Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

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938 Comments

Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Year: 1935
Views: 254,902
Item #: 1741
Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team of Atherton, Greater Manchester.
Source: G. Smith.

Comment by: June on 14th December 2021 at 21:20

Bernard ... well said!

Comment by: June on 13th December 2021 at 21:47

Bernard ... well said!

Comment by: TimH on 13th December 2021 at 12:02

Again - I hope Admin will allow a digression on 'discipline' & 'hard work'.

Some years back I was digging in the National Archives to find out historical details' of one of 'HM Detention Centres' ('Young Offender Institute', I suppose). I'll not name it.
The place was on the coast - on a warmer summers day almost an idyllic situation, but on a winters day it could be a most cold & windswept place. The lads were engaged on work in the camp complex and on the farm. Most of the farm was on land reclaimed from the sea, by enclosing the salt marshes with high embankments, and using dragline excavators & such. The work was carried out by 'industrial' members of the staff and teams of lads. From my own knowledge of the place, going back over 40 years this would have been hard, back-breaking work, even in the best of conditions.
Now the thing is, boys were picked to work in these teams and work in them was much sought after by them - it was very much a sign that you had 'made it' to be picked - whether or not it finally rehabiliated them, I don't know.
Sorry for the rambling ...

Comment by: Bernard on 12th December 2021 at 22:30

Claire, TimH and William2 - I agree that this site is not as friendly as it used to be. It was once possible to comment without fear of attack from some-one who does not agree with you.
Schools have always varied in many different areas of operation, none more so, perhaps, than in p.e. Kits worn, particularly by boys were often, but not always, somewhat more Spartan in days gone by than in more recent times. That was just the way things were - nothing bad or sinister so suggesting that there was something wrong with a shorts only policy because it might not happen these days is not at all helpful. When I started at grammar school with its shirtless/barefoot regime many homes were still without double-glazing and central heating so perhaps people in general were better able to cope with a little hardship.
There were, no doubt, a certain number of p.e. teachers whose motives were not entirely honourable but they were, I'm sure, a very small minority.
I am guilty of donning my rose-tinted glasses a little when reminiscing about my p.e. lessons as probably others are but I think most contributors here are generally genuine and their posts do not deserve to be attacked in the way that sometimes happens.

Comment by: TimH on 3rd December 2021 at 10:51

I hope Admin will allow a slight divergence ...

Ian mentioned the 1967 'Summer of Love'. For some of us it was the year that we left sixth form. Of a group of four friends, not particularly 'sporty', one guy spent a month as a 'deckie-learner' on a Grimsby trawler, sailing to the Arctic fishing grounds. Another spent the summer working as a 'bin man' to get some money for his first year at UCL. The third - a most unlikely person - went on a pretty extreme outdoor pursuits course, which led to an involvement in outdoor education. Myself - that summer I started an involvement with a leading preserved railway that has lasted 55 years. Now, alas the group is broken.

People say that PE teachers (& others) were sadists & bullies ... well, they gave us four the confidence that summer to leave our 'comfort blankets'.

One thing I believe is that, in the 50s & 60s, National Service was just ending. Many of the teaching staff had 'Served Their Time' and would have seen (& felt) the agonies that the unfit went through on being called up - surely school PE was a way of toughening us up & preparing us for this, if called? (As an aside, in Nazi Germany, before conscription, youths served a year in the Reich Labour Service (RAD) to toughen them up and teach them drill & discipline).

Comment by: Claire on 1st December 2021 at 14:24

Just out of curiosity, I put the first sentence of the post by Kathleen (5 posts down) into Google. It came up pretty well verbatim, with extensive repetition of the same theme, in the Quora profile of Kathleen Bennett, "writer, author and lover". Still don;t really believe it happened that way

Comment by: Ian on 13th November 2021 at 18:23

I think it is worth contrasting the 1967 "Summer of Love" with its voluntary nudity with the "Winters of Cross Country" with compulsory showers enforced by my ex-Army PTI teacher - a young man who nevertheless believed in traditional discipline.

Comment by: William2 on 7th November 2021 at 21:12

Tim H, I do agree with you. These exchanges used to be predominantly individual memories given and taken in good faith. But in the past year or so they have become dominated by people who are in effect campaigning for a point of view and who are intolerant of anyone who differs from them, which makes the discussion rather pointless. Some interesting contributors appear to have drifted away and it is not difficult to see why.

Comment by: TimH on 7th November 2021 at 18:44

Sadly I have to agree with Claire. The site used to be 'enjoyable' with some light banter but now I see threads where, as it seems to me, people's personal views predominate and dissension is frowned upon. In particular I find statements that PE teachers of ages past (or the majority of them) were cruel sadists, bullies and (so appears) child molesters extremely offensive.
I will say no more ... but I can't really be bothered to follow these pages any more.

Comment by: Claire on 6th November 2021 at 15:15

Shades of Linda Janson, lately of this parish!

It's not obvious to me why she feels that what went on among the hippies of Haight-Ashbury in the 1970s should be of interest to a discussion of "British History in Pictures".

Sadly, this otherwise admirable site does seem to have become a magnet for the fetishists recently. Is it time for the Owner to start wielding her/his big red pencil and get the discussions back on topic?

Comment by: Kathleen on 4th November 2021 at 18:26

I graduated high school in 1972 in a city in California, and nudity was considered a part of everyday life back then. The school I attended was relaxed by the late 60s regarding nudity. The boys swam naked and the girls wore swimsuits until the mid 60s. I'm not sure what led to the girls swimming nude with the boys, but by the time I became a freshman all of the girls in my class were doing it. It seemed like girls could do it if they wanted to. It wasn't something that we had to do. However, if a girl didn't swim nude with the boys she was teased and called names. So all of us stripped in gym class.

In 1967 the Summer of Love event happened in Golden Gate Park and nudity was everywhere. I remember seeing several naked women and a few naked men in 1968. Haight-Ashbury was another area where nudity was common. You could get on a bus and go to Haight-Ashbury completely naked and no one cared. I know I happened to be one of the girls who did it. There were shops at Haight-Ashbury that gave away clothes, furniture, food, and other stuff and it was all free. I saw several naked people walk in and pick out clothes and leave the store naked back to their commune or hippy house.

Tour buses used to tour Haight-Ashbury and there were times the tour guide would say something like “it is commonplace to see naked men and women in this area, if you do not wish to see them, please look away"

I remember times when the streets became clogged with naked dancers and hippies and the motorists would honk their horns. The police were called a few times to clear the streets. They really didnt care about the naked people unlike today.

So nudity was something a LOT of people participated in back in the 60s and 70s. Gym class wasn't the only time and place in which both sexes got naked in front of each other.

Comment by: TimH on 10th October 2021 at 14:49

Like the three previous posters - plenty of that going on here, too. Also last week, a fair number of youngsters going home after school in sports kit, and numbers of lads from the local junior school training hard to become 'posties' by seeing who becomes the last to go into long trousers.
Last year I wore long trousers on four(?) occasions during BST - rather more this year because of work within the voluntary sector where its rather frowned upon - hopefully a mild winter ahead!

Comment by: Bernard on 9th October 2021 at 22:40

Fiona - good for you - why not indeed. Unfortunately there seem to be some people who think we should go back to the days when body shame ruled and rickets was common.

Comment by: Fiona on 9th October 2021 at 17:16

Lots of unashamed "immodest" folks jogging in the sunshine in the park this afternoon. Boys of all shapes and sizes getting in a last bit of topless sunning before the season of the Woolly Jumper arrives, and numerous girls in sports-bras and bare midriffs, yours truly among them. And why not?

Comment by: Tom B on 9th October 2021 at 09:01

I notice many kids and also many adults still wearing shorts and t-shirts (mostly gym wear/activewear) out and about in the current mild October weather.

I can’t believe people are so immodest. ;)

Comment by: Fiona on 2nd September 2021 at 16:50

So Mr. Dando has managed to find yet another reason to be offended!

"Most schools allow pupils to wear plain vests or T-shirts under their school uniforms but there is at least one school that limits this freedom to the wintertime. I think it is terrible that some schools mandate such immodesty and could render males topless when changing for PE."

Time to wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. D.

The days of the doorstep challenge "Have you got your vest on?" are long gone, and today's kids don't wear vests, even in winter, nor did their parents, and possibly even their grandparents, before them. My own Mum never wore a vest, which is probably why I wasn't wearing one when I started school in the 1970s, and although I was in a minority at that point, I certainly wasn't alone. In my last summer term at primary school a few of my classmates were still wearing vests, but next term at secondary school there wasn't a vest to be seen when changing for PE. So, I suspect that the number of pupils taking advantage of this so-called 'concession' is minuscule.

As for not wearing a vest being 'immodest', and males being 'rendered topless when changing for PE', how do you propose to rectify this situation, assuming that it needs rectification, and what about the girls? I can imagine the howls of anguish that would result if vests were made mandatory year-round, just so that boys didn't see each other's bare chests while changing for PE, and would you than insist that they kept their vests on under their PE tops?

Comment by: Mr Dando on 1st September 2021 at 20:13

Most schools allow pupils to wear plain vests or T-shirts under their school uniforms but there is at least one school that limits this freedom to the wintertime. I think it is terrible that some schools mandate such immodesty and could render males topless when changing for PE.

Here is one offending school institution.

https://www.theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk/uniform-and-equipment

Vest tops
During the winter months, students may wear a plain white (no other colours) vest top/t-shirt under their shirt/blouse.

This school has a much more humane policy by not limiting such freedom to the wintertime.

https://www.forthillcollege.co.uk/school-uniform

(White T-shirt or vest may be worn under shirt)

Personally, I think we should be more like the USA and abolish school uniforms altogether because they are a throwback to our imperialistic past.

A dress code would be preferable with no limitations on what underwear that should be worn under clothing.

Comment by: TimH on 22nd July 2021 at 10:23

@ William - I completely agree. I sometimes look at the schools that are named, to see if I'd be happy to send children there - I can't recall any that I'd be unhappy with.
@ Brian - I suspect the original 'Mr Dando' is still in prison judging by the length of sentence. I know 'our' Mr D says 'should be able to wear tracksuits all year around' - seeing local youngsters going to school in the present heat-wave they seem more than happy to be wearing gym shorts & white polo shirts, etc - I know there are problems in the world, but try and let the 'Little Darlings' (am I allowed to say that?) develop 'naturally'.

Comment by: William on 19th July 2021 at 23:22

The most heartening aspect of Mr Dando's tedious campaign is that so few schools take any notice of him.

Comment by: Brian on 19th July 2021 at 22:34

Mr Dando - I expect that I am not the only one who thought Claire might be right. You seem to have a really unhealthy obsession with what children wear for their p.e. lessons and how they deal with sweat/dirt etc after the lessons.
I can see no sign of any cruelty or abuse in any of the extracts posted in your comments. P.E. should be about vigorous exercise rather than dressing up in a lot of unnecessary, unhealthy and expensive clothing.

Comment by: Mr Dando on 19th July 2021 at 19:14

No it is not me for I am a guardian against state mandated child abuse.

Even today males are discriminated against by being forced to wear skimpy swimming trunks while girls can wear more modest one peice suits.

With the help of females on this forum I want to campaign for a gender equality law regarding PE kits and school uniforms so both sexes get access to the same amount of modesty. Both males & females should be able to wear tracksuits all year around and have swim suits that cover their upper and lower torsos. Here is another school which forces boys to wear trunks instead of shorts.
https://woodslee.coopacademies.co.uk/parents/uniform/

P.E. and Games Kit – Foundation 2 – Year 6

· Boys and Girls: Black shorts, pale blue t-shirt with Co-op logo and black plimsolls. Navy blue jogging trousers can be worn during the winter months;

It is the responsibility of children, parents and carers to ensure that the correct Co-op Academy Woodslee PE uniform is worn at all times;

It is the responsibility of children, parents and carers that PE kits are kept in a named navy blue drawstring shoebag with Co-op logo;

It is the responsibility of children, parents and carers that named PE kits are kept in school during term time;

It is the responsibility of children, parents and carers that when swimming boys wear swimming trunks and not shorts. Girls should have their hair tied back preferably with a swimming hat.

Please join my campaign and let 19 July 2021 be Freedom day for this country's children. Your forever friend. Mr Dando.

Comment by: Claire on 14th June 2021 at 11:49

Is this our "Friend"?
BBC News/Regions/Oxford - 17 August 2017
A former Baptist minister has been charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse relating to nine victims over 23 years. Robert John Dando, 53, of no fixed address, was arrested on Tuesday and appeared at Banbury Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. He faces charges including rape and sexual assault of boys in the south of England and Wales from 1986 and 2009.

Comment by: Andrea on 6th January 2021 at 14:53

The guidance from the Scottish Government is in response to the Covid pandemic ie. to avoid pupils being in relatively small, poorly ventilated areas and will doubtless be withdrawn once the pandemic is over.

Comment by: Mr Dando on 3rd January 2021 at 16:52

The current Covid 19 pandemic must be used as a launch pad to abolish the compulsory School shower amongst all four nations of the United Kingdom. Please see this guidance from the Scottish Government.

"Young people should be encouraged to arrive at school in their sports kit on days when physical education lessons will take place and, where possible, wait until they get home to shower and change. If the use of changing rooms and showering facilities is required, schools should ensure these are as well ventilated as possible, used only by small numbers at any point in time to maximise physical distancing, and that attention is paid to cleaning surfaces after use. Consideration should be given to the needs of children and young people with disabilities or special needs."

There are still schools which mandate showers for outdoor lessons.

https://www.blue-coat.org/school-information/uniform-regulations/

P.E. Equipment
Compulsory Items

Black & Gold training Top with Blue Coat logo
Black training shorts with Blue Coat logo
Black knee length sports socks
White ankle socks
Towel for shower taken after every outdoor lesson, optional for indoor lesson.
Football boots.
Trainers.

Let us bring full child protection amongst all of the United Kingdom and in every school.

Comment by: Alan on 16th December 2020 at 06:05

John & Tim H: Those singlets and tee shirts are so heavy aren't they?. Those shorts alone must weight a ton as well - perhaps they should leave their shorts off as well as their shirts and run around in their jockstraps?

Comment by: TimH on 15th December 2020 at 15:46

John
Just a comment: some years ago on one of the TV talent shows there was a mixed sex gymnastics team called 'Spelbound'. The 'boys' in the team wore shorts only, and the girls not an awful lot me.

Comment by: Alan on 14th December 2020 at 07:03

John: You wrote "Such a sensible PE kit, those lads worked hard and would soon have worked up a sweat. Exercising shirtless is comfortable and natural, most male gymnasts train shirtless. I’ve never understood why male gymnasts aren’t allowed to take part in competitions shirtless."

If you will allow me to say so, this seems to be a personal fetish with you. May I ask you why you are so concerned about the dress or undress of other people?. As I have said elsewhere, whilst you might have enjoyed parading round half naked, not everybody did, or does, and why should your whims be carried out for your pleasure and those taking part's possible discomfort?

Comment by: Tom B on 10th December 2020 at 13:39

A photo of the latest batch of RAF PTIs appeared on my Instagram feed today.

They wear cotton shorts of a similar length to those in this pic and vests. It does look somewhat old fashioned.

Comment by: Rob on 10th December 2020 at 11:38

I agree John, apart from those black socks! Male gymnasts should be allowed to take part in competitions shirtless and why not in shorts instead of those long white trousers?

Comment by: John on 8th December 2020 at 15:50

Such a sensible PE kit, those lads worked hard and would soon have worked up a sweat. Exercising shirtless is comfortable and natural, most male gymnasts train shirtless. I’ve never understood why male gymnasts aren’t allowed to take part in competitions shirtless.