April 29, 2018

No Obesity problem in the 1950s

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:01 am by aleksan

I can only remember one fat boy at Marsh Court in the 1950s – and he was not very fat. It was a boarding. School and the Headmaster and his wife opened a Sweet Shop for us boys twice a week when we could spend our pocket money – usually a Wagon wheel and a piece of liquorice, or a Fry’s cream chocolate bar and a packet of Spangles. No one dared spend more than 6 pence at a time or eyebrows would be raised….a menacing sign. War time rationing was still in progress and food was basic – rabbit stew, dripping on toast and occasionally cocoa – which we called ditch water. Sport was all afternoon every day plus at regular gym sessions, except on Sundays when we went for long walks in the countryside or played unsupervised In the woods. Most of us carried knives – sheath knives kept on the belt, used for whittling wood and sharpening pencils. They were about 4 inches long and very sharp. No one was daft enough to fight with knives, but play fighting and gangs featured prominently in our lives. Most of the Masters, including the Head, had been Officers in the late War, and discilpline was strict in class. No one spoke unless asked to in class and we all stood if a lady entered the room. A different culture, but a hard one. There were no counsellors or counselling sessions but Matron was kind and supportive. It probably needed a War and Austerity to create that culture but it was good for your health and fostered loyalty and learning.

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