Additional Personal Memories, not in the Esthameian

Added November 2001

School Uniform Memories.

Jim Briggs 1944-51

The recently posted picture of the School Tie on the Smartgroups EHGS site shows a very different one to that in my time. Then the tie was darkish red and blue diagonal stripes. When did it change - with the new building or what?

Colin Clark 1946-52

When I started at EHGS the tie was black with diagonal white stripes, as it was when I left.

Terry Sinclair 1975-80

Jim, your description of your tie sounds remarkably similar to the existing school tie.

Robin Sharp 1965-72

I'm not sure when the design of ties changed, but I still have a full 'set' of the ties which we were expected to wear as we progressed through the School:

Junior School Tie (1st-3rd years) ~ broad diagonal black and white stripes (repeated)
Senior School Tie (4th&5th years) ~ two thin diagonal white stripes on black background (repeated)
Sixth Form Tie ~ one thin diagonal white stripe on black background (repeated)
Prefects Tie ~ single yellow stripe on a black(?) background, interspersed with the arms of the County Borough of East Ham (repeated).

All these from memory - the actual ties are in a box somewhere! I think that as much as having separate ties to give identity to different sections within the School, it must have been equally to boost the profits of Foster Bros. in High Street North.

In 1969, when I entered the 6th form, the supply of 6th Form Ties had been exhausted so, pro tem, Foster Bros. sold us ordinary black ties with thin white lines painted on them, which started to crack after the ties had been worn/tied a few times! When a fresh consignment of the proper ones arrived we were allowed to swap our emergency ties for the real thing, but I seem to remember that this was not until the end of the autumn term or early spring term. Some sixth formers of the same vintage as me never got round to trading them in and wore the 'cracked lines' for the whole of their sixth form career.

Speaking of uniform, what about school caps? During my time at EHGS, all juniors had to wear caps (outside school) up to and including the third year. Who could forget Joe's 'cap check' at home time at the end of the B corridor and the stentorian voice bellowing "Er, hey! Where's your cap?", should anyone have the temerity to venture forth without? Of course, as soon as we were out of sight of the gate it was quickly folded up and slipped into the blazer pocket. Certainly the school cap rule was in place until 1968, when I reached the blissful release of 4th form status. I think it went by the board more or less when Joe was off sick following his heart attack, even after his return and certainly during Sam's temporary tenure as Head. I know that both my brothers ('53-'58 & '55-'60) were expected to wear their caps until the 5th form - and maybe the 6th form in earlier years were expected to do so. I did hear that prefects used to be expected to wear special caps with tassels - is this true?!

Jim Briggs 1944-51

My School cap, in 1951 when I was Gainsborough House Captain, was the standard black one with lots of yellow beading, more than the yellow beading that decorated the Gainsboro' prefects. I think mine did have a tassel, but I can't remember for sure. We were expected to wear the cap at all times, although, if I remember correctly, 6th formers were excused the full school uniform. I recall when a school group visited the Festival of Britain in 1951 we still had to wear our caps! This I particularly remember because some of us 'abused' our caps by turning up the peak, USAAF aircrew style. This got back to Joe with dire consequences! I've put a photo of one of my contemporaries, David Weisbaum/Weston, wearing a Gainsborough prefect's cap, circa 1950, on the site under section 20 'Assorted Additional Photos'. The cap was worn at a reunion in March 2001!

PS: I've just remembered that the tie colours changed during my time! I started off with the red and blue variety but the black and white version came a couple of years later. However, the colour of the rugby shirts didn't change - still red and blue for the OEs well into the mid 1950s