The early years-Primary School(#8)

Although I stated that being turned off drinking milk in those early years of school was the only major negative long term event I remember in terms of things that had an effect on me for years, it wasn’t exactly true.

There was a second one and it was “short trousers”. In the winter, when the weather was cold, I always wore long trousers to school. However, once the weather started to warm up around May, my mother insisted and made me wear short trousers. This I hated as I was only one of very kids in school who now did this. In the preceding decades it had been the norm but from the 1960’s onwards, the trend for short trousers at school in the UK had started to die out.

While still a factor for kids in private schools and with richer families, it was simply a matter of cost for working class families with kids going to public education schools that buying one pair of trousers for kids to wear to school each year was cheaper than buying two pair, especially as each could only be worn for about 6 months. By the time the following year came round the kids had grown and those perfectly good trousers, set aside for one period of the year no longer fitted.

Nobody could afford to waste money so, unless you had younger siblings of the same sex, wore the same clothes all year round (washed, dried and ironed of course, over the weekend and ready for the next school week).

My parents weren’t the exception in that they had more money than others, it was just that my mother didn’t want to let go of old ways. As for my father, he was happy to let my mother decide what we, my sister and I, should or shouldn’t wear to school.