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Did we really look like this when out trainspotting?


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Certainly no trainers at school when I left 1975.. Though I remember in the RAF in 1976 the uniform wear for sports was plimsoles but for some  the private sportswear was trainers.. (it was still RAF plimsoles when I left that in 88).

 

Shoes were something your parents bought you, you had no choice in the matter. Plain black as required by school.

Shorts were required school uniform in primary school, along with white shirt, grey pullover, grey socks, black shoes and of course school tie.

Secondary school, Black long trousers and black blazer the rest the same.  Still have that school tie somewhere, green with yellow stripes.

(These were council schools).

 

Jacket and tie were required wearing for me at work until 1996.. Then I was back in uniform, till about 2005, but tie was optional, now it's a white lab coat required for the next 349 working days till I retire..

 

 

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1 hour ago, TheQ said:

Certainly no trainers at school when I left 1975.. Though I remember in the RAF in 1976 the uniform wear for sports was plimsoles but for some  the private sportswear was trainers.. (it was still RAF plimsoles when I left that in 88).

 

Shoes were something your parents bought you, you had no choice in the matter. Plain black as required by school.

Shorts were required school uniform in primary school, along with white shirt, grey pullover, grey socks, black shoes and of course school tie.

 

 

I went to a grammar school during the 1960s and I'm sure we had to wear short trousers in the first and second years. Only third year and above wore long trousers. Caps were compulsory until the fifth year I think, and there used to be a ceremonial unofficial burning of school caps right in the far corner of the playing field by the high jump pit. What really pee'd me off was that I reached the end of the 4th year and the wearing of caps was discontinued for all. 

 

One thing which makes me smile now, was the snobbery over school shirts. In those days, boys wearing nylon shirts considered themselves to be a cut above us poor souls who soldiered on in cotton shirts because our mothers had bought a job lot which would have to last until the chest buttons burst, or the collars could not be done up. I wonder how many of the nylon shirt wearers would now deny all knowledge of doing so? 

 

Once again, strict rules were applied. All boys wore grey shirts, except prefects who wore white. 

 

Here is a close-up from a photo at Reading in October 1976. 

 

I think one kid may have white trainers, and another possibly baseball boots; but the majority appear to be in dark shoes. Parkas or denim seem to be the jacket of choice, rather than anoraks and one chap appears to have nicked a coat from the Des Lynham cupboard at MoTD. 

 

 

 

1822349270_100212D1010reading251076.jpg.5757228e5273fc2b22fd6162b1aa9d96.jpg

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Back then, Clarks boots, or biker boots, jeans, T Shirt jumper, denim jacket OR Belstaff coat.

 

What I can remember was that the roads were infested with scooters, which we all took the pee out of.

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52 minutes ago, jonny777 said:

I went to a grammar school during the 1960s and I'm sure we had to wear short trousers in the first and second years. Only third year and above wore long trousers. Caps were compulsory until the fifth year I think, and there used to be a ceremonial unofficial burning of school caps right in the far corner of the playing field by the high jump pit.

Same rules at my school 1959-66. The only difference was that a group of us used an improvised incinerator placed outside the headmaster's study window for the cap ceremony. He had the Porter extinguish it when the inserts in the peaks started to smoulder and the smoke drifted inside. 

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5 hours ago, swampy said:

or "basers" (= baseball boots, obv.) round our way in South Shields in the 60s. I think they had a round piece of rubber where the ankle bone sticks out.


We knew those as basketball boots - a quick search shows them described as both ‘baseball’ and ‘basketball’. Colloquially known as ‘bumpers’.

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That's one of my old stamping grounds at platform 5 at 'The General' from around '58 until '65 when I gave up after 81D closed.  I hadn't realised there were so many spotters still inhabiting that hallowed ground into the '70's!  Nice pic and thanks for posting.  Here's one from the 1950's taken at the London end.  Times and fashions change! 

oiks at 'ding 'neral.jpg

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I'd started doing occasional casual work on drilling rigs in my later school days, the fleet of small land rigs which did SI work for the rapidly burgeoning motorway programme and the rather larger ones which mostly worked for the NCB. In those days there were coalfields in Kent, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, sporadic oil drilling in Lincs and Notts.. it paid for my motorcycle... that led me to REAL flannel check shirts, khaki work trousers and Red Wing boots... all quite rare in U.K. in those days, but freely available from "service hands" and drilling companies who distributed them freely. 

 

One thing I certainly don't miss, from the 1970s is the quite abominable smell of wet donkey jackets and Wellington boots left overnight around a gas fire in a site cabin. It put me off civil engineering... drilling crew were issued work clothes and got proper changing rooms! 

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Flicking through this thread.... I think shorts with school uniforms and caps, were a 1920s thing, rather than Edwardian. Certainly the gabardine raincoat was a WW1 legacy. 

 

I wore a boater briefly, with 1st Team Colours in my final year at school. It was only worn in summer, with the school blazer and I thought it looked rather dashing! 

 

Comics were always notably behind the times. I have no recollection of ever seeing anyone with a Civil Defence gas rattle at a football match, however popular they might have been in Melchester. Lord Snooty was a visibly pre-WW1 character. Teacher wore a mortar board and carried a cane at Bash St, long after they had disappeared from state schools - might still do so, for all I know. 

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13 hours ago, rockershovel said:

Lord Snooty was a visibly pre-WW1 character.

Indeed, though Jacob Rees-Mogg is doing a bang up job of reminding us of Lord S and Walter the Softie in the modern era. Top hole!

 

C6T. 

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On 24/05/2021 at 12:06, woodenhead said:

We did have trainers in the 1970s - because I remember the phrase 'Adidas Four Stripe' as a stock insult to anyone wearing a pair of Samba, Mamba or Bamba copies which came with the extra stripe.  To my shame at the time my first trainers were from Clarks with only TWO stripes, how poor was I, couldn't even afford four stripes.

 

Snorkel jackets were standard wear by the late 70s and for a short period there was also the fad of lumberjack coats.

 

Yep. 

 

Tesco Tearaways is what we called them.  :laugh:

 

Adidas was ubiquitous when I was at school. Everybody had them. Either classic Adidas black and white, or white tennis/squash/badminton shoes. No baseball or basketball boots, they were more 1980s.

 

Then it was Nike, Puma, etc. Anyone of a certain age will remember the classic Nike Wally Waffles with the waffled soles.

 

The fashion came from football fans that went to Europe and brought them back because they were far cheaper over there. They could then sell to others at a higher price and they had paid for their trip. When you had 10,000 fans going to say France and all bringing about 10 pairs back each, you realise why places like Liverpool and Manchester were full of teenagers wearing trainers when there wasn't any in the shops.

 

No one wore Admiral though.....

 

 

 

Jason

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50 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Yep. 

 

Tesco Tearaways is what we called them.  :laugh:

 

Adidas was ubiquitous when I was at school. Everybody had them. Either classic Adidas black and white, or white tennis/squash/badminton shoes. No baseball or basketball boots, they were more 1980s.

 

Then it was Nike, Puma, etc. Anyone of a certain age will remember the classic Nike Wally Waffles with the waffled soles.

 

The fashion came from football fans that went to Europe and brought them back because they were far cheaper over there. They could then sell to others at a higher price and they had paid for their trip. When you had 10,000 fans going to say France and all bringing about 10 pairs back each, you realise why places like Liverpool and Manchester were full of teenagers wearing trainers when there wasn't any in the shops.

 

No one wore Admiral though.....

 

 

 

Jason

In hip-hop circles, those imports the footie fans brought back kick started that music genre followers search for cool wear. Which in itself brought about specifically b-boy designer brands like British Knights and SPX.

I was old before my time and had already decided that black jeans (as espoused by Chuck D or KRS-ONE), Reebok kicks and a Kangol flat cap would be my "uniform".

At 48, little has changed. I'm recognisably Old Skool hip-hop, but perhaps only to another of the same ilk!

 

Never bought Nike or Adidas, but I can't deny, Air Jordans or Gazelles, classics both.

 

C6T. 

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On 24/05/2021 at 12:14, swampy said:

or "basers" (= baseball boots, obv.) round our way in South Shields in the 60s. I think they had a round piece of rubber where the ankle bone sticks out.

For some reason when I was a kid in London, baseball boots were called 'bumper boots'. I have no idea why. I do remember the sense of triumph and pleasure of my 9 year old self when I persuaded mum to buy me a pair. Back of the net!

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On 27/05/2021 at 07:35, rockershovel said:

 

Comics were always notably behind the times. I have no recollection of ever seeing anyone with a Civil Defence gas rattle at a football match, however popular they might have been in Melchester. Lord Snooty was a visibly pre-WW1 character. Teacher wore a mortar board and carried a cane at Bash St, long after they had disappeared from state schools - might still do so, for all I know. 

The comics appeared old because they were, much of the  content was simply republished   verbatim, as each generation of readers moved on.

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I wonder what rail fans of the future (if there are any) will think when they look at pictures of us in 40 - 50 years time?

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12 hours ago, Will Crompton said:

For some reason when I was a kid in London, baseball boots were called 'bumper boots'. I have no idea why. I do remember the sense of triumph and pleasure of my 9 year old self when I persuaded mum to buy me a pair. Back of the net!

And there was a very popular compilation LP called Bumpers - all yellow card cover with a drawing of boots on it. Such albums were a very new idea. I still have my copy somewhere, followed on a couple by CBS. 

 

Paul

 

 

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one thing I definitely don't miss from that period - string underwear! I had an uncle who persisted in the habit of working on his allotment wearing long-since-broken army boots, an ancient pair of suit trousers held up with a string belt, and a distinctly yellowish string vest. Horrible! 

 

As for string vests in conjunction with those nylon "drip-dry" shirts in various pastel colours.....

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On 29/05/2021 at 10:22, Will Crompton said:

For some reason when I was a kid in London, baseball boots were called 'bumper boots'. I have no idea why. I do remember the sense of triumph and pleasure of my 9 year old self when I persuaded mum to buy me a pair. Back of the net!

 

I had a pair of baseball boots in the early 70s, and of all the shoes I have ever worn ,before or since, they are my favourite !

 

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6 minutes ago, caradoc said:

 

I had a pair of baseball boots in the early 70s, and of all the shoes I have ever worn ,before or since, they are my favourite !

 

 

I developed a life-long attachment to those welted, lace-up Derby shoes with vibram soles, from Clarks. Durable, comfortable, weatherproof and easy to slip on and off, I wore them on my travels for many years. During that time their manufacture passed from Somerset to Vietnam, but the latest move (from Vietnam to Pakistan) plus the transition to blown soles seems to have lost the plot rather - my latest pair are nothing like as good. 

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1 hour ago, 62613 said:

Back to caps and shorts; wasn't that a "Grammar School" thing? ISTR, secondary moderns didn't seem so fussed about uniforms

 

my sister certainly wore a uniform at Impington Village College in the 1970s. from recollection, the local Secondary Moderns (Coleridge and Netherhall) wore uniforms, including ties, much like the Grammar. Coleridge Girls had a blazer and pleated skirt in a rather drab red and bottle green tartan. Netherhall, if memory serves, were black or grey with white shirts and a striped tie. 

 

Perse and Leys School lower forms wore caps. I don't remember the other schools doing so. 

 

Prep school boys changed school at 11 in those days, although there was quite a high turn-over of boys arriving and departing at all stages of the curriculum, mostly sons of servicemen, academics or businessmen on posting of one sort or another

 

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7 hours ago, rockershovel said:

one thing I definitely don't miss from that period - string underwear! I had an uncle who persisted in the habit of working on his allotment wearing long-since-broken army boots, an ancient pair of suit trousers held up with a string belt, and a distinctly yellowish string vest. Horrible! 

 

As for string vests in conjunction with those nylon "drip-dry" shirts in various pastel colours.....

 

Another nylon disaster from the 1970s were nylon underwear. I remember my wife buying me a pack of three nylon pants because they were on offer in M&S. All fancy colours, but boy did they make me itch on a hot day.  (Sorry if that is too much info).  

 

I think they were quietly moved to the back of my pant drawer and must have been ditched after a respectable time. 

 

 

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Never understood why the grammar school pupils would wear their full uniform while trainspotting?

Was it a rule that you had to wear it whilst in public, even in your own time?

I didn't have to wear a uniform until I went to High School (comprehensive) and that uniform, particularly the blazer, was expensive enough - my mum would've had a fit if I went about in it outside of school time.

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40 minutes ago, keefer said:

Never understood why the grammar school pupils would wear their full uniform while trainspotting?

Was it a rule that you had to wear it whilst in public, even in your own time?

I didn't have to wear a uniform until I went to High School (comprehensive) and that uniform, particularly the blazer, was expensive enough - my mum would've had a fit if I went about in it outside of school time.

 

Grammar schools, particularly the Direct Grant variety (which were minor public schools in all but name, particularly after 1975) commonly had rules which required boarders to wear uniform off the school premises at all times, and day boys to wear uniform while travelling to and from school, or about any school activity. Bus passes were only valid for travelling to and from school. It was supposed to act as a deterrent to going in pubs, and buying cigarettes, but I don't recall it being particularly effective in those lax times. 

 

Certainly in Cambridge, with the Grammar within easy walking distance of Hills Road Bridge and the marshalling yard and MPD with cycling distance, Perse and Leys within cycling distance, most trainspotting was conducted after school (remembering that Perse and Leys both worked Saturday until 12:30) so boys were still in uniform. The same applied to the regular trips organised by the Railway Society (organised by Michael Seymour in my time) 

 

Grammar and DG Grammar boys could often be quite scruffy. Richmal Crompton's William wore a school uniform which bore the signs of being dunked in streams and dragged through hedges. I had a classmate who had three elder brothers, who wore successive cast-offs and the youngest was frankly ragged at times.

 

School uniforms were their day-to-day clothes, their working dress; it was sold and re-sold at PTA termly sales (there being a summer and winter uniform, sometimes a separate uniform for each term) until beyond all further use. There was, after all, no particular cachet attached to the cost of a uniform, given the cost of fees for at least some of them, and the rest followed suit. My mother quickly discovered that an old uniform was cheaper than Tesco jeans, and might even be sold again if it still had some wear in it. 

 

 

 

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On 26/01/2013 at 18:39, devonseasider said:

Fashions of the day  -  30th September 1961.

 

Lousy quality picture, I know, but I was only 12 when I took it - and with my Dad's folding bellows camera at that!  Still, an interesting subject especially considering that it was taken at Blackpool North (or Talbot Road, if you prefer) shed.

 

 

post-11812-0-79038200-1359243515_thumb.jpg

Okay, it's been a while since this pic was posted, but I can't help but going back and looking at it. While I never went trainspotting with my friends (no nearby tracks and not growing up in the UK), this picture does remind me so much of the things I did do with my friends from the neighborhood and from school. This picture borders on . . . what's the word - iconic? Everlasting? Since its posting I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about and seeing if I could name my classmates from way back when.  I wonder if someone with computer imaging skills could work some magic on this - adjust the lighting, a bit more sharp etc. Would make for a piece of trainroom wall art!! Thank you so much for posting.

Dave

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