shoes.

Boys wore very thin white nylon shorts which, (to the amusement of the girls) were almost completely transparent! Also we weren't allowed to wear any 'tops' in the gym. When we had outdoor PE we wore socks and shoes and in cool weather we were allowed to wear t-shirts or vests (but we were still not allowed to wear anything under our shorts!)

The girls wore black 'PE knickers' and white tops for PE and like us they had to go barefoot in the gym but wore socks and shoes outside.

After the lesson we all had to take our PE kit off and go in the showers together naked, in Infants the classes were smaller and the boys and girls shared one changing room and shower, but once we reached 8 and were in the Primary school the boys and girls had separate changing rooms and showers, however even the boys were supervised in the changing rooms by female teachers who made sure we all took our shorts off and went in the showers naked, even when we were 11 years old!

I confess that I hated PE, but loved going in the shower with the other boys, we didn't have a shower at home (they were quite unusual in those days) and it was a real treat to use the one at school!

Comments by Andrea on 25th November 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

Hi Claire,

Like you I went to an all girls school, but was used to seeing boys without their shirts on during hot weather in the summer holidays and they didn't seem to mind!

Although I never had to do it, I suppose doing indoor PE in bra and knickers wouldn't have been too bad, especially with no boys around. On the other hand, I would have thought that having to do it topless, as described by Laura, would have been both embarrassing and uncomfortable, especially in year 9! By then we were all wearing bras, and some of my classmates were quite well endowed!

Wat year were you in when you did PE in bra and knickers?

Comments by Claire on 24th November 2019  

Hi Laura, I've found this while looking for something totally unrelated. May I ask if you got to see the boys go topless often? What did you think about it, did they mind? I went to an all girls school but did 2 PE lessons and a detention in just a bra after getting my days muddled I deserved it and didn't have any complaints, rules were rules.

Comments by Mr Dando on 27th October 2019  



A towel for use after taking a shower and changes of underwear and socks, are essential. All

games and PE kit should be taken home after use for washing. Pupils should be reminded to bring

it to school on the appropriate days and should not wear their day clothes for PE. A gum-shield is

recommended for hockey (boys and girls) and rugby (boys) but is not compulsory. In Year 11 both

boys and girls are allowed to wear plain black tracksuit bottoms or dance trousers for their PE

lesson, if they wish.

Girls’ PE Wear:

Plain black polo shirt from the school supplier or plain black T-shirt

Black reversible Rugby shirt with red band from the school supplier, or a plain black sweatshirt (no


Black shorts

Black or white trainers (no plimsolls)

Long red sports socks or short plain white sports socks (depending on the activity)

Football boots (metal studs are not allowed on the synthetic pitch) and shin guards

Boys’ PE Wear:

Plain black polo shirt from the school supplier or plain black T-shirt

Black reversible Rugby shirt with red band from the school supplier, or a plain black sweatshirt (no


Black shorts

Black or white trainers (no plimsolls)

Long red sports socks or short plain white sports socks (depending on the activity)

Football boots (metal studs are not allowed on the synthetic pitch) and shin guards

(Boxer shorts must not be worn during PE lessons; tighter fitting underpants should be worn.)

Comments by Mr Jones on 27th October 2019  

Sir Alexander Fleming School in Sutton Hill said it had given the seven-year-old pupils, who had no PE kit, the chance to take part in the session in underwear, or to remain in the classroom instead.

The school said the pupils had voluntarily taken part in the lesson, which happened last Wednesday.

But one parent, Dorcis Kimani, said her daughter was upset and felt she could not say no to taking part.

"It's ridiculous. I now want to take my children to another school," she said.

"I was in the wrong not to make sure she had a PE kit, but my daughter is very upset."

Mrs Kimani met the school's headteacher, but said they had disagreed over the approach.

She said: "I spoke to the headteacher and was told that my daughter was very happy in the session, but they don't know how my daughter was feeling. She didn't feel like she had an option. The teacher is an authority and the authority was telling her what to do."

“It was boys and girls mixed, I need an apology.”

Ms Kimani said that up to 10 other pupils had forgotten their PE kits and were still involved in the session.

Jan Cousins, head teacher of Sir Alexander Fleming Primary, said: "There were many children who had no PE Kit on Wednesday afternoon.

"These children were given the option of remaining in class or, for health and safety reasons, removing their trousers and shoes in order to take part. All of the children who had no PE kit voluntarily decided to take part in the PE lesson."

Mrs Cousins said that there was no option to hand out spare kits. She said: “Unfortunately all of our spare PE Kits had been previously issued to children and had not been returned.“ Telford & Wrekin Council claimed that getting children who have forgotten their PE kit to do the class in their underwear happens every day across the country.

Council spokesman Russell Griffin said: “This was a decision taken on the day by staff at a particular school based on the fact that the pupils in question had indicated they did want to take part in the PE lesson.

“I understand that all the pupils concerned enjoyed the lesson

“There is no national guidance on the subject but pragmatic decisions like this are taken every day in schools up and down the country.”

Comments by Andrea on 26th October 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

When were you at secondary school?
It sounds incredibly harsh having girls of up to 14 or 15 having to take part in mixed PE lessons topless!

In my school, if we forgot our PE kit, we had to borrow some (usually rather dirty and smelly) from the lost property cupboard. We were also still expected to shower afterwards, borrowing someone else's already wet towel.

Comments by Laura on 25th October 2019  

I thought my secondary school was horrible when I first went mainly because of the PE department but maybe it wasn't so unusual. It was a co-ed school and PE, Games, Swimming were all mixed.
There was a simple rule regarding PE lessons. If you were well enough to be at school and didn't have a note from home or your doctor to say you couldn't do PE, then you did PE whether you had brought your kit or not.
If you didn't have kit (or even just one item missing or incorrect style or colour etc.) then you did the lesson in your panties or knickers. Barefoot and topless, boys and girls alike. Once in year 10, girls were allowed to keep their bra or vests on (most girls chooses to kept their vests on) as well if they wanted to, but before year 10 this was strictly forbidden.
We also had PE Detentions. Anyone who misbehaved or didn't try hard enough would get given a PE detention and have to turn up after school to a PE Detention session, held once a week. The session had strict discipline (absolutely no talking) and consisted of a very tough workout. There was no PE kit for those taking part in these sessions, and everyone did it in their underwear, barefoot and topless, with the same exception for girls once in year 10 who could choose to wear bra or vests and knickers instead of just their knickers.
What is particularly harsh I think is that for those girls who were well developed by the end of year 9 it was especially embarrassing and, for some, uncomfortable to not be allowed to cover their breasts.
On the other hand, being the only girls wearing just a pair of briefs in a class where everyone else is wearing full kit is a powerful reminder to bring your kit next time. Also, the PE Detentions were so tough and horrible that everyone hated them, again given an incentive to try harder, not mess about or misbehave.

Comments by Peter J on 12th October 2019  

I agree with the latest posting by Petra. It is ironic that women's sports clothing has become less as seen in the latest sorts championships. Then on the football pitch for males, some times the shirt shorts and socks nearly cover all. Same with swimwear. It is ok for ladies to wear bikinis but there is a stigma when men wear "speedo" swimming briefs. Men are expected to wear stupid board shorts when swimming or on the beach which I find very uncomfortable. I know that some men look horrendous in swimming briefs, but in the same way some ladies figures do not suit minimalist swim suits but they still wear them. Having said the above I notice that when abroad i.e. Spain in particular, many men wear swimming trunks(briefs) without any inhibition. that is the only time I can also wear them.

Comments by Andrea on 12th October 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

No he wasn't, they wore polo shirts for indoor PE. Outdoors they had the choice of their polo shirts or a long-sleeved top.

Comments by Petra on 11th October 2019  

It's a sad reflection on today's world when boys are not encouraged to become men. Being made to strip off to the waist throughout school demonstrated levels of physical development. I didn't know any girl who objecting to seeing boys regularly stripped off with sweat running down their bodies as was often the case. I know definitely didn't!! I worry the way boys are taught has been very much watered down and when something that encourages boys to concentrate on their physical appearance is stopped that's when problems begin. It's ironic when women's sportswear has become less, for boys/men it's the opposite.. crazy! Andrea, was your son expected to strip to the waist for PE?

Comments by Andrea on 1st October 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

When my son was at secondary school, his PE kit was similar to that described by Mr Dando, with all the items having the school logo on. The girls was the same except the school did not supply ankle socks and they had the choice of jogging bottoms rather than shorts if they preferred.
Although the school did have showers, they were rarely used, so I made sure he had deodorant spray in his kitbag!

Comments by Sandra on 29th September 2019  

Seems quite an excessive PE kit and they even regulate what socks are worn that's just ridiculous.

When I was in school most PE was done in gym knickers, vest and bare feet and we survived it was perfectly fine.

Comments by Andrea on 29th September 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

To be honest I didn't take much notice of the boys stripping off to vest and pants before putting on their PE kit.
For the most part the boys ignored us too, until a few of my classmates started to develop during our last year at Primary.

Comments by Paul on 29th September 2019  

Well, I suppose the school can make more money by charging 14 quid for a boy's polo shirt!
But seriously Robbie, you're quite right. There's no reason why they couldn't just do as my school did and make it clear that the PE kit is different for boys and girls. Are boys really so fragile that they couldn't cope with doing PE in shorts only?
We did PE bare chested (in the gym, at least) and to me it actually felt more masculine, to be stripped to the waist and wearing a different kit from the girls. And as we grew older and wanted to impress the girls with our bodies, it was a good incentive to work harder in PE and stay in shape.
I realise that's an unpopular approach nowadays... but this was only 25-30 years ago. How has the thinking changed so much?

Comments by Robbie W on 28th September 2019  

A polo shirt.. What's wrong with either a thin vest or better still show their bare chest. No wonder boys lose their identity in today's feminist world. How effective is PE/Games if boys are not even made to sweat up? It was the minimum expected from us.

Comments by Mr Dando on 28th September 2019  

PE Kit
All pupils are expected to have the school P.E. Kit. This must be bought from school.
All Hallows polo shirt* : Gold with : Royal blue lettering
All Hallows shorts*
All Hallows blue football socks (boys)*
All Hallows blue P.E. ankle socks (girls)*
A note must be brought in to excuse any pupil from P.E. or shower

For the school year the costs for PE Kit are: PE Shirt (Boys and Girls) £14, Shorts £5 and Socks £4.

PE Kit for Year 7 starters is currently supplied by the school and is ordered at the July intake evening.

Comments by Tim on 21st September 2019  

Graham, when I started secondary school it was common for boys to wear different coloured vests under their school shirts.

For our first PE lesson we got changed and a good few boys put their t-shirt on over their vests.

We were taken out onto the school field and lined up and one boy was singled out and made to take off his shirt and drop it on the ground which he did, upon seeing his vest the teacher shouted out "and get your vest off too!" that came off seconds later.

The rest of the class were told to do the same thing and within seconds a pile of discarded clothes lay on the ground.

We had a lecture about toughening up and were told in no uncertain terms no vests for gym work, x country runs, fitness work and tests which frequently done more outdoors
than the gym! Even football was played as shirts vs skins.

Andrea, how did you felt about seeing the boys strip off for PE/Games.

Comments by Graham on 21st September 2019  

Andrea : My sister and I were both at single-sex Primary schools, so the issue of mixed changing didn't arise. This was in the early to mid '70s, too, but I don't renember any of my contemporaries wearing vests, even in winter. PE in the gym was always topless, and we had an open-plan changing-room, so anyone in a vest would have been quite conspicuous.

Comments by Andrea on 19th September 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

This was in the early 1970s and vests tended to be worn for longer than is commonplace nowadays. I certainly tended to wear them in the colder months, but not always in summer. In my case the transition to a bra came at the start of my second year at Secondary.

The other thing that has changed since my schooldays is that there are more 'inbetween' options available for girls, such as half-vests, pull-on crop-tops and bralettes, whereas our first bras were scaled down version of those our mums wore.
Incidentally, did you and your sister go to single sex Primary schools, and if not up to what age did both sexes have to change together for PE?

Comments by Graham on 18th September 2019  

Andrea - back in my school cricketing days, jockstraps were required kit for anyone in a school team, but boxes were only worn by batsmen and wicketkeeper. By the time I was 14 or so, virtually all of my class wwere wearing jockstraps for PE and all ordinary games-afternoon sports, including cricket, and we quite often wore them in lieu of underpants in hot weather. I don't think helmets for cricket had been thought up back then!

Your other comment about your friend needing bras as she had outgrown her vests made me wonder whether a direct transition from one to the other was typical of that era. My memory is that my sister stopped wearing vests before she started primary school, as did I, but didn't start wearing bras until the year she went to secondary school.

Comments by Mr Flaherty on 14th September 2019  

The Grocers, before it was turned into a comprehensive – and, ultimately, an academy with the sort of problems that never assailed the old school until it was rescued by one of the great educationalists of the day - was officially known as the Hackney Downs School.

The boys, incidentally, had to swim naked. They were banned from wearing trunks because the school thought that could adversely affect the processed water in the pool. There were rumours of boys being interfered with by masters but nothing more than rumours. It was a different age.

Comments by Andrea on 13th September 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

Just a few points following your recent post.
When my son was at secondary school, they weren't required to wear a helmet or box when playing cricket in normal PE lessons, but it was compulsory when he started playing for the junior section of a local club.

I assume that the reason for switching from wearing swimming trunks to a jockstrap for PE was to be like the older boys?
I suppose it was sensible for the school to sell uniform and sports equipment on site, so that boys wouldn't have to wait until the holidays to buy things. Someone I knew went to boarding school and she told me that following a growth spurt, when she she got home one holiday, she had to ask her mum to take her to buy bras to replace the vests she had been wearing until then.

Comments by Roy on 13th September 2019  

To Fred
Interesting story and very similar to mine. We all wore Litesome jockstraps as we got older, certainly we all wore them in the 6th Form. Like you I still wear a jockstrap for activities/gym etc and, as you say, why shouldn't I?

Comments by Fred on 12th September 2019  

It is a while since I visited this site and thought I might share a few memories.
I started at a small boarding prep school in East Scotland in 1962 aged eight. We played football and rugby in the winter, hockey in the spring and cricket and athletics in the summer. No underwear was worn and I can`t remember if this was a rule or just what we did. When I think about it no protection was used for hockey and cricket, except pads and gloves, unthinkable nowadays, I don`t suppose that you are now allowed sight of a cricket field without the full array of helmets, boxes etc and quite right too! Communal showers were of course nude and we thought nothing of it, being all boys. We were taken by bus once week to the local swimming pool and we wore speedo type trunks.
I moved on aged 13 to another boys boarding school also in Scotland, more sports were on offer and we had a recently built swimming pool and gym attached, again speedo style trunks were the norm, showering after was done nude, again we thought nothing of it. I don`t think there was any rule about underwear and certainly no "inspections" and we could please ourselves, some wore nothing and other wore swimming trunks.
The changing rooms were all open and it soon became obvious the the older boys were wearing jockstraps and we soon followed suit and by the end of our first year we nearly all had acquired one. Litesome was the brand, either cotton or some of the keener lads had the nylon version which I found rather uncomfortable, they were available in the small sports shop on the school site. I don`t know if any brand other than Litesome were on the market. We wore jocks for all sport and gym and I still wear them today for any physical activity, why wouldn`t I?

Comments by Matthew on 11th September 2019  

To Michael

What nonsense!

Comments by Paul on 31st August 2019  

here's a sad trend in this country with a steady increase in how much modesty and body shame is imposed on children as they grow up. One way this is being perpetuated is by the schools not only not requiring showers after PE, but many have actually prohibited showering! It would be far more mentally healthy for children to grow up being used to nudity and showers. By starting showers in grade 1 before modesty has really had a chance to set in firmly, they will quickly get used to nudity, both being seen nude and seeing others nude. They will not grow up with the mentality of body flaws and myths of "perfection", and will be far more accepting of each other regardless of physical traits. I also believe it would be healthy for the mental development of the children if it is coed in the showers and locker rooms. When they grow up from grade 1 getting used to seeing it, the body of the opposite sex will not be a mystery or source of embarrassment. This will result in kids who are not afraid to talk about personal matters with their parents, and also will greatly reduce teenage pregnancy because there won't be near as much curiosity about the opposite sex and sexuality.

I was raised to be modest/embarrassed/ashamed of my nude body, and without showers being required in school it was perpetuated into my teens to a very extreme level of body shame that was very difficult to overcome. I would have been far more mentally healthy if I'd been used to nudity from a young age.

Comments by Michael on 31st August 2019  

I am a 14 year-old boy and I attend middle school in a rural area. Our school is small and there is only one changing room and shower for PE which means that the boys and girls have to share the same facility. It was embarrassing at first to have girls see me naked but I got used to it after awhile and it doesn't bother me so much now. The boys and girls are ages 12 to 15 and we all change into our gym uniform in the same changing room. I take off my school shirt and pants and the girls can all see me in my tighty-whitey fly-front briefs. I see them in their bra and panties. We all have PE together and then we come back to the changing room and I strip naked to shower and the girls all see me naked. The shower room is right off the changing room and the boys and girls shower together. Yes, the boys all get boners but it is a natural thing for a boy and no big deal. We stand in the shower and talk to the girls who are showering with us and it is fun. I usually shower with a girl named, Kim, and we get under the same shower head together and sometimes she washes me and I wash her

Comments by Philip Salford on 30th August 2019  


I swam nude at the YMCA all through my childhood. I also swam nude for three years of junior high and for my first 3 of 4 years of high school. Definitely not an urban legend. When I was a senior, we were finally allowed to wear competition style suits, that left little to the imagination, anyway.

Comments by Graham on 27th August 2019  


Your concluding sentence - "The girls shouldn’t be allowed to romp around and play naked in front of the boys."

So why should boys be allowed, or compelled, to do likewise in front of the girls?

Comments by Mahatma on 27th August 2019  

I remember those days. My folks moved from a small rural town to one a bit larger. My new school had an indoor pool adjacent to the gymnasium. It hadn’t been an issue for me prior to the move, but yes, part of our physical education involved swimming. Boys used the same lockers and showers for the pool as they did for the gym. We were only allowed a towel when entering the pool from the lockers and the towel was not to be worn, it was to be placed on one of the benches. The boys were to be entirely naked anytime they were in the pool area. The girls had P. E. classes separate from us boys, and could access the pool from their lockers and showers, but they had to wear an unsightly swimsuit issued to them by the school. No nudity was allow among the girls, a simple wardrobe malfunction would cause a girl to be dismissed and possibly expelled. (No such rules applied to the boys even during the classes on the basketball court. Boys could be seen from time to time yanking an unsuspecting boy’s gym shorts down as a prank with no dismissal or expulsion involved.)
The locker rooms were not the only means of accessing the pool area, anyone could go from the gym into the pool as they were opened into each other. Just because the girls and the boys had separate classes, it didn’t mean that girls weren’t around during the boys sessions or vice versa. We couldn’t go into the wrong locker rooms of course, but once outside the locker rooms, the girls could easily enter the pool area during the boys time or the boys enter during the girls time, just like when the P. E. classes were in the gym with volleyball or basketball, only difference being the boys were naked when the P. E. classes were in the pool area.
We didn’t look at it as being an embarrassing situation for the boys to have to be naked in front of the girls, teachers, parents, etc. We looked at it as being unfair to the girls not being allowed to get naked as well. For the most part, being naked wasn’t a sexual thing, it was the routine. We were, of course, in our adolescent years and standing there naked talking to a girl who you knew was “checking out your stuff” would cause undesirable results. I suspect some of the girls intentionally caused us poor boys to become erect. Partially for their own enjoyment and partially because if a coach caught us with an erection, we had to run laps as a punishment for it.
Back to the original question, yes, we were required to swim nude. Having endured that time in the past, I believe it should be re-instated. The only difference would be I would issue the girls a more practical apparel, and allow them to remove it when in the water, if they wanted to, but put back on as soon as they were out of the water. The girls shouldn’t be allowed to romp around and play naked in front of the boys.

Comments by Jeff on 26th August 2019  

At my school jockstraps were worn but a friend at another school did wear swimming trunks for support but he did later change to a jockstrap.

Comments by Michael on 22nd August 2019  michaelabbey@rocketmail.com 

It has been a very long time since I looked at this site and I was pleased to see that several posters have mentioned wearing swimming trunks for support.
At my school - in the late 60's - it was common place, especially for us who were in sports teams. Usually the practice began for those who played rugby. Following on from this the habit spread rapidly to PE lessons, cross country and so forth.
Previously I noticed that this practice was hardly ever acknowledged and yet I know that this was widespread through many schools. For myself I know how much more comfortable it was to wear trunks with the extra feeling of safety for rugby.
If anyone else would like to reply on this subject or contact me I would be very interested to hear from them.

Comments by June on 20th August 2019  

Hello Andrea
l am afraid children do tend to follow the trend of the day and it might be said that my boys wore jockstraps because their classmates did.

The purchase of my sons jockstraps was easy ... they got for themselves from the school outfitters.

My sons advise me that their own boys have a fantastic choice of jockstraps today. Although not easily found in sport shops they are bought on Amazon or such like. Perhaps the trend may change again in favour of the jockstrap yet. :=)

Comments by Andrea on 20th August 2019  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

My Ex attended a boys grammar school (not a public school) where he was encouraged to wear a jockstrap from the third year onwards and continued to wear one for sport as an adult.
We had split up by the time our son started at secondary school and my son preferred to wear briefs, I think mainly because that was what his classmates wore.

As I mentioned, he had to wear a jockstrap and cup for junior cricket, so as a single mum, it was me who went with him to buy them (along with bat, helmet etc.).
Were you ever involved in the purchase of your sons jockstraps, or was that a job for their dad?

I guess it is strange how they have gone out of fashion. I imagine that most sports shops now sell many more sports bras (which weren't around when I was a teenager)than jockstraps.

Comments by June on 18th August 2019  

I guess my older brother, who is two years was the first boy l know to wear one. He and my future husband both attended public (independent private) schools. My husband then encouraged our three boys to wear them for sport. I understand the tradition goes on as my grandchildren wear them as well. Strange how the garment has been shunned by the masses. Perhaps it will regain in popularity someday!