Burnley Grammar School

Childhood - Schools


Year: 1959         Item #: 1607         Views: 712,210         Comments: 2,598

Burnley Grammar School

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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

2598 user comment(s) below:-

Comments by Alan on 17th February 2020  

At my boarding school, everyone wore pj's at 9/10/11, then it gradually stopped as we got older.

First the pj top disappeared, then one or two boys slept in briefs. Slowly as we got older, it became the norm to sleep naked.

Everyday we had to do an early morning run, summer and winter.

At 0630 we were woken up by prefects, shorts/plimsolls on, always stripped to the waist. Showers on return.

Comments by James E on 16th February 2020  

06:00 We got first bell .. down to bathroom and stuff ... nudity not an issue that worried any of us as l remember
07:00-08: 00 breakfast
09:00 first lesson

Comments by William on 16th February 2020  

Julian, I was a day boy but my experience was like yours: we quickly got used to nude showers because we had to and soon thought nothing of them. Some boys were more confident than others.
Looking back, I'm glad I don't suffer from the bodily shyness that afflicts some Brits, especially the young. The attitude of the northern Europeans and Russians to nudity is much healthier than ours. I think I was lucky to be at a boys' school in the '60s.

Comments by Julian E on 16th February 2020  

Hi Mads, if l have the name right! You can get running shorts without inline - my boys (grandsons to be precise) like Gore - they're expensive though but damned good

Comments by Paul on 16th February 2020  

William - the morning routine was out of bed and straight into the (cold) showers. There was no time to think of putting anything on. There were showers off each dormitory along with wash basins and toilets shared with the dormitory next door so twenty four lads needing to get through the morning routine. There were no partitions, even on the toilets so no room to be shy or bothered about being naked.

Comments by Graham on 16th February 2020  

Rising bell at 7:30 am, get up, wash/shower, dress.
Breakfast at 8.00 am.
Make beds, tidy dormitory rooms etc.
Classes start 09:00 am.

Comments by Julian on 16th February 2020  

We went to the bathroom usually with undies on although some boys just took their towels with them. To be honest no one ever gave it much thought. What was your experience?

Comments by William on 16th February 2020  

Archie, Graham, Julian et al
So you slept in the nude at school. When you got up first thing in the morning did you put something on or not bother? What was your routine?

Comments by Mr Dando on 15th February 2020  

While we cannot change the past injustices of the 1970's and 1980's we should ensure that kids today are not exposed to the same abuses we were. This school still highlights the barbaric practice of forcing minors to PE in their underwear: http://thamesviewinfants.org/families/general-information/school-uniform/

Please inform school if your child has a verucca. He/she will need to wear plimsolls for all PE lessons, until the verucca has gone.

Children who forget their PE kit will be expected to do PE in pants and vest.

PE is part of the school curriculum and is important for your child’s healthy development; he/she will be expected to participate in all lessons.

During Year 2 swimming lessons, boys should wear trunks or shorts (which don’t go below the knee) and girls should wear one-piece swim suits (not bikinis).

Please stop bare foot pe and doing gymnastics in vest and pants!

Comments by Frank C on 14th February 2020  

Interesting about Dr. Kellogs theory. I will see my cornflakes in a whole new light!

Comments by Paul on 13th February 2020  

If you want shorts without a liner just buy rugby shorts! They are still made for real men ;-)

Comments by Mads on 13th February 2020  

James E, to answer your question - I don't like built-in liners in shorts. Now it is hard to find athletic shorts without a liner. When l was at school shorts didn't have lining. You just simply wore a jock. Life was so simple then.

Comments by John on 12th February 2020  

How did you feel when you were twelve and your Dad insisted that you start sleeping naked?.

Comments by James on 12th February 2020  

David H,I agree it was difficult forgetting about it once I had been circumcised and I didn't find it at all agreeable,but it it was something we had to get accustomed to.At school some boys found it intriguing as they had never seen a boy circumcised before.

Comments by Archie on 12th February 2020  

Fiona, my input to your survey! I went to what was essentially an independent day school, but there was a boarding house for folk who lived further away (only about 10-15% of pupils were full time boarders). Like many boys I did board for short periods, when exams were coming up or there was some other more social reason to do so - even just to get away from nagging parents for a few days! - so feel I can legitimately complete your survey.

1 - What was your usual sleepwear at home before you went away to boarding school? Pyjamas until around 12, then naked at my father's insistence.
2 - Was sleepwear specified for boarders, and if so, what? "Appropriate nightwear"
3 - What sleepwear was actually worn in your dormitory room? In my experience, all boys slept in the buff.
4 - Was this less than, the same as, or more than you were accustomed to wear at home? Same
5 - If the general sleepwear level in your dormitory room was less than that specified, what was the reason? They never defined "appropriate nightwear" and there was a sort of expectation that we'd sleep in the buff - I think it was seen as being more manly and grown up.
6 - If the general sleepwear level in your dormitory room differed from what you were accustomed to at home, was that a problem for you? I was expected to sleep nude at home too, so no.
7 - If you modified your sleepwear to conform with your dormitory mates, did you revert to your previous practice when you went home for holidays? If not, did your parents make any comments? Not applicable.
8 - Any other comments? After evening prep we had free time in the dorm common room and were expected to strip down to our briefs and socks before evening showers and bed.

Comments by David H on 11th February 2020  

Well say forgotten - dont forget it just get used to it and accept it

Comments by Dave H on 10th February 2020  

Josh H
I was 11 by brother 6, upset at time but healed fast and soon forgotten.

Comments by Josh H on 10th February 2020  

David H

How old were you when you were circumcised, and do you remember it being a traumatic experience?

Comments by Paul on 10th February 2020  

I buy unlined shorts but I always go commando - perhaps the memories of the slipper whacking my arse are still strong enough that I do trousers off, underpants off, shorts on on autopilot!

Comments by David H on 10th February 2020  

First I should apologise to the other David, as had not noted there was another one .. should have known, never worked at a place that did not have 4-5 David's !
My brother and I where circumcised at a doctors office in Aldershot, given injections to make us go to sleep.
Had to be about 40% roundheads at the grammar a lot more than I was aware of at my junior school, at least one fellow cavalier at junior school had joined the roundheads with me.
Once used to my new status I have to say never regretted it, and when it came time for my own son he was done soon after birth.
I remember my mother telling me the future king had had it done, little did she know some 70 years later he still would not be king !

Comments by James E on 10th February 2020  

Okay, does anyone actually like built-in liners in their shorts? Now it's almost impossible to find athletic shorts without a liner. I've never met a sewn-in mesh brief that was as comfortable or well-constructed. It's a pain to cut them out, and I dislike buying something brand-new and having to cut it out myself. But as said, l am circumcised and as Julian says the liner really hurts my penis. Circumcised lads are sensitive down there! So yeah the perfect solution for me is to cut out the liner and wear a jock.

Comments by arby on 9th February 2020  

Hi Dave
I totally agree. I too cut out the lining of shorts and wear a jockstrap. Still the best.

Comments by Julian on 9th February 2020  


Haha ... l do exactly the same, that is cut out the inline netting from shorts. Good to know I am not alone. I wonder if James and Chris G do the same ;)

Comments by Dave on 9th February 2020  

Hi, James,Chris and Julian, I am just the same as you as regards wearing a jockstrap for support over shorts with a liner. I would normally buy plain shorts but sometimes I have bought shorts with a lining because I liked the look of them and then carefully cut out the liner and worn my jock under them.

Comments by Graham on 8th February 2020  

Fiona - input to your survey.

Q1: During primary school years I progressed from full PJs, through topless in the summer, to year-round topless by the time I went away to school.

Q2: Pyjamas, 3 pairs

Q3: I joined an established dormitory group with seven other boys, all of whom had been wearing nothing at all to bed for at least a year.

Q4: Less than I had been accustomed to wear at home during the preceding years.

Q5: PJs were specified but the only enforced regulation was that for hygiene, we shouldn't go to bed in anything worn during the day. There was tacit acknowledgement throughout the school that this was best achieved by not wearing anything at all.

Q6: Not at all.

Q7: Mum and Dad were amused, but not surprised, when I went home for my first half-term break with three pairs of unworn PJs, but made no attempt to persuade me to mend my new-found ways.

Comments by James E on 8th February 2020  

Chris G, Julian, nice to meet like-minded guys! I hate those built inline shorts. The good old jockstrap, on the other hand, gives us men comfort, support and breathability. Best support going for physical activity. Don't understand why youngsters today wear all that heavy underarmour, and it must roast their privates something rotten!

Comments by Chris G on 7th February 2020  

Julian - I agree. I've never been a fan of shorts with built-in linings, principally due to the lack of support that they generally provide. Like you, I've always found a jockstrap much more practical underwear when wearing shorts.

Comments by Julian on 7th February 2020  

Often! lol but at least we have never had to worry about smegma!

Comments by James on 7th February 2020  

Mathew,I certainly would have preferred not to have been circumcised,I often wonder what it would be to be like other boys, who I considered to be more fortunate who were not circumcised.It was always considered to be the parents'decision,but I deeply regret that they made the decision to have me circumcised.

Comments by Matthew on 7th February 2020  

To Julian
I certainly wasn't "done" for religious reasons but whether it was for medical reasons or because it was "the thing to do", I don't know. But, have you never wondered how it would feel to have a foreskin?

Comments by Julian on 6th February 2020  

Why didn't you like be circumcised? The only irritating part for me was wearing shorts with in sewn support and the material always seemedto be nylon based fabric whivh hurt, but as l started wearing a jockstrap the problem was solved.

Comments by James E on 6th February 2020  

Julian, l remember the roundhead cavalier competition! I also was a roundhead and seem to remember that most roundheads were so because they were living overseas at the time of boarding. My parents lived in Rhodesia and l think all boys were automatically circumcised for health reasons. What about your circumstances?

Comments by Chris G on 6th February 2020  

Fiona - response to your survey:

1 - Nominally pyjamas, but increasingly topless in hot weather once I entered my teens.

2 - Pyjamas, three pairs.

3 - PJ bottoms only, by universal personal choice rather than school diktat, even in the depths of winter.

4 - Less.

5 - Back then (late 1950s), sleeping topless was becoming increasingly acceptable among teenage boys, and not just in hot weather. With dormitories maintained at a comfortable temperature, and a sympathetic boarding house-master, it was a no-brainer.

6 - N/A

7 - Mum knew I slept topless in hot weather, and although surprised to find me still topless when I came home for the Christmas holiday, was quite accepting of my choice.

8 - After a long summer of sleeping topless, I had gone to my new school not looking forward to wearing PJ tops again. Finding that topless sleeping was not just tolerated as an individual quirk, but accepted as mainstream practice, came as a great relief.

Comments by Chris G on 6th February 2020  

JOhn, how did your parents feel about you having to sleep topless at school, and did you wear full PJs at home during the holidays?

Comments by Matthew on 6th February 2020  

To David. It was most unfortunate that you were circumcised for social climbing reasons. When you got to the grammar school, were you in a minority of "good boys"? Have you ever resented your circumcision? And how did your brother feel?
I was circumcised as a baby. I don't know why but wish I hadn't been. How do others feel about being circumcised?

Comments by Julian on 5th February 2020  

Chris G
Gosh that brings back memories the term "roundheads" and "cavaliers" and although l was a 'roundhead' l would say that the 'cavaliers' outnumbered us just!
I too was "done" as an infant for very valid medical reasons.

Comments by Julian on 5th February 2020  

Fascinating to read your message concerning Dr Kellogg and thoughts on circumcision for pubescent boys to stop masturbation!
I had to laugh, as circumcision never stopped me and others who were circumcised! We were as ferocious at masturbation as were those who were those who were 'uncut' at boarding school

Comments by Paul on 5th February 2020  

I was circumcised as a baby. At boarding school I would say that 80% of lads were. From there I went to university and played rugby so again maybe 60% of the lads were. I continued to play rugby post university and I think probably 50-60% of the guys were cut. These days going to the gym, the number of cut guys is reduced. Probably somewhere around 10-15% and mostly we older men (I mean 60+ here). There's one guy in his 30s I sometimes train with and he is but he was done as an adult because his foreskin was way too tight - he asked me about it before he went for the op so I know why he was done.

It's obviously something that is no longer routine outside of religious reasons.

Comments by John on 5th February 2020  

Hi Chris, the topless rule was decided by the school. However, the rite s was decided by the other guys. Has anyone experienced the rite or punishment of being tied shirtless and “tortured” ?

Comments by Chris G on 5th February 2020  

I was "done" as an infant for very valid medical reasons, as we're our s n's a generation later. At school as a teenager, "roundheads" and "cavaliers" were approximately equal in numbers.

Comments by Josh H on 4th February 2020  

How old were you when you were "done" and do you remember anything about it.

Comments by James on 4th February 2020  

David,I wouldn't call it'bizarre'at all.I think your mother was very responsible to have you both circumcised,albeit a little late.I agree it was more customary to have it done in hospital after birth when I was circumcised.
Apart from the obvious reasons,including health and hygiene,I believe it was was also done for cosmetic reasons.
I thought it was common practice for all boys to be circumcised until I had communal showers.
I also felt self-conscious when I realized I was being stared at,as I was the odd one out.

Comments by John on 4th February 2020  

I think that your mum had your best interests at heart by getting you circumcised. Being circumcised greatly reduces your chances of developing penile cancer, women who have a circumcised male partner are less at risk of developing cervical cancer and it is far more hygienic than having a foreskin.

Comments by Morgan on 3rd February 2020  

In response to David and Julian.
"Circumcision wasn't popularized in the western world until Victorian times, when a few doctors began to recommend it to prevent boys from masturbating. Dr. Kellogg (of Corn Flakes fame) advocated circumcision for pubescent boys to stop masturbation."

"Kellogg never promoted routine circumcision of all boys, and he had no interest in performing the procedure on infants. He endorsed it solely for the purpose of inflicting genital pain on boys who were caught masturbating.
He saw circumcision merely as a pretext to inflict pain. That’s why his instructions specified that a boy should not receive any anesthesia. He wanted to convert a boy's attitude about his genitals from thoughts of pleasure to thoughts of pain."
Kellogg's Crusade
Circumcision Choice

Though religious circumcision has been practiced in the Middle East for millennia, it wasn’t popular in the U.S. until the puritanical 19th century, when, among other things, sex-phobic doctors promoted it as a way to stop masturbation.
These views on masturbation being an act of self abuse remained prevalent well into the 20th Century in British Boarding Schools.
At my own boarding school a boy caught in the act of so-called self-abuse would be harshly punished. The School Chaplain preached about the evil of such activity regularly. House masters would patrol dormitories and warn us boys to keep our hands above the covers. Boys under suspicion would have their bedsheets inspected for damning evidence.
The comment about all good boys being circumcised at Grammar school would suggest the need for circumcision related to more than just cleanliness. Which proponents of circumcision still claim today.

Comments by David on 3rd February 2020  

Julian & Chris
Seems bizarre now - but need to put it in to context.
Born at home before the NHS started.
Better off famileys gave birth at local private hospital, that often included circumcision for the baby boys.
Would now call mum a social climber, trying to move up the social classes,and my brother and I where part of that.
After receiving an inheritance she took the opportunity to have us both done before I started at grammar school.

Comments by Julian on 3rd February 2020  


1 - What was your usual sleepwear at home before you went away to boarding school? Pyjamas
2 - Was sleepwear specified for boarders, and if so, what? Pyjamas
3 - What sleepwear was actually worn in your dormitory room? From 13 onwards most of us slept naked
4 - Was this less than, the same as, or more than you were accustomed to wear at home? Became the same pattern at home .. sleeping naked, that is

7 - If you modified your sleepwear to conform with your dormitory mates, did you revert to your previous practice when you went home for holidays? If not, did your parents make any comments? My parents didn't mind. Mum just asked us to ear pjs when grandparents stayed over.

Comments by Fiona on 3rd February 2020  

John, Paul, Chris, Graham, Brit in Berlin, etc.:
Some interesting revelations here, although so far no feminine perspective. So, here's a short survey for all those, girls as well as boys, who went to boarding school and found themselves in a dormitory environment where the practical level of sleepwear differed from the theoretical specification set out in the boarders' clothing list:

1 - What was your usual sleepwear at home before you went away to boarding school?
2 - Was sleepwear specified for boarders, and if so, what?
3 - What sleepwear was actually worn in your dormitory room?
4 - Was this less than, the same as, or more than you were accustomed to wear at home?
5 - If the general sleepwear level in your dormitory room was less than that specified, what was the reason?
6 - If the general sleepwear level in your dormitory room differed from what you were accustomed to at home, was that a problem for you?
7 - If you modified your sleepwear to conform with your dormitory mates, did you revert to your previous practice when you went home for holidays? If not, did your parents make any comments?
8 - Any other comments?

Comments by Chris on 2nd February 2020  

Rather uncomfortable reward for being good AND getting to Grammar School!

Comments by Julian on 2nd February 2020  

Why were all the 'good' boys circumcised? Seems quite bizarre

Comments by David on 1st February 2020  

Remember having the PE master check that we had no underpants under our shorts at grammar school in 1955.
Not every time but if he suspected a boy was violating the rules he would have us line up and and pull out front of the shorts while he checked for underpants, violators would have to remove them and receive the strap.
Mum had me circumcised after I passed the 11+, as all good boy at the grammar school have it done, just as it became less common, so rather self-conscious in the showers at first.