Grammar hats had to be worn even out of school

This photograph has brought back more memories for Guardian readers.

Wednesday, 19th April 2017, 5:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:49 pm
Spring 1951 - Children eating sweets in Chorley Market after the ration ended

John Cockram sent this picture of himself and Chorley Grammar School pupils eating sweets at Chorley Market in 1951 a few weeks back and it was published in this newspaper on February 14.

And fellow reader Peter Hunter, 77, has contacted us to share his own memories of being at the school.

He says: “John Cockram and John Molyneux would have been in their second year, and I think the other boys and the girls were in their first year, the same as me, having started in September 1950.

“Most of the boys are wearing school caps and the girls school hats.

“It was a strict school rule that caps and hats must always be worn outside school, and failure to do so meant a detention if caught by a member of staff or reported by a prefect.

“The cap was widely regarded as a symbol of authority and oppression, to be stuffed in a pocket at any opportunity. We also had to wear the school tie at all times – except during very hot weather in the summer term, but only once official permission to remove it had been announced by the headmaster, usually in a morning assembly.

“In those days the school dinner hour lasted from noon to 1.45pm, so there was plenty of time for more than simply eating lunch.

“If we took school dinners we were only allowed to leave the school premises to go to the swimming baths (on the corner of Union Street and Clifford Street in those days), or to walk either to Astley Park or the Library in Avondale Road. The rest of town was officially out of bounds.”

He recognised some people on the photograph: Front Row: John Jerstice, Ian Moss, unknown, Tom Barnes, Alan Fishwick, unknown.

He adds: “I recognise most of the girls faces on the back row, but I don’t recall names, except the blond girl in the middle could be Ouida Holden; then John Molyneux, John Cockram.”