News Flash... new RGS headmaster in school wear controversy...

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John Saunders
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News Flash... new RGS headmaster in school wear controversy...

Postby John Saunders » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:04 pm

... but I'm being a bit mischievous. I am not referring to Roy Page's successor in 2015, but the redoubtable Edmund Ronald Tucker on his arrival at the RGS in 1933. I found this in the Dundee Evening Telegraph for 27 September 1933 (yes, I'm a bit behind with my reading)...

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 27 September 1933 wrote:SCHOOL BAN ON PLUS FOURS

Boys arriving for the winter term at High Wycombe Royal Grammar School in plus fours had a surprise when the new headmaster, Mr E. Tucker, said he considered their dress unsuitable for school wear. He has banned the wearing of plus fours. It is Mr Tucker’s first headship.

A Press representative found him playing football with the boys. He said, "I think plus fours are unnecessary for school wear. One doesn’t expect to see masters at school in plus fours, so why should the boys wear them? They can wear them on holidays if they like.”

One boy’s father said, “The former headmaster never objected, and I cannot see that it makes a ha’porth of difference. It certainly does not affect my boy’s knowledge of Euclid.”

Those of us who were at the school in the 1960s well remember controversies about winkle-pickers and long hair (a battle eventually won by the boys in the 1970s - look at any school photo of that era and the wall-to-wall long hair makes it looks like a heavy metal concert). But it's wonderful to be reminded that our 1930s predecessors could be equally individualistic about their appearance (albeit in a very different way) and sometimes turned up at school dressed as Bertie Wooster lookalikes who had just arrived from the golf course.

I was also a bit surprised to read that ERT was found playing football with the boys. As we know, football was one of the first things to go as the Welsh rugby-playing head made changes at the school, but it could be a reference to rugby football, which many years ago could be shortened to 'football', confusing as that seems to us now.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website